Sunday, April 22, 2007

Viva Photography

April 22, 2007.
(Our topic seems to have nothing to do with the celebration of International Earth Day, but it definitely has something to do with the caretakers of the environment. Us.)

What seemed to be a strange radio-show topic turned out to be one of the more interesting episodes of Rock Ed Radio. We ventured to talk about photography.

First to arrive on the scene was pro-blogger, Jayvee Fernandez (abuggedlife.com) he discussed the positive sides of having photos in ones blog. He says though that 50% of his blog has no picture, so blogging is not totally dependent on photos. Blogging is still a lot about writing, for the most part, but photos, of course, always help.

He says that he mostly takes photos of what he sees and for his blog. He also says he doesn't use photoshop so in his opinion photographs make his blog more honest. He insists that ones purpose for photography doesn't make one less of a photographer. Well said. (Our cheers to Jayvee for being on time. So let's post another photo of him here.)

Our second guest is to arrive is rock scene photographer Brutal Grace. She is with Pulp magazine and mostly photographs musicians she constantly watches. A rock and roll fan, Grace says that for as long as you truly like your subject, you get better at it. Her favorite rock musician to photograph is Karl Roy, dahil sa kanto ng mukha nya, sa tattoo, sa kulot na mahabang buhok, at sa galaw. (speaking of kulot na mahabang buhok, Nino Avenido, bass guitarist of Greyhoundz and amateur photographer had a crucial rehearsal for Pulp Magazine's Summer Slam this Friday) Si Lourd daw mahirap kunan kasi ang likot sa stage. It was nice to see Grace without her camera. We think she's a lovely subject herself. (check out her photos of the rock scene at www.brutalgrace.com)

Familiar NU voice and Rock Ed volunteer Andy shares a time in Manaoag, Pangasinan where Rock Ed held a concert right at the town plaza. She experienced the showing off the screen to the kids that she shot at the audience area. After that, there was a warm connection with the audience because they saw that she didn't mean to be intrusive by taking their photo. In a way, a camera bridges people. After all, these black (or silver) gadgets usually provoke smiles when it's pointed at people's directions.

Lourd is curious and asks, "what exactly makes a photograph good?" Lourd takes photos as well, as we all do. Eventually, Bauhaus photographer Moholy-Nagy says, "knowledge of photography is just as important as that of the alphabet. The illiterate of the future will be a person ignorant of the use of the camera as well as the pen." So it's important that we know how to read and analyze a photo.2bU correspondent Tammy David says the basics are the most important thing in the end. The technical aspect makes a photograph good. One cannot venture into photography (as an occupation or anything more serious than a hobby) if one ignores the method and the principles behind the technique. If it is a manipulation of light and time, then that is what one needs to know first. Composition, play on color and subject comes next, in the end.

Tammy came with multi-awarded Inquirer photogrpaher Rem Zamora. We insisted that he joined in but he said no, he'll just listen. Bodyguard lang daw siya ni Tammy.



The conversation turns really interesting when the subject of plagiarism came up. Opinions flew all over the room. Photo enhancement has its purposes for commercial photography and other 'benta' ventures but when it comes to photo-journalism, it's a whole different ball game.
Sabi ng iba, may mga photojournalists daw na nag-dodrawing ng litrato para gumanda. She cited an example of a news photographer adding elements to a scene to make it front-page worthy. This works for some, but Tammy pressed on that there is something wrong with that. Gang supposed that in many aspects or in all career choices, moreso, surprisingly but especially, in creative professions, the concept of integrity is still imperative. (Note: pansinin ninyo, pumasok na si Rem sa booth at naka-kunot na ang noo)

Rem Zamora finally joined in (wheeeeee) and talks about his takes on integrity in photo-journalism. He explains that there is a finite amount of physical things and places in this world to photograph, so the challenge is to take a new angle, a new light, good timing for situations -- but on the whole he detests staging photographs. The responsibility of a photojournalist is immense. He owes the public ---truth.

Gang absolutely agrees and says that the photographer is one of the more honest sources of recording history. The photographer tells the story and line of crucial events of a nation without the biases of politics or ideology. They bring to clarity many economic and social abstractions. The charts and bar graphs of our country's GNP does not mean anything beside an honest photograph of poverty. Therefore the need for photos and the people behind lenses is undeniable.



Since it was Earth Day, we asked Environmental Science expert UP Professor CP David what he thought of photography in the field of science. He says, "Science is based on identification measuerments. It is also based on quantitative observations of nature. Yet quality visual representations like a photo can provide has the most impact in showing the wonders of what is around us." (whew, nakahanap din ng Earth Day connection)

Lourd says that we should be grateful that such a medium exists and that we can enjoy pure visual beauty. He says in the past there must've been a different rhythm to people who had to remember things. But for the sheer pleasure of looking at a well composed, mystically lit, story inducing photograph, we should consider our generation lucky.


Our main guest, supposedly, is accomplished and internationally appreciated photographer Jose Enrique Soriano. Too bad he couldn't join us that night. From Tagaytay, however, he listened and participated via text messages. Gang was just reading his messages, it was rather lame compared to if he were there himself. The 'much-needed-for-clarity-purposes' profanity in his messages had to be censored on air, but we captured one in this photo. Kitamona, buti na lang nga may camera na. At least naisama natin si Mr. Soriano sa synopsis ng napag-usapan kagabi.

NU107 jock, Ryan was there, too. Silently efficient. He didn't say a word so you might not believe that he was really there. Here's a photo to attest that truth. Sometimes what we see is becomes our truth. Hence the saying, "I'll believe it when I see it." So we all have to be prudent in our photos, and more critical when we view them. A smarter more incisive audience will encourage photographers to be sharper and more honest in this chosen craft.

If you blog, or have a Friendster, Multiply, Whatever online presence --we want to know... are photos your deceit or your truth?

Post your comments here or email us at commentsrock@gmail.com

Our apologies to Uleb (?) she won the comment/question of the night of this episode. "When does a photographer become a plagiarist?" Kindly get in touch with us through leslie@rockedphilippines.org for your prize. You won an autographed Radioactive Sago Project CD --Urban Gulaman.

Photographer of photographers episode is Rock Ed core group volunteer, Jay Capati copyright 2007 // Research and info survey of Rock Ed Radio, Leslie and May Umaly. Acknowledgments to PJ, Mike, and Phil for helping out.











10 comments:

Anonymous said...

4 me, mas ok gumamit ng manual cam dan digital kc di mo alam kung anong kalalabasan nung pic. kung nakuha mo ba ung gus2 mong angle. it's lyk drinking black coffee after mo sumubong chocolate cake. nakaka excite.

Anonymous said...

correction po regarding exif data, di po nawawala when you crop on photoshop. Nawawala lang po siya when u add a new layer and flatten it.

olena said...

galeng ng show!! ngayon lang ako nakinig pro para akong nakiupo sa tambayan ni gang at lourd. husay ng rockEd.

cyndi lauper said...

KULANG ONE HOURRRRRRRR!!!!

jayvee f. said...

hi anonymous! yup thanks for correcting me. yan ang problema pag live ang recording. medyo nervous ako so i miss out on what i want to say :)

Anonymous said...

about the photoshop thing. i guess ok lang na gumamit nun, depende din. kung di aabusuhin. kasi for me what matters sa isang picture/photograph is ung angle kung pano mo kinunan ung subject mo. but then again, opinion ko lang yun :)

sayaii said...

question po, ano nga po ulit yung quote na fave daw ni Gang na may something about "light and time"? I kinda missed it kase but I liked it. :D

Rock Ed Radio said...

Sayaii-- Favorite quote of Gang is "What makes photography a strange invention -- with unforeseeable consequences -- is that its primary raw materials are light and time." J.Berger, contemporary art critic

Thanks for tuning in Sayaii!

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