Saturday, May 29, 2010

Capturing Untold Stories

Dana Krizia Mengote - Capturing Untold Storiesby Yugel Losorata

The best stories are yet to be told or captured. This is what motivates photographer Dana Krizia where she has produced beautiful photographs. The yearning to come out with images providing something new to the eye is at the core of her work, creating pictures that relay an artist’s crave in presenting faces and places in unusual forms.

Engrossed with travel photography, she takes her camera everywhere she goes and puts it out upon seeing “hidden beauties” for her portfolio. The various cultures she has experienced become stories she imparts through photography, with her penchant for details making each frame rich in information.

“Through photography, I try to share the stories and experiences I collect, hoping that through my photos, I could be able to change the life of someone,”

she tells Picture Perfect.

Her colleagues have been feeling such privilege while looking at her work as she regularly participates in the monthly contests of FPPF (Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation). Dana, a member of Framed Shots club, won in some of these competitions, including a first-place finish which one of her black-and-white shots bagged late last year.

She acknowledges the fact that she has developed special strength in doing colorless photographs. Her love for “simply yet strong” output pushed this to perfection, stressing the idea that drama is endlessly conveyed in black-and-white images.

She points out, “A good photograph may be simple, but must contain a powerful and strong message that beholds its viewer and sends a deep message. It does not need too many elements nor it be produced through technical highlights.”

A Broadcast Communication major from UP Diliman, Dana’s inclination to photography was evident. However, for some reason she could not get a slot in a photography class. She had to wait for the real world where work equals pay.

After receiving her first paycheck in 2008, she bought her first camera – a Nikon D80. That set her adventure on. At present, in her spare time as immigration officer at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, she makes sure she goes out, travel, and see different people and their way of life.

“I try my best to deliver stories that haven’t been told before, or try to reflect them in different angles,” she adds. Of course, like in music when most genres have been touched and one can only tweak those established styles to come out different, a lot of the times she brings out a common subject told in refreshing perspective.

It helps that she is influenced by the likes of Chito Cleofas, Edwin Loyola, and Gunther Deichmann. The way she mixes the artistry of these distinguished lensmen and her own style has generated quality output worth the admiration of some viewers.

The basic principle of love for work is no doubt the foundation of Dana’s craft. She believes that photography is her real “ID” to the world, identifying who she is deeper than just her name and looks. With it, she thinks, she delivers, and she shares.

“Love for work is most important in photography because you can never truly express art without investing emotionally in your photograph. Each shot carries a story, an emotion, and this can only be truly captured by a dedicated photographer who loves what he is doing,” discloses the lady shooter.

When asked about her deepest view on photography, she enthuses, “Photography captivates me in a way nothing else can. The opportunity to tell a story in a single frame leaves me shivering with excitement and delight.”

People who look at her work actually share the same feeling of thrill and satisfaction.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Photography With A Difference - Touching Lives Through Photography

Photography With A Difference - Touching Lives Through Photography

Text and Photos By Joel Garcia

From May 8 to May 20, 2010 (Extended), at the Main Atrium, The Block at SM North Edsa, It features children with visual impairment visiting Manila Kiddie Zoo on March 20, 2010.

This event was conceptualized by Mr. John Chua of Adphoto, and organized by Ms. Bernie Paras Gan. Together with 22 volunteer photographers including me. But I, have a special task to document all groups, they invited the children and their families for a zoo visit.

They guided the children through the aviary. Hand in hand, they sauntered the swaying bridge, jumping up and down to amplify the motion. The children, throwing caution to the wind, zoomed the Zip Line, heads bent backward, reckless and carefree. They climbed the rock wall, gingerly at first, then with increased confidence & speed! How elated they were when they reached the top! They saw the animals up close. They explored with their fingers, their ears, and nostrils, to learn, in their unique, special way, what was a wild boar, a crocodile, and a giant python!

Imagine what a joy it was to ride the ostrich, the rock-like turtles, and the miniature horse. And of course, who could forget the experience of feeding bananas to Mali, the elephant, who startled the children by splashing water all over!

While the children were engrossed in their encounter with the animals, the photographers got fired up, with pure joy; they shot away, capturing moments of joy and bewilderment of the Zoo visitors. It was such a sight! Volunteers shooting away with their hearts!

They felt fulfilled when they saw the families’ smiles – upon seeing the pictures, courtesy of Canon, Philippines.

The sponsors of this event are SM Supermalls, Canon Philippines and Manila Kiddie Zoo. Photography With a Difference –featuring Visually Impaired Children touring Manila Zoo is the first of a series of photo exhibits to be held at the local SM Supermalls - showcasing the photos from similar events with all sectors of PWDs (persons with disabilities).

Parent Advocates for Visually Impaired Children (PAVIC) and Resources for the Blind, Inc. (RBI) are proud to be partners in this meaningful event.

In this exhibit, we hope to create awareness for the special needs of people with disabilities. Witness this day where human compassion overcomes physical challenges and individual differences. Spread this story of togetherness so that it will be duplicated. Together we can make this world a better place, for the sighted and the visually impaired alike.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Canon’s ClubEOS Raw Adventures and Hamilo Coast Photo Exhibit

Canon’s ClubEOS Raw Adventures and Hamilo Coast Photo Exhibit is now open.

This runs from May 8-14, 2010 at the Hamilo Coast Show Room, One eComm Center, Harbor Drive, Mall of Asia Complex.

Framed Shots Camera Club members Jhigz Relativo and Nick Olayao are included among the photographers featured in the exhibit. Participating ClubEOS members were each asked to submit 3 photos each and Jhigz and Nick each had 2 photos approved for exhibition.

Intramuros Is Indeed Forever

Intramuros Is Indeed Forever

By Raneil Antonio Ibay

Docu Photos by Nick Olayao

Framed Shots Camera Club members once again finished strongly in another photo contest. 2010 Chairman Nick Olayao placed 5th in the Intramuros is Forever Photo Contest. According to Mrs. Huang, FPPF Chairperson, this is a historical contest of sorts as never in the history of the FPPF did they receive so much enthusiasm for a photo contest; it garnered an astounding 2,497 entries.

Nick’s winning entry showed the domed towers of the Manila Cathedral framed in foliage and trees and shot in infrared. Worried that all his shots were shot in infrared (entries had to be in color), he didn’t process his shot so as to retain the mono-colored feel of the unprocessed infrared photo.

Framed Shots members who are among the Top 50 Finalists are Carlo Zamora and Gina Alcera. Carlo’s photo is of an old adobe building. He angled his handheld camera up a flight of steps littered with magenta colored flowers and popped a strobe fitted with warm gel and a radio trigger towards an arched doorway with another flight of steps leading up the building.

Gina on the other hand used the ornament of a horse carriage to frame a “gwardia civil” sitting in front of a table scribbling on a piece of paper, warm light coming in from an opened door from the right of the subject.

Looking at their photos, I felt like I was traveling back in time. It was as if Jose Rizal would pop out from one of the doors or windows in the photos. Intramuros is indeed forever as all their photos did exude certain nostalgia.

Chito Cleofas Wins WPPP Photo of the Year 2009

By Raneil Antonio Ibay

Viewing the exhibit area with Rosy, we saw this photograph of a bride taking the hand of his father in a “mano po” gesture. The father who is on a wheel chair looks lovingly at her daughter whom he is about to give her hand in marriage. Such irony in such a meaningful yet simple looking shot.

There were no names on the framed photos because the judging was on going but we guessed that it had to be Chito’s photo. I called him up to confirm it and true enough it was his. I told him that in my opinion, his photo is a strong contender as it stood out from the rest.

He called me after a couple of days later and happily announced that his photo was awarded as WPPP’s Photo of the Year 2009, besting some of the wedding photography industry’s best of the best.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

As Spicy As It Gets

As Spicy As It Gets

By Raneil Antonio Ibay

Dawn breaks as we board our plane to Legaspi, Albay. Nearly an hour after, we arrived and had breakfast of fried fish, longganisa, rice and coffee to start up our sluggish systems. We then went our way on a 2-½ hour ride to the town of Oas on our rented van with Jun K manning the wheel. You see, Mang Jun or Jun K as we fondly call him is running in the local elections as a Kagawad or Councilor, so he gets to campaign while driving us there.

Arriving in Brgy. Iraya, we are greeted by the cool sea breeze and Tata Berto who acted as our guide and occasional model during our trip. Oas is not a usual tourist destination so there are no hotels or resorts around. We had home stay accommodations at Ate Melyn’s place, a nice and homey house with very good home cooking which all of us loved.

Oas was founded during the Spanish Colonization of the Bicol Peninsula. Father Baltazar de los Reyes converted 12 leading natives of the area to Christianity in one day in 1605 to form the foundation of the community now known as Oas. There are three stories that tell about Oas’ origin. But this one is my favorite.

Early Spanish Colonizers reached this section of the Bicol Peninsula and asked about 600 natives the name of the place. “Como se llama este sitio?” they asked accompanied with hand gestures.

“Onan kading lugar kadi, maiwas?” (What place is this, it’s very big?), the natives thought the question to be. In response, they answered “Si, seƱores. Labi nikading iwas.” (Yes sirs, this grand and spacious.). Early Spanish colonizers from then on adapted in their official census the existence of a “rich fertile valley with verdant fields of grain” which is the little town of Oas, Bicol.

Lunch consisted of Cocido (a chickpea-based vegetable and meat stew), fried Talakitok, Botong (rice wrapped in banana leaves and cooked with gata or coconut extract), Dinuguan (cooked with coconut milk extract) and fresh buko juice. A lazy afternoon nap was in order before hitting the beach to shoot some local scenes. It was a bit of an overcast afternoon but it was perfect for shooting a man weaving coconut leaves for roofing, kids playing on the low tide beach, a Kingfisher on the lookout for food and fishermen mending their nets.

We went back to the house for some merienda of freshly fried Maruya and ice-cold Coke. Refreshed, we again hit the beach, hoping for a spectacular sunset. No dice here though, as it was an overcast afternoon, we didn’t get a sunset but there were beautiful cloud formations and local activity going on at the beach. I shot beached boats and rocks and sea urchins on the low-tide waters while my wife Rosy and Framed Shots Camera Club friends Lea, Roselyn, Rellie, Rico, Nick and Geo shot landscapes, seascapes and portraits of children and fishermen strobist style.

Everyone was in high spirits going back to the house with flashlights to show us the way. For dinner we had the hot or spicy version of Pinangat (Gabi leaves mixed with coconut milk extract), crispy-fried Dilis (the fish used here is way bigger than the ones I’m used to seeing for this dish) and of course the spicy and chili laden Bicol Express. For desert, you pick a banana from a cluster hanging by the window of the hut beside the dinning table. Another round of coffee and stories of our adventures and misadventures carried us well into the night. As spicy as it gets, this was just the first day of a six-day Bicol trip.

Framed Shots Camera Club Top 3 Winners for On-The-Spot Photo Contest: Products