There are two things I keep in mind whenever I take a photograph:
- Shoot like there’s no Photoshop
I always across this statement in photography forums and ever since, it always comes to mind whenever I’m shutter-happy.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy using Photoshop; it’s the only way I get to explore graphic design. Post-processing improve photos, but should only be utilized to a certain extent. See, smooth skin and sparkling eyes make one visually stunning, but the realness of the photo sometimes gets lost in the (post) process. Even the bluer than blue skies are breathtaking, but it may already seem unnatural even to the untrained eye. Minor touch-ups are acceptable by my standards (but who am I to say this, really). I can do that too, but I choose not to (yes, a disclaimer. Some people might be against photo manipulation because they don’t know how to, but who knows if this view changes in the coming years).
I am still learning on how to shoot better, and if I give in to the wonders of photo manipulation programs anytime soon, I might just not improve my skills at all. Besides, wouldn’t it be nice to be proud of photographs that have not been “touched by Photoshop”?
- Think out of the box
For me, this is basically the challenge photography presents. For instance, a place has been photographed countless times already. The challenge is to make your own shot interesting, something different from all the others who took a shot on that same spot. Whew. That rhymes! But seriously, thinking about this really makes me think whenever I survey a scene to photograph. Creative possibilities, creative possibilities!
Anyway, I was organizing my files (still) and came across my I HeART Makati photo set. This was almost two months ago, I just didn’t have the time to open and transfer them all but I guess this is worth sharing. I ♥ Makati‘s tagline is “i ♥ the Philippines. i ♥ being free”. Definitely a nice way to celebrate our independence by taking photos of one of the most awesome cities in the country.
The Through the Lens Photography Contest was divided into three parts, one was for the photography club membership, one for the old photos of the city, and lastly, the on-the-spot category, which we joined. It’s not everyday that you can take photos of Makati City without anyone telling you it’s not allowed.
That Saturday, under the heat of the sun, we took on the challenge of having to come up with photos worthy of acclaim and praise (and the cash prizes, too). The area was limited to the Makati Central Business District and the nearby Ayala Malls. Also, participants were required to submit JPEG copies, meaning only in-camera processes/manipulations were allowed.
Each participant was allowed to submit three entries for judging. These were the photos I chose as my entries:
I didn’t win anything, but the experience was worth it (although the heat was unbelievable). Here are some other photos I took:
After all the redesign in the commercial spaces throughout the years, the chapel in the middle of Greenbelt remains. The new look of the Ayala Malls in Makati paved the way for an eco-friendly mall environment by utilizing the outdoors and adding greens to the surroundings. Greenbelt was even recognized internationally for this concept.
The organizers also placed interesting subjects for photographers to shoot, from stilt-walkers to animals. Capping the night was a poi dance number.
We stayed until all winners were announced (’cause we’re hopeful like that!). The only thing slightly questionable was the similarity of one winning entry to another winning entry in the recently concluded UST Digital Photography Competition.
At the end of the day, it’s a competition with judges from different backgrounds to please. Art is subjective. But then, I still feel like a winner with the on-the-spot techniques I’ve learned through this contest.