Singapore: Lights & Shadows

IT’S BEEN SAID THAT “black and white photography can give certain scenes a striking, timeless quality when done well.” This is particularly true to street photographers, who use light and shadow as whip hand in their images.

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I know someone, who is good in street and B&W photography, and she’s a Filipina, who used to work as a nanny in Hong Kong. Xyza Cruz Bacani has gone a long way. She’s been to a lot of places with her forte, doing projects left and right, and sharing lectures about her experiences into the world of monochrome photography.

I consider her my idol in the genre. Here’s her site http://www.xyzacruzbacani.com/

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I like B&W, it’s just a hard nut to crack that’s why most of the time, I find myself straying to landscape, or food, or portrait photography. It requires lines, shadows, and shapes, and it’s difficult to pay attention to those all the time.

The first time I did black and white photography was in Hong Kong. In fact, one of the images I have got exhibited a long time ago in Manila. The exhibit was arranged by avid street photographers in a popular Pinoy rock bar near the University of the Philippines.

That photo was of a Hong Kong resident, who was loading several small tanks of liquefied gas to a waiting delivery truck. I have framed that photo, and it’s still hanging on the wall in our living room.

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Light and shadow, lines, curves, patterns are not the only thing to remember when doing monochrome photography. There must also be texture.

Texture is the consistency of the surface detail of the photo, which is often overlooked by photographers. So guilty. The more there are irregularities on top of your image, and as long as they are stable and steady, the more your image becomes visually interesting.

Maybe, after getting a little bit of upper hand in long-exposure photography, it would be a lot of B&W next.

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Reminiscing…

I started today by reading a personal essay on passion written by a very smart and bright teen. The funny thing is, I have never met this teen, only her father who is the kindest man.

One fact I like about the essay was the mention of Nancy Drew, an illusory character in a series of mystery fiction books that I also read when I was growing up. The fictional character is considered a cultural icon for her contributions to the formative years of many women, including mine 🙂

It’s nice to reminisce…

Strokes of Serendipity

If these photos do not qualify as street photography, then I’ll just call them “strokes of serendipity.” Serendipity because they’re in front of my camera, and they’re agreeable situations I didn’t seek but found interesting.

The worst thing they’d be called is “POVERTY PORN” since a street photographer is not supposed to take photos anymore of  people (or scene) in dire situations.

 

I was unable to imagine my reaction when somebody described my street photo “poverty porn” in one of the SP group sites on Facebook 🙂 I thought “Wot?”

And I thought “poverty porn,” according to Journalists for Human Rights, is “documentation of poverty for profit” since images can convey “powerful messages and can engage” people “deeply and personally, especially in vulnerable moments.” Iba pala?

Even if you’re not peddling your photo to make profit, it can be labeled “poverty porn?” But hey, that’s from a human rights journalist’s point of view.

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Manila Cathedral Window

Manila Cathedral Window

1/80 sec at F14 // 10 mm // ISO 100 // Canon EOS 7D // Taken on April 25, 2013 with some friends from World ShutterZ Avenue and FUNtastic Philippines at Intramuros, Manila.

There’s a quote somewhere that I find so useful whenever I come across “beauty” as a topic, I just forgot who’s it from.

It says about people being like stained glass windows. That they spark and shine whenever the sun is out, or in sunlight. But the moment darkness hits, their true beauty is only revealed when there is light from within.

No wonder I only find a few people beautiful 🙂

Sharing this photo of the Old Manila Cathedral with its stained glass window before I say good night.