It took a while before I was able to post my photos when we joined Lakbay Litratista (LATA) Laguna. We basically went to the towns of Caliraya, Pagsanjan, Paete, Pakil, and Pangil. We went to the usual suspects, mostly churches, and so the task was to find something interesting in the everyday grind of provincial life. Plus, since there were so many of us, it was a sub-challenge to find images that would be different from what everybody else was shooting (most photographers don’t want pictures that everybody else has), or at least put your own stamp on a commonplace image.
I’ve always considered shooting people as a personal waterloo. I don’t like shooting people mainly because I don’t want them to pose, I want catch them unaware, as they do what they do in real life. But there’s always the question of how ethical is it to shoot people without their knowledge. Different photographers will give you different points of view. I myself haven’t really decided on how I feel about the subject; I vacillate between arguments.
But one thing I concede, in the end after shooting people, is that I always love the result. There something so strong in the image capturing the human face, freezing an emotion so real, and so complex. The beauty of nature and landscapes is one thing, the beauty of the human emotion is another.
I went through the same thing went I went to Moalboal in Cebu. I found that shooting people was rewarding to a different degree. And studies have shown that the human eye is most attracted to: humans. Between landscapes and flowers and animals and objects and all the possible photographic subject, we find pictures of fellow humans the most captivating.
So it was nice to get a chance to do travel photography again after so long. It was nice shooting people again, and I tried as much as possible to let them know I was shooting, without affecting a change in their natural demeanor. Tough challenge, but it was fun going for it.
Of course kids are the easiest and most fun to shoot. They’re fascinating subjects because they don’t have as much malice and mistrust as adults do, so they have a more unaffected way of acting in front of a probing lens.
And sometimes it’s also a challenge to find something inspiring even in images that at first glance might seem too depressing or too in-your-face social commentary, like pictures of poverty and suffering. You’d want to make a statement without necessarily putting off the viewer.
But it’s also nice to find images that have a quirky quality, and those are fun to hunt for. It helps to have a nice zoom lens while you’re at it.
So I hope to join more of these trips because it takes us away from our safety zone, and it helps train us in the boot camp style of travel photography. You have to be on your toes all the time, always on the lookout for a great image, ready to snap that shot, and do whatever it takes to get it.
Tomorrow, the non-people pics.