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Tag Archives: inside insights

after a few weeks of not writing, this felt good.

“writing, really”

I don’t do my blog justice. I’ve tried many, many things to keep me creative and very few of them work. It doesn’t work because I keep trying to force an order onto myself. In my heart, I’m a nomad. I can’t just stay put no matter how easy or convenient it is for me. I can’t be complacent because I just end up dead in the water with nothing actually relevant to do. I’ve never had any real structure in my life, I play everyday by ear, making plans as the day progresses. The way I live my life is the same way I should write, haphazardly, with the words spilling out of my brain and finding their way onto the paper and keypad.

I’m not saying that convenience and having a place to rest my head on at the end of the day is bad. It’s just that when I settle into a rhythm I usually find myself turning sedentary and this is what kills me. I miss walking along Ortigas and reaching Shangri-la(something which I can’t do without busting my knees now) and then walking back(or taking a jeep) along Shaw. It’s days like these that I wish I had an ACTUAL job that required moving around.

I actually miss the World Youth Days when I get to thinking like this. Even though I’ve told myself that I’m never going on another one I have to admit that the prospect of living in hostels/hotels/motels while moving around in buses and trains appeals to me, never mind the constant prayer, mass everyday and the squawking of a RAVEN MAN. Hiking would be good too, did you know hiking is a sport? Seriously, long distance cross country hiking is an honest-to-goodness sport somewhere. A friend told me that hikers get the best photos, they just need to have a camera with them, that is SO attractive to me.

Touring Europe has no pull for me, I’m too biased. I’ll end up in Chipiona or Seville to visit my sister and her family or in Rome to visit the Lanzanis. What I want to do is wander, and that is NEVER advised. I can’t just go on some “spirit quest” to find myself now, I’m five years too late. At most I have the random outings with friends to see places in MY OWN country that I’ve never been to. Each and every time, my mind gets blown apart. I’m suggesting Anawangin for next, the sunsets are said to be some of the best in the WORLD.

I’m glad I got to buckle down and write for once. Really writing is a joy. There’s a reason I carry a notebook with me at all times and it’s not to look cool.

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Henri Cartier-Bresson – revered master of the “decisive moment”

My idol, plain and simple. Far too many of my favorite photographs are his.

I need to take photos of LIFE again. I seriously need to stop taking photos of stuff that’s going to be there later. I’m just going to end up frustrated again when the fountain runs dry.

I’m inspired by life.
Simple enough statement, but I’m also proud to say that while I may make a bug deal about capturing life, I know how to enjoy it as well.

I love thinking about the stories.
Taking it to the streets lets me do that.

I need to go back.
I need to reach out to HCB again.

“I guess it was gonna happen eventually”

Tumblr made it on one of the newspapers here in Manila.

Granted, it said “Thumbs down to tumblr” but what the hey, right?

question: Who’s the queen of tumblr? WTF?

Decrying tumblarity is one thing, but saying, “Instead of posting what’s really on their mind, users have been polluting the web with posts that they deem readers will ‘like’ and ‘reblog’.” Is pure poo-doo.

I’m not saying the above statement isn’t true. Thing is, it begs the question, “Who the fuck have you been following?”

Meh, same answer/solution to the jologs “problem”, don’t follow them. I periodically unfollow people once they become too much/get on my nerves/ get boring and I would not mind if people did the same to me.

Ugh, follow INTERESTING people. Don’t just follow the people who follow you. It’s not an obligation. I don’t expect people to follow me back.

Not to bash, but it was a failed experiment.

I admit to having fun, I admit to enjoying the freedom it gave me. The ten rules are simple, there are no real rules. Just live fast, live hard, go strong, be active, be spontaneous.

BUT

I didn’t like the fact that it was too… free and loose and didn’t inspire anyone to IMPROVE. I found myself going back to normal photography conventions more and more. It felt wrong at first but I just kept integrating back into photography while using the tools of Lomo. In the end, it was just photography.

It was great when I was haggard but in the end I couldn’t accept the death ratio. Having a 20% keeper percentage was brutal but it was also the norm. I just didn’t enjoy that.

I knew I enjoyed taking photos with film, I knew I loved the unpredictability of my Holga, I knew that I wanted to get better, I knew that I could be creative without being wasteful.

So I stopped Lomo.

I’m grateful for the experience because I learned to stop being so uptight.
BUT, in the end, I learned that a well thought out shot, capturing the moment while being of sound composition and sound impact will make me feel better than going for the random thrill.

My only issue with putting my pictures online is I don’t know if I’m having any actual effect on it(the world). Let’s just put down “inspiring people” as one of the reasons why I love photography. I feel like I’ve been taking less and less photos that have the potential to “speak” to people and I end up taking more and more hackneyed, tired looking photos. I don’t know what will take me out of this slump of mine. Maybe a change of scenery is in order. You never really know with me.

It’s been 5 years since I was last in a stable relationship.

You tend to miss the companionship, feeling alone is what gets to you.
You get fat. Finding the emptiness inside, you try to fill it with other things.
You try to find someone new, but they’re not the solution.

Make sure you’re fixed inside before you try to go be with someone.

No one wants damaged goods.
No one DESERVES damaged goods.

I’m damaged goods. This is why I’m afraid.
This is why I’ve not been actively going after people.

Sure, I still try sometimes but once shit hits the fan it’s all too easy to just pack up and leave.
Nobody deserves that.

I hear so many “photogs” go around lusting for a new lens, new camera, new whatever.

Yes, WHATEVER.

Getting new things all the time is one of the STUPIDEST things a photographer can do.

Why? Here’s why.

You gain ZERO mastery over your equipment if you keep changing it. At right about the time that you’re getting good with something you end up having to learn something new. It’s the same as getting past the first semester of majors for a particular course then changing your primary focus to a different one. This is no way to learn anything.

It’s the basics, learn them, master them THEN you can try something new.

Stick with your kit lens or a 50mm prime until it begins to fail you. By “fail you” I don’t mean until it breaks, that’s what I do, but until it can’t do what you ask it to anymore. When the kit lens stops being telephoto enough or wide enough even with you moving around to change the composition then you can buy a new lens.

Your camera is another thing. Learn the idiosyncrasies your camera has. Learn to make good photos in spite of them then learn to make good photos BECAUSE of them. Learn the controls of your camera to the letter. Have a system, know your camera settings inside and out. Learn how to tweak your camera with your eyes closed, so that when you’re looking through the viewfinder tweaking won’t be an issue. When you’re already that good with your camera you may just rethink upgrading.

I’m surprised that I get along so much better with people on the flipside time period. I’m not kidding. I’m loving that I’ve found two people who kick my ass every single time I hear from them. I’m talking about about LIVESOPHIA and ALEXNOISE. I swear, if you don’t stop me there isn’t anything I WON’T say about how AMAZING these two are. You just need to take a glance at their sites and you need not wonder.

These two have wit, they are both GREAT writers, insane photographers and are possessed of ambition that will not be denied. These two WILL change the world, it’s just a question of WHEN. From what I’ve seen, it’s going to be soon.

Staring out into the city lights

Five flights of stairs
on the roof deck now

“What am I doing here?”
I ask myself
fearing the answer

I look out into the world
I wonder
“This is all there is?”
“Is there nothing more?”

I look down into the streets
I watch
the running, the hurrying
the hustle and bustle
the sturm and drang

I look at myself
I ask
“Am I one of them?”
“Will I always be running to my death?”

I am standing on the edge
no longer afraid
I’m unsure

I am on my knees
I have done nothing

I cry

9/9/09

Putting things together in a pleasing way is not really something that I excel at. I’ll be honest. I’m more parts caveman than gentleman when it comes to my room. The junk I have there makes sense ONLY to me. Sure, I could probably grab whatever it is I need at a drop of a hat but sometimes I’m at a loss, and don’t get me started on whenever my parents need to look for something in my pile.

This is very much like the challenge I face whenever I take a photograph. One of the most important things about photography is composition. Composition, in my opinion, is fixing up all the stuff that your eyes see into a photograph in a way that works.

I have problems with this because the way I see my photos, it always works. My photo won’t be something that you understand but I’LL understand it ‘coz it’s MY photo.

Do you see the problem? What works for me may not work for you. In the same way that my parents can’t make heads or tails of the junk in my room I can’t expect everyone to understand the my photos if my composition is all wonky.

What IS composition about? In photography, I think it’s about how together a photo looks, how much the photo makes sense. My weakness is that I try to fit everything in, so much so that it gets everything messy. It’s like listening to a rock concert on your left earphone and an opera on your right. I have to remember to ISOLATE my subjects and EMPHASIZE them. I get it done a lot more nowadays but I admit that I still get overwhelmed sometimes.