Two of my photos are currently on exhibit at Neutral Grounds' "First Anniversary Photo Exhibit" at Philamlife East Side Lobby, Philamlife Building, UN Avenue, Ermita Manila. Exhibit originally runs from July 24-July 31, 2009, but it has been extended until August 7.
These photos happen to have been selected in Neutral Ground as photo of the day. I was never expecting the site administrators to choose it. The site rule allows us only to post one (1) photo a day, so we might as well choose what we think are our best photos.
Choosing from a thousand photo in my stream is a difficult task. Aside from the technicality of the photo, I have always adhered to at least two more criteria which I must follow: (1) that the photo should be able to evoke thoughts and emotions from the viewers, and (2) it must tell a story
I took this photo in one of my photo walks with my Flickr group, Flickristasindios sometime in September 2008. This was taken in Plaza Lorenzo infront of Binondo Church in Manila. As always, the plaza is teeming with people willing to be subjects--who would even strike a pose or let go of that smile. Whenever possible, I want my photos to be candid--one that is taken by patiently waiting and capturing them at the right moment. Seeing this sleeping child beside their wares for sale caught my attention. Suddenly, thoughts came rushing to my mind--How many street children do we have now? How many children have to work with their parents to survive? How many are homeless? How many of them do not enjoy the liberty of enjoying their childhood?
Being a father, this image is special and has a personal message to me--What if I am the father of this boy?
My wife and I thought of bringing the kids out after the new year celebrations. Year 2008 has been quite a sail, and with my late Mom who was at the time still in her sick bed, but we have to give them some enjoyment so we brought them to the Manila Ocean Park. My boys enjoyed the day out, especially Gelo, who is my accidental model in this photo. We have already finished the rounds of seeing the marine life in the giant aquariums, and we decided to slow down a bit and rest our aching feet. My son, Gelo, found a seat in the ongoing exhibit abut Jose Rizal. While looking at him 5-6 meters away, I noticed that the backdrop was the image of Jose Rizal. I immediately grabbed my camera and aimed at him. He smiled back, ready to strike a cutesy pose, but I told him to sit still, and just look at my camera--and I loved the result--fitting for the famous Jose Rizal line: Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan. (The youth is the hope of the motherland.)
Although these photos did not manage to win the Photo of the Week that would eventually qualify them for the Photo of the Month and the Photo of the Year, I am still glad that there is a little recognition of my work as a photographer.
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