Monday, May 5, 2008

"Rustic Beauty" - Our 12th !Weekly Contest Winner

Rustic Beauty

About The Winning Photo:

"Rustic Beauty" was taken at the Distillery District in Toronto with my Contax S2 film camera and one of my favourite lenses, the Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50/1.4. I have taken a few other photos of this old truck before with my dSLR. I actually had my dSLR with me at the time I shot this but chose to use my film camera since I wanted to see how it would look using the Kodak Portra VC film.

Compositionally, I immediately knew I wanted to include the green door and the red truck in the image. It just took me some time to decide how much of each I wanted to include. I tried different perspectives, looked through the viewfinder, zoomed out and in (with my feet since I was using a prime lens). Eventually I decided to make the red truck the dominant element because of its shape and partly because the film I was using is pretty good with reds.

In hindsight, I could have made that process easier by taking test shots with my dSLR. However my thought process was in "film camera mode" and I actually forgot about the dSLR once I started the process.


-- from Roxy Millado-Duguay - (?)

As my flickr username says, my name is Jonathan Ponce. No mystery there. Born in Manila. Moved to Cebu at 5 (I think) and split time between Cebu (school) & Paranaque (summer vacation) every year until we moved to Toronto in '87. Yes, I can speak Tagalog & Cebuano.

Although I started taking photography seriously only last May 2007 when I bought my (first) camera, I have long been interested in it when I took a photography class in school with the intention of collecting a library of images as inspiration for design ideas. I was hoping to be an industrial designer.

Unfortunately, the aspiration did not pan out (only 20 out of 600 applicants were accepted). When I lost access to free photography supplies in school, photography went by the wayside. Subsequently, I ended up in a non-creative field.

I took up photography as a creative outlet to rediscover my creativity which I felt has been neglected as my day job requires analytical skills and objectivity, as exercised in a fairly rigid process. Photography offers me an enjoyable creative process that allows for a spontaneous emotional or intellectual response; never mind if the scene and resulting image show a lack of technical competence.

The tools I rely on are mainly my imagination, subjective judgment for aesthetic beauty and of course some cameras (digital and film) and lenses. You can view my profile page for more details.

Needless to say my creative development in this medium is in its infancy, so there is no one photographer who influences my photographic style. I admire a variety of subject photographic subjects.

So far, the works of the following photographers have caught my eye: Edward Burtynsky, James Nachtwey, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Andreas Gursky, SebastiĆ£o Salgado, Steve McCurry, Miles Aldridge, Duane Michals and a local commercial photog Shin Sugino.

But, I'm sure this list will change just like anything else that is influenced by our constantly changing moods, emotions and state of mind. Five years from now, I hope to have a more identifiable vision.

I am not really that impressed with my current pool of images. It merely reflects my progress in technical competence and not much of my creative expression. I guess we are own worst critic. It's a reflection of my philosophy of self-validation first before looking for validation from others.

That said, I am extremely grateful for all the favorable comments, critiques and faves I have received. An image either has an impact or not, whether good or bad, so I am glad when mine would do it for some people. I hope my images inspire them just as much as their images inspire me.

The following three of my images have made me proud so far.

Massey Hall
This photo took me some time to frame as I was still just getting familiar to using a TLR. For those who've used a TLR, you know what I'm talking about. I was concentrating on the composition that I did not notice the man walk across the frame until after I took the shot (probably because he was wearing a red jacket). It wasn't until after I got the film developed that I got the pleasant surprise of the accident.

This is from my first ever attempt in doing a fashion/creative-type photoshoot. It was for my make-up artist friend. It was just shot in a condo, using just the natural ambient light coming in through the window and a reflector. It is my favourite of all the shots of models so far since it's candid. I wanted to capture her while she was transitioning from one pose to the next.

That is my friend and fellow photog Alex Felipe. I like this since it has the three elements which I noticed are very common in my images: low-light, symmetry and bokeh.

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