(My sister Pearl at some cafe in Cagayan de Oro City, circa 2004/ Canon AE-1, Kodak 400 ASA)
Since I was a child, I have always been fascinated with photography. When my mother would bring us to the park so her suki park photographer could take pictures of us–mementos she said of our growing up–I would always end up insisting that I peer into the viewfinder of the camera and imagine doing a shot rather than posing.
I grew up with cameras all around me. This is the reason why I always see the world in frames– images composed, frozen, then moving on, moments that never last but are captured soon enough.
In college, I met my friend Krevo Apuzen, who did black and white photography and who made me fall in love with pictures more than ever– the alchemy of it all! I would spend time watching and helping him develop his pictures in the darkroom even though the smell worsened by rhinitis. But I had to abandon pictures for words. I abandoned photos for paintings.
It was only around 5 years ago, when I transferred to Davao City that I met the late photojournalist Gene Boyd Lumawag who inspired me deeply, and who encouraged me to fall in love with photography again. That was one of the milestones in my life, as I took pictures under his tutelage, secretly from the start. Now, I do not in any way regret my friendship with Gene Boyd. Never a day passed that I didn’t learn insights from him.
Boyd was the one who told me that it is NOT the camera, it is the photographer, after he saw the really antique-looking Canon AE-1 camera I used to take pictures with. For so many years, I have been using film not because I am a purist. But because I can’t afford a digital camera. There is always something more important to spend for, according to my pragmatic self. It was just recently (in 2008 thereabouts) that I finally began my shift from film photography to digital photography. It was not as smooth a transition as I would have wanted it to be, but it was also worth it.
If photography is falling in love, then I want to fall in love over and over every time I peer into the viewfinder, wait for the perfect moment, and click the shutter button.
To view Gene Boyd Lumawag’s ouvre, go to http://geneboydlumawag.com