Saturday, February 23, 2008

2ndWeeklyWinner.Damgo by Farl

2ndWeeklyWinner.Damgo by Farl
2ndWeeklyWinner.Damgo by Farl
Originally uploaded by usclabdog

About The Photo:

Sometime ago I wished that I can capture a traditional candlelight procession in an old town, viewing the ocean of illuminated faithful on top of a balcony of a century old house. The building across mine must be as old, spewing out rustic details of days of the past. The spot had be at the corner so that the candles will be a stream of curving flickring lines. Thanks to rox?, the dream became a reality last Good Friday. (April 16, 2006)

To go to Farl's winning photo in flickr, click here


I am Farley Baricuatro, born, raised and still living in Cebu. A chemist by trade, I travel frequently on business so photography became an easy fit. Like most people, I started with a point and shoot and until 2005, I preferred the ultracompact Canon Powershot S40 that is small enough to fit inside my pocket.

In May 2005, I joined flickr and got hooked in photography quickly and irrevocably. I learned the basics of photography on my own. Voraciously, I studied pictures in flickr (especially those which have EXIF data), browsed to-do threads in flick pools like Technique and asked tips from hobbyist friends in meetups in our Cebu-Sugbo flickr group.

I was not planning to make the jump to dSLR until my p&s unexpectedly quit on me a week before a trip to Africa in November 2005. So I relented and bought a Canon Rebel XT 350D which I still use up to now. I never looked back. Today, I have 3 lenses: the kit lens 18-55mm, a telephoto 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 II USM and a prime 50mm f/1.8.

Visual arts, particularly classical painting, influence me heavily in my photographic compositions. I don’t have any book in photography nor do I really consciously follow someone else’s style. Sometimes, I felt that I get afflicted by the postcard photography syndrome so I try my best to push myself and try to veer out of stock photo style. Easier said than done.

I am keenly interested in landscapes, photojournalistic portraiture, culture and traditions. I’m still trying to learn how to use my Speedlite flash properly and wish that someday I can study artificial studio lighting, especially now that I have a newborn baby! Onwards, I also hope that I find the time to study photoshop as I believe that post-processing is an entirely different monster necessary to advance oneself photographically. (Meantime, I use free software like picasa2.)

Occasionally I get stumped and endure weeks wherein I don’t touch my camera. this definitely means I may never be a professional photographer. However, photography will never get old for me as there is always something to learn. My best photos are still yet to come.

Here are 3 pictures which somehow define me as a photographer. -- from Farl - (?)The photo which won me in the last Kabayan motion contest is also my most popular picture in flickr. I worked hard on this one, from the conceptualization to realization. I wanted to capture a traditional candlelight procession in an old town, representing faith as an ocean of light. The idea came to fruition in a Good Friday procession in Bantayan Island, Cebu. The photo also marks my first win in a national contest (the 2007 Canon Smile 7107 photocontest, nightscape category) and prodded me to start my own Photojourney blog.

Another favorite photo is one which showcases a row of heritage houses in Bryggen, Bergen, Norway. I took this with a point and shoot pre-flickr and always reminds me that sometimes a straightforwad and simple shot can work effectively. It still is among the most popular photos in my photostream. -- from Farl - (?)The third photo which defines me is one I took a week after I bought by dSLR. Taken in a beach in Madagascar, the photo of innocent joy makes me realize that in unguarded moments, one can peek into the soul of your subjects. -- from Farl - (?)



To get to Henry's "Glimmer of Hope" fiickr photo page, please click here
About The Photo:

“One of the images I took for the Lighting II Challenge in May. This was taken inside the abandoned Brickworks factory in Toronto. I very seldom take a shot that includes me but I felt compelled to have a human figure in this shot so I set up the camera on the tripod but forgot to change the settings. I sat there for what I thought was too long a time. The long exposure overexposed the highlights but was able to tone it down to an acceptable degree.

Shot in raw mode. I adjusted the white balance for a warm feel and further saturated the yellow. I cloned out the over-exposed areas on my leg leaving just enough to show that the light was directly hitting it. I did some burning here and there. I used Neat Image and sharpened the image after cropping and resizing.”

Camera: Canon EOS-20D
Lens: Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM
Location: Toronto Brickworks
Date: May 20, 2005
Aperture: f22
ISO: 100
Shutter: 25 secs


I first saw Henry Roxas’ stunningly dramatic photo a year or so ago, when a photographer-friend asked me to check out dpchallenge’s website. I remember mumbling “parang sine” (like a movie scene) as my eyes followed that streak of light shining on a seemingly forlorn man (posed by Henry himself, so this is also a self-portrait).

I’ve all but forgotten about this outstanding photograph, and seeing it as one of the 50 entries in our first weekly contest was like running into a long-lost friend. At the end of the week, “Glimmer of Hope” was declared the runaway winner, a distinction I believe it justly deserves.

Manila-born, accountant-by-profession, fourth-child-of-five Henry moved to Toronto to join the rest of the family when he was 20; although only three of his siblings are now in Toronto (one is in NY). His first encounter with a camera was at 10 years old when he was asked to take someone’s photos:

“It wasn’t a particularly big camera but it was heavy and made a loud click when I pressed the shutter. Being the pakialamero that I was, and my fascination with things that had moving parts, I played with it for a few minutes and instantly loved it, I finished the roll of film on the couple (my cousins),” Henry reminisced.

“Surprisingly, some of the photos came out well even though I had no idea what I was doing. I was then given a camera by a relative and I have been shooting since then: mostly family photos, trips and our dogs and flowers in the garden. Because film and processing were expensive, and with great opposition from family members, the hobby was put aside in favor of something that was more important.”

When Henry had the means to pick up the hobby again, he seemed to have done so with a vengeance -- and while his first digital camera was "a no-frills 1-megapixel Kodak DC3200" -- he now lists the following as his “shooting array”:

Canon 5D and a variety of lenses:

(1) Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8L USM
(2) Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM
(3) Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM
(4) Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II
(5) Sigma EX 105mm f2.8 Macro
(6) Canon EF 85mm f1.8 USM
(7) Olympus AF 50mm f1.8 (with macro coupling ring)
(8) Lensbaby

And as if to prove that “first love (for film) never dies,” Henry also has
a Holga and a Lomo LCA which he uses from time to time.

“I would like to do more film photography again,” Henry commented.

When asked who or what the main influence in his photography style is, Henry replied:

“I like a number of photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson (candid and street photography), James Nachtwey (his present day war editorials) Robert Maplethorpe (flowers/still life), Yousuf Karsh (portraiture), William Eggleston, Tillman Crane etc., though I wouldn’t say they influence my type of photography since I don’t do those types of photos. If I were to do them, they would be my inspiration. I don’t know yet what type of photography I’d like to concentrate on although I tend to gravitate to darkness and dramatic lighting.”

“There is an abundant talent in the Flickr community and they inspire me whenever I'm having a photographer's block, which happens to me a lot. :),” he added.

When I asked him what type of photography or photographic subject interests him these days, he simply stated “Anything that presents itself to me in its natural way. But I would like learn seeing light in a more creative way, if there is such a thing. I say that because light is the raw material of photography, whether artificial or not. I'm a sucker for available light, needless to say I'm not very fond of strobes/flash and other studio lighting equipment although I have them, I don't get to use them much. I would like to produce photos that are edgy. I don't know if that's something that's learned.”

What does Henry “foresee” about his photography in the next five years?

“I have a couple of things in mind that I would like to do. First, a body of work that explores human body parts photographed in an unconventional way. The “unconventional part” I haven’t envisioned yet. Second, to document an ordinary person’s everyday life, preferably male, exploring the good, the bad and the ugly/dark existense of this persona. I have pretty much conceptualized this in my head. When time permits and depending on the availability of a model, I would like to get started on this. I'm a little excited about
this since the entire project would not show this person's face. The idea is to create a story around this faceless individual and his surroundings. I envision this second project to take years to complete. I hope to have these two projects published as a book or shown in a gallery. Having said that, I do not foresee myself becoming a professional photographer, nor do I work towards it.”

Henry lists the following photos as the ones that best define him, as he ended the Interview with “I just like them because they're dark:
Not quite skyscrapers
-- from Henry Roxas - (?)

-- from Henry Roxas - (?)

-- from Henry Roxas - (?)