Last weekend I joined Carlo, Jason, and Jake, – the Zerothreetwo folks – on their small event called “Meet the Streets: A Photowalk”
It was my first group photowalk for 2015 (aside from the Sinulog Festival). We met at the Buena Vida Suites and started our walk at the perimeters of Capitol then made our way to the area where fruit stands pop-up on weekends. The people there were more willing to be photographed than the ones in the small community beside Capitol, probably because they’re vendors and already used to being photographed by tourists.
We spent some time there while also waiting for the others to catch up. It was around 4:30pm so the light was already in its beautiful angled rays. Together with Jason, we were the ‘head of the snake’ to guide the group as we walked along the planned route. We went behind Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital, and realized I missed eating at Tagala’s Chicken and ChickenDok. Those oily drumsticks, meatballs, and ngohiongs, a few of the things I really miss back in Uni.
On shooting and photos
Anyway, we stopped at M.P. Yap Street to shoot and wait for the others. We were again treated by the glorious glimpses of light peeking above Jasmin Street right across us. I saw three people in black waiting to cross with two of them wearing a red bag and sling. Right then and there, a red jeep popped out along with the two red stop signals in the traffic light. I shot it right away.
While waiting, I took a shot of a service truck driver sporting a ninja mask out of a t-shirt with his companion drinking a bottle of soda, like the ones they deliver. I turned around and saw a kid observing us from the second floor of an establishment. Her red and pink clothing simply popped out of the earth tones around her.
We slowly move towards Fuente Osmeña Circle as we tried to catch the remainders of the ‘golden hour’. I have to say that I was not expecting to get any shots there, because ever since the place didn’t really appeal to me that much. I was seeing it as something boring and where local TV stations set up booths during festivals. Don’t get me wrong, I love the 101-year old fountain (aka Fuente Oh) at the center which stood up the to the test of time and even WWII. It’s the park don’t get a vibe on. However, in this event, and with the help of the setting sun which was fortunately not yet covered by a building, made me see Fuente Osmeña Circle in a new light (see what I did there? hehe).
Some thoughts on the way I worked on this walk:
At first, I wasn’t sure how I was going to shoot that day’s moments. It was kind of new to me because of the time and place. I did shot some parts of the route before but not in the afternoon.
I have this habit of watching a photographer documentary a day before a shoot just to get in the mood and for inspiration. I watched “William Eggleston in the Real World”. There are so many photography masters that you can only remember the popular ones, and I guess that was time for me to know another.
William Eggleston is mostly known for his color photography, during the time when color photographs were treated as ‘meh’ by museum curators and directors. Eggleston’s work was criticized for the ‘mundaneness’ of his photos.
So I gave myself a challenge to include photographing the mundane even if I didn’t feel it. Like the photo of a pile of wooden planks draped by the shadow of a tree, a random shot of a parking space with light falling in and casting a shadow, a photo of a convenience store guard shot through the glass, or even a dress boutique’s window adorned with mannequins and pink paint. I was accustomed to photographing the interesting, waiting for that moment, and yet there’s this beauty in the mundane I was missing a lot on. Although not my usual interest or style, I’m looking forward of adding ‘mundaneness’ in my portfolio.
One also shouldn’t limit their works to just black and white photography. William Eggleston, along with Ernst Haas, already did the hard work for color photography to be accepted as art at museums and galleries. Not to be just for family albums.
So yeah, this post went on as a recap, some thoughts, and a bit of history. Enjoy the photos.