Sunday, April 6, 2008

"wrecked" - Our Weekly Contest # 8 Winner!


About The Winning Photo:

It’s an old wooden boat wreck at Bunbeg beach in Gweedore, Co. Donegal, Ireland.

We were just roaming around the county and chanced upon this wreck on the beach. The boat was in the middle of flat sand with a few puddles of water and I imagined it would be underwater during high tide. It was a perfect photo op. But guess what? I didn’t have a camera with me. :)

So I went back to the beach to shoot the wreck, this time waiting for the sun to set in the background.

(To go to galahad's winning photo in flickr, click here).


Admin's Prologue:

New KABAYAN member Jennifer Salegumba voted for ian zone’s entry #26, adding that it’s “the only happy sunset.”

What is that comment doing here in the interview of Gani Bibat (aka galahad)?

I chose to mention Jennifer’s remark because I am intrigued that she deemed all the other sunset shots entered in the contest as sad. Could this be true? Do most sundown photographs seem moody and morose to some people? I’m not sure, but Gani’s winning photo conveyed sadness to me the first time I saw it. Maybe it’s the overall blue color cast. Maybe it’s the rotting ship’s hull that lay abandoned and neglected. For whatever reasons, I felt like checking Galahad’s photo stream, just to see if all his other photos were “as sad.” When I read his profile, I saw that he’s currently working in Ireland, and I thought, “Is he alone in Ireland, and could this be the reason why his sadness shows in his photo?”

As it turns out, Gani enjoys his IT work for an insurance company in Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland for the last 3 1/2 years. He says “When I started, we were only five Pinoys sa company. Today, nasa 30 na siguro kami. Bilib siguro ang Irish management sa mga Pinoy. :)”

It may have been difficult to be apart from his family earlier, but he now has his wife, son and daughter with him. “They just followed me later on nung medyo stable na ang trabaho ko dito,” he said.

But while not all the photos in his stream are “sad” (his family photos, for example, are typical “Kodak moments”), two of the three photos that Gani chose to “best define” him are sweeping panoramic shots with a tiny figure (relative to the scene) seemingly “lost” in the location’s vastness (perhaps a subconscious depiction of his emotional state when he took the photos?). Even the titles “Lost,” and “Fly High” are emotion-laden and thought-provoking.

Living and working in a large town (not city, he emphasizes) where the weather is almost always 18% gray (good enough for an accurate White Balance reading, he quips) could probably explain away moody shots, as psychological studies state that prolonged winters and gray skies often lead to depression and loneliness.

“But there are a lot of interesting landscapes so you really have to charge those batteries regularly. The thing I like here is the slow country life. Not much traffic and people,” he clarifies.

Gani started young in photography, and he recalls using the old 70’s Polaroid, followed by the Kodak 110mm cameras. “Almost lahat ng occasion, meron akong hawak na camera,” he says.

Serious photography started in 2001 when a friend introduced him to film photography and Gani got a Canon SLR 35mm film camera. Then in 2005 he went into digital photography with a prosumer Powershot G6. A year later, he bought a Canon DSLR, a few lenses and strobes (for off-camera shoots).

No particular photographer influences Gani’s shooting style, but he usually browses through magazines and photo websites, and seriously studies photos in National Geographic. He says, “When I see a picture I like, I try to replicate it and then experiment on what settings to use in shooting.”

“I would like to learn more about Landscape, Macro and Portraiture, and while there are other fields that I still need to know, I would like to concentrate on these three in the meantime.”

The three photographs that “best define” Gani are:

"Fly High"

-- from galahad's - (?)

My first picture that won in a photo contest.



-- from galahad's - (?)

I had to drive for one hour for this one and along the way, I hoped that the clouds would clear when I got there. Luckily, the sun showed.


"Close Encounter"

-- from galahad's - (?)

My first ever macro shot and I like the result. I used a single strobe and extension tubes for this one.

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