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Keeping up with technology

Eduardo Seastres, a native of Iloilo City, is an electronics and communications engineer who has an impressive professional working experience of more than 19 years in the cellular communication industry in the Philippines and abroad. Due to the nature of his work, he started traveling in 2000 armed with his point-and-shoot camera.

“At first, it’s always for souvenir photos and documenting my travels,” Eduardo relates. “Eventually, I bought my first DSLR Camera (Nikon D80) with kit lens in 2009 to enhance the quality of my photographs without the knowledge of basic photography. I simply considered it as my hobby.”

His decision to find more challenging jobs abroad made him in demand as a freelance radio frequency planning and optimization engineer and consultant, with his first project in Melbourne, Australia in 2000. He soon dealt with consulting companies from other countries.

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However, the death of his parents in 2010 and 2011,respectively, caused him depression and affected his goals in life.

“All my dreams for my family have been temporarily halted. To overcome depression, I thought of diverting my loneliness into a new perspective in life aside from working and travelling. In December 2010, I was able to enrollin basic photography workshop at the Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation (FPPF) to meet new friends, know more about camera settings, and basic photography composition. The workshop really enhanced my knowledge and the love for photography became a passion for me,” he says.

Eduardo shoots landscapes and architecture, but also loves to capture human emotions. Though he finds it the most difficult genre of photography, street photography is a way to take personal observations and statements, which can be fun and rewarding. It also involves him getting close to people and shooting strangers in public places requires a bit of courage, quick reflexes, and basic camera equipment.

“To do this kind of photography with success, we must be on the scene—to be part of it, not a usual distant observer. The street photography is about telling a story in a single frame cleverly anticipating the actions and interactions. It’s about seeing the visual puns, the serendipity, and the incongruities of humor in a confusing world. It is the ability to capture that unique and particular moment,” he says.

An effective photograph for Eduardomeans looking beyond the message of each image—correct composition for the given situation, good use of natural light, and proper exposure are key techniques to dramatically improve one’s photograph.

“Mood lighting can complement any shots you take. Most of my shots use ambient light. I seldom use flash specifically indoor at daytime. I have to find a place with good light coming from windows/doors or lights coming from outside to provide light source on my subjects. I have no preference in pictures. Using DSLR, I photograph black and white and color depending on the situation/scene or subject. For street photography, black-and-white photos can look more powerful and dramatic, like faces and expressions which are emphasized more. For landscapes/waterscapes and architecture, I do color to enhance mood. Color helps me paint a fantastic, alternative reality,” he explains.

Eduardo is not affiliated with any organization in the Philippines, but has joined different photography groups online for fun. He recently joined the IPA Philippines photo competition and has emerged an honorable mention for the children’s portrait category.  Recently, he was among three Filipinos who have made it to the Top Ten of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015 Photo Contest.

“For me, although it’s only recognition and not winning major prizes but passion will push me to my limits. It will demand sacrifices but I won’t mind the hard work, because I know it will make me better. And when it pays off, it will surprise me with opportunities I’ve never even dreamed of. Ultimately, when you’re doing something that you really like, you might as well try to be very good at it,” he says.

Eduardo’s expertise and vast technical knowledge in the field of cellular telecommunications industry have secured for himself short- and long-term projects in several countries. Such opportunity enableshim to explore many cultures, beliefs, and practices and work with different races from around the world.

“Learn more about yourself. The deeper you get, the more you realize that it’s all about what you are interested in, how you feel about it, and what you want to say to the people who view your work. As you shoot, you learn more about yourself, what you value, and how you see the world.The best thing about being a photographer is that you don’t stop learning.It’s also about technology, which is totally related to my profession. You can use photography to turn almost anything you find beautiful into a work of art,” he says.