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‘Take’ or ‘make’ photos?

International street photographer Eric Kim’s thoughts on “taking” vis-a-vis “making” street photos shared on his blog site (http://erickimphotography.com/) can be very instructive for those who want to seriously pursue this photographic genre. What’s the difference? “Well for me, I think the concept of ‘taking’ a photograph sounds forceful—like you’re stealing something from someone,” writes Kim. “So when it comes to street photography, it sounds violent and aggressive. To ‘take’ a photograph of someone is to steal their soul. However on the other hand, to ‘make’ a photograph is to create something beautiful, and to be creative. I also like the idea of ‘making’ a photograph— because it sounds more collaborative. It sounds more engaging, and isn’t you just taking a mindless snapshot and walking away.

“One of the approaches in street photography that appeals to me is ‘street portraiture’ — the opportunity to engage a subject, and to ask permission to ‘make’ their portrait. Why? For me, it gives me a chance to collaborate with them, engage them in dialogue, and to make them a part of the image-making process. Furthermore, whenever I approach a stranger, I like to say, ‘Excuse me sir, I love your look. Do you mind if I made your portrait?’ I say this instead of, ‘Do you mind if I took your photo?’”

  • Magdarame (Ruston Banal)

    Magdarame (Ruston Banal)

  • Golden Black (Eduard Yaco)

    Golden Black (Eduard Yaco)

  • Untitled (Myrla Torres)

    Untitled (Myrla Torres)

  • Mananagat (Arnil Lim)

    Mananagat (Arnil Lim)

  • Sun Goddess (Nicky Ledesma)

    Sun Goddess (Nicky Ledesma)

  • Beat the Summer Heat (Melvin Anore)

    Beat the Summer Heat (Melvin Anore)

  • Untitled (Berndrick Alburo)


    Untitled (Berndrick Alburo)

  • Fun is Young (Lester Tabula)

    Fun is Young (Lester Tabula)

  • Asik-asik Falls (Arthur Celis)

    Asik-asik Falls (Arthur Celis)

  • From This Moment On  (Marc Raphael A. Peñaredondo)

    From This Moment On
    (Marc Raphael A. Peñaredondo)

Lastly, Kim advises street photographers to “essentially photograph others how you would like to be photographed, and try to make art, rather than just steal photos.

Photograph from the heart, from your gut, and make images that immortalize beautiful moments.”

Facebook has built a reality video camera and is giving away the design for free according to www.gizmag.com. Announced just last week, “Facebook’s Surround 360 is a 17-lens 3D-360-degree video capture system that looks like a spaceship and produces VR content on the fly, but its most impressive feature? The design and software will be entirely open-source.” Facebook just recently acquired Oculus (maker of the VR Rift) and is betting on the growing market for immersive video and virtual reality. The FB Surround 360 has fourteen cameras facing outwards in a neatly arranged circular array, with one fish eye camera pointing upwards and two down below. The 17 camera sensors shoot at 30 and 60 frames per second and work with a global shutter, meaning that every pixel is captured at the same moment. This synchronization makes it easier for the footage to be smoothly stitched together. FB is giving away access to the design to encourage others to build their own and start adding to the VR pool. In the near future, users of FB may be needing VR devices to completely experience the fun on Facebook.

Lytro, creator of the light field camera has abandoned the development of consumer cameras focusing instead on making “the world’s first Light Field solution for film and television”—a 755MP cinema camera monster. PetaPixel reports that “at 755 megapixels of RAW 40K resolution and 300fps, the camera boasts ‘the highest resolution video sensor ever designed’ and captures as much as 400 gigabytes of data per second from the world around it.” With these capabilities, moviemakers can do away with the green screen as every pixel contains “mountains of data.” Focus, frame rate and even depth of field and dynamic range can be changed in post-production. To see what this means for cinema and television, view the product video at www.lytro.com/cinema.

It’s just five days away to World Pinhole Photography Day. Visit http://pinholeday.org/ for details, resources and inspiration. Enjoy making your own pinhole camera and shooting with film on this special day. Then upload your photo and see it displayed on the site’s international gallery.

And now to our featured readers.

The remarkable photo “Magdarame” is from photographer-artist Ruston Banal’s work-in-progress, “ABE Road: The Agony and Ecstasy of Filipino Diaspora.” The project is his second of a series “about human diaspora and the proliferation of a pop culture as represented by the simulation of Abbey Road by the Beatles.” He explains this is a collaboration between him, Lorina Tayag Capitulo, and Jim Paredes who provided the germinal concept. It all started, narrates Ruston, in 2014 when he and Jim covered the flagellations in Pampanga. “We were in a hotel in Bacolor when Jim suddenly said, while waiting for the crucifixion schedule in Cutud, ‘why not we shoot something like the magdarame in Abbey Road theme?’ The idea was there but given the concept, I could not contextualize it in a form that will still show the sense of the flagellation and at the same time making it contemporary.

“Flagellation or Magdarame is Kapampangan in origin which is basically a pre-colonial period tradition that shows the co-suffering of a person to carry a burden in ways of flagellating himself. ‘Damayan’ in Tagalog or ‘Abayan (ABE)’ in Kapampangan, thus Magdarame…  Abe Road word came in as a play of words with the Beatles Abbey Road.

“While in New York and doing a documentary on Filipino migrants, I modified the idea to make a symbol of the Filipino’s agony and ecstasy, the willingness to carry the burden, to face the hardships in order to supplement a family in the Philippines. It was shot in a major city; cities where a lot of Filipinos thrive. I also took a shot of this in Paris. This year, I was invited by the Philippine Embassy in London to exhibit this alongside my conceptual work about Filipino diaspora.” The photo was shot in Time Square, New York in 2014 with production support from Ariel Capitulo,  Erwin Quiambao, Lorina Tayag-Capitulo, and Felix Ptc.

Berndrick Alburo, a student at AMA East Rizal sent in the untitled photo of a small child pointing to an object in the sky as he stands beside several bigger children sitting side by side.  Berndrick shares he has been shooting for over a year . “Mas pinagbuti ko pa ang aking pagiging photographer nang malaman kong pwede ang mobile sa organisation sa aming paaralan,” he writes. “Ang pangalan ng organization ay PhotoLiveOrGraphy – ( PLOG). Nang simulang napansin ng presidente ang aking litrato, pinagkatiwalaan ko na ang aking sarili at nagtuloy-tuloy na po ang aking pag-aaral at pag-improve ng skills ko bilang isang litratista o photojournalist.”

The photo titled “Asik-asik Falls” comes from Arthur Celis who uses the monicker “Lakwatserong Doctor” in his photography. Doc Art took the photograph during a trip to  Socsksarge last Febuary. The falls can be found at Brgy. Upper Dado, Alamada, Cotabato.

“Golden Black.” a half-minute exposure photo shot in the late afternoon is by Eduard Yaco. “What is so mystical [and magical] about Puerto Galera is its blue hour moment that will drift your soul to different emotions,” shares Eduard. He took the photo in White Beach, Puerto Galera.

From Lester Tabula is “Fun is Young.” “This is part of the experiments I do when I have my camera,” he shares. “Levitation photographs never fail to amaze me, so I had to have one. This is the best so far.”

Marc Raphael Peñaredondo, labor and employment officer II at the Advocacy and Publications Division of DOLE submitted the wedding photo titled “From This Moment On.” “I took this wedding photo of Albert and Carla Eamilao on March 11 at St. Michael the Archangel Parish Church, Bacoor, Cavite,” writes Mark.

“Beat the Summer Heat” declares Melvin Anore’s photo. “It’s Summer again,” Melvin writes. “The time of the year when friends, families, go to the beach to relax and enjoy and while away the summer heat. But for this kid, frolicking at the waters of Laguna de Bay is a simple pleasure to ease the heat, such pure joy in a simple setting.”

Arnil Lim sent in “Mananagat.” Myrla Torres shares a photo of her 23-month-old son. And “Sun Goddess” taken at Bredco Port, Bacolod City during the equinox on March 22 comes from Nicky Ledesma.

Readers may now view issues of Picture Perfect including this column at 2016.mb.com.ph.

For comments, suggestions or just to share an image or idea, email throughalensclearly@yahoo.com or rfyparedes@yahoo.com.