A teaser (c/o Design For Tomorrow) for some of my fresh-off-the-press work for Curio Magazine, a publication curated, edited, and designed by DFT for the Timeline Group. It's always a pleasure shooting black and white, and this was a particularly interesting experience. I've posted a couple of side portraits of Karen (above) and Alvin in a previous entry, and will add more as soon as the issue is released.
Watching a ballet performance from the wings can be a totally different experience from what you get being in the audience, although isn't necessarily a bad thing. True, the view is skewed roughly 90 degrees, but what I found fascinating was seeing the dancers switch to and from their performance and offstage states. Seeing a strong performer go from all-smiles to breathing heavily and sweating profusely within 2 seconds of exiting stage gives one a more profound respect of how hard it actually is to dance. On the same note, seeing how dancers with character roles meditate and prepare for their entrance is almost like watching a prayer unfold before you, on the altar of grace.
I finally got to shooting some photos for the documentary. I must say, it's a bit of a refreshing break to go into the CCP with the purpose of stills in mind.
Above are two of the main characters in Mananayaw - JM Cordero and Biag Gaongen. JM is the current male principal dancer for Ballet Philippines, a position which Biag once held before got injured a few years back.
The plan was to shoot them performing different styles of dance - JM doing classical ballet, and Biag for modern. Add dramatic lighting and two really pretty ballerinas, and our pegs were set.
Princess Monica, moments before the stage.
Just being immersed in the world of ballet has given me a new well of inspiration to draw from. I have as of late, been furiously filling my books with photo ideas that I plan to shoot in the near future. Truly, no one is creative who does not constantly expose himself to new experiences and ideas, for they are the fuel for the fire of the imagination.
I was filming the Ballet Philippines dancers earlier today for the documentary, and I managed to take this photo of Katrene, as she was doing runs for her show the next day.
It's hard to imagine the blood, sweat, and tears that dancers go through for their performances, just because they are good enough to make it look so easy. The dancers at Ballet Philippines are some of the most hardworking and dedicated artists I know, and what they do is anything but a walk in the park. People like them serve as an inspiration to me every day that I pursue my own passion, and as long as they exist, the world will always be a better place for it.
Posting a couple of profiles from my latest editorial shoot. It's been a while since I've shot for B&W, something I've been missing dearly. These weren't actually part of the shotlist for the day, but I loved the profiles of Alvin and Karen so much that I just had to ask them to pose for me. Full set from the shoot to go up once the issue has been published.
I made a visit to the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm recently. For those not yet familiar with Gawad Kalinga, it's a non-government organization whose goal (among others) is to sustainably end poverty for 5 million families by 2024, and they're doing it through social enterprise. I had the opportunity to sit down for five minutes with Mr Tony Meloto, the founder of Gawad Kalinga, and he made a believer out of me. The man is overflowing with inspiration, and if many Filipinos would adopt the same mindset as he has, we would have a lot less problems in this world.
I didn't have much time to stay in one place within the farm as I was on assignment, but I managed to sneak in a few randoms that caught my fancy.
Cocoa pods. Apparently, the Philippines is a pretty ideal climate for growing cocoa, yet we import most of our chocolate.
Seedlings from the plant clinic at the farm. They produce really potent fertilizer here, and use it to care for their plants. At Php50 per kilo, it's not a bad price either.
This lady caught my eye while she was cleaning the area. Maybe it was the vigour with which she went about her duties, or maybe it was the sparkling wood floor. Either way, I thought it made for an interesting shot.
In other news, the documentary I've been working on for the GMA Cinetotoo International Documentary Film Festival, Mananayaw, has finally entered production phase. Pre-prod's just about finished, and now comes the fun. More to come.
At the beginning of 2014, I tried to convince myself that I would do less traveling this year, that I would try and stay put and quell my wanderlust with something a bit more regular and mundane, maybe put my travel budget to a more local use.
I tried, and for a whole month, I was sucessful. Yet here I find myself at the start of February, staring down at least three international trips already booked for the year, and the threat of more to come. I start the year off with Malaysia this week, having scored a free trip from Air Asia a couple of months back (Thanks, Air Asia!).
Sometimes we get so used to a place, that we somehow overlook the beauty it holds.
I took this shot of an old Catholic woman making the sign of the cross after dipping her hands in holy water while on a shoot for World Mission Magazine. Having grown up in Christianity this is not an uncommon sight for me, and so I initially took one glance and turned my attention onto another portion of the church we were in. At the end, I'm glad I was able to capture this solemn moment of introspection. We live in a beautiful world, we just need to keep ourselves constantly sensitive to what it shows us.