“Even though fixed in time, a photograph evokes as much feeling as that which comes from music or dance. Whatever the mode – from the snapshot to the decisive moment to multi-media montage – the intent and purpose of photography is to render in visual terms feelings and experiences that often elude the ability of words to describe. In any case, the eyes have it, and the imagination will always soar farther than was expected”. – Ralph Gibson
Colors of Kadayawan sa Dabaw 2012 Photography © Jojie Alcantara (an excerpt from my article) I am lucky to have spanned a decade of covering Mindanao’s most colorful and biggest festival in the islands. Through my work in the media as a TV anchor, columnist and photographer, I have been able to document more than a bird’s eye view of the dazzling pomp and spectacle that is Davao’s Kadayawan Festival, which earned its prestige as one of the most beautiful ethnic celebrations in the country. With this year’s theme of “Ten Tribes, One Vibe”, the city has fully embraced the legacy of our ethnicity and diversity, while paying respects to the traditional rituals of our ancestors in thanksgiving to spirits who watch over our domain and the bounty of harvest that we are blessed to be receiving. Kadayawan, from the dialect “madayaw” meaning well and good, is a celebration of the goodness and harmony in life. I share with you my photos from a lucky proximity and vantage perspective. If you find my festival photos …
RELOAD, REFRESH, RESTART 023 – It’s what we do in our computers. So with life, we take a break. If all else fails, reformat. Sit back, relax and enjoy my favorite video reposts. 🙂 From X Factor Australia 2011 auditions…. to the world. Meet Emmanuel Kelly. Kelly and his brother, Ahmed, who has made the Australian Paralympics swimming team, were adopted from Iraq. They had been abandoned as infants, both suffering limb deficiencies as a result of chemical warfare. Both brothers were adopted by Moira Kelly, whom they love dearly. At 17, his emotional performance of John Lennon’s Imagine on The X Factor has been watched 11 million times on YouTube. However, he got cut off from the competition in the next round, amidst fan outrage and reactions. He has already recorded some songs in Hollywood, and is scheduled to have hip and several surgeries this year. He will head back to the US to pursue possible projects, including an appearance on reality show The Glee Project. “My dream is to change the world in …
“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, “What’s in it for me?” ― Brian Tracy Typical early morning scene in the coastal village of Dahican in Mati, Davao Oriental Locals wait for the boats to come back and help fishermen unload their catch, and being rewarded by an early meal. © Jojie Alcantara
“Sometimes the course of our lives depends on what we do or don’t do in a few seconds, a heartbeat, when we either seize the opportunity, or just miss it. Miss the moment and you never get a chance again.” ― Aidan Chambers, Dying to Know You In my birthplace of Mati, Davao Oriental, lies Lawigan, a hidden coastal community dotted by rugged rock formations, mangroves and white sands interspersed with coconut trees and patches of civilization with huts built on shorelines. The road to Lawigan is quite narrow and perched on a precipice, before going down at sea level again. It was a very lovely day where I couldn’t get enough of its seascape glory. I took photos of its extended sandbar which you can walk for yards and yards out into sea. While the coast was calm and clear, farther ahead where mangroves are growing, the sea changes into a fury of white waves bashing into protective reef fringes, where the gulf meets the raging Pacific sea. Here, the fishing boats ply the …
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” ― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.” ~ Gail Devers Zsaharah in the forest Loleng’s Resort, Davao City © Jojie Alcantara //
“Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality.” ~ Ralph Marston
“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.” ~ Henry David Thoreau (American Essayist, Poet and Philosopher, 1817-1862) Here are some of my students in the recent travel photography workshop, as I guided them on shooting sunrises. In this part of my islands, the sunrise is spectacular so it’s easy to capture good images. As the colors rapidly change in the sky from cool to warm, so will your composition, tones and hues. It’s always up to you to include human elements to add to the drama. Sunrise, Dahican Beach, Mati, Davao Oriental with my photography students More details of the workshop here
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” ― Henry Miller Exploring Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia and the American influence popping up along the way. Clearly, this winged crusader seems to be a favorite because I’ve encountered many Tuktukmobiles from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. 🙂 © Jojie Alcantara
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~ Harriet Tubman Waiting for a big break…three young surfers at sunrise Dahican beach, Mati, Davao Oriental © Jojie Alcantara
“Today expect something good to happen to you no matter what occurred yesterday. Realize the past no longer holds you captive. It can only continue to hurt you if you hold on to it. Let the past go. A simply abundant world awaits.” ~ Sarah Breathnach, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy Start your day right by flushing your self of the negatives. Then smile. Keep your back straight, hold your head high. You may be down right now, but a little push in the positive direction serves to kick start what can be a long, depressing, stressful day. You can get by when you change your attitude towards living each day. Live in a space of thankfulness. Others have shorter life spans, and fell short of counting their blessings. Took this photo right before sunrise (which only peeked a bit through heavy clouds) at Sta.Cruz, Davao del Sur. You can view more of my seascapes here.
“On the Rocks” © Jojie Alcantara 2012 “Difficulties are opportunities to better things; they are stepping stones to greater experience. Perhaps someday you will be thankful for some temporary failure in a particular direction. When one door closes, another always opens.” ~Unknown
“Teachers who inspire realize there will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how we use them.” ~Author Unknown Woke up at 4am today to travel thirty minutes to an isolated beach destination and welcome the sunrise. A drizzle came, so I knew the sun wouldn’t be peeking in. I concentrated on the rocks instead. Because of the slight rain, the rocks were quite slippery and dangerous. It was very hard to maneuver over them while carefully holding cameras and a tripod. These stepping stones became almost my stumbling blocks. Several times, I almost slipped and fell. It was a crazy thing to do, to struggle forward towards slippier, wetter, rockier areas just to get a vantage point. Like all crazy photographers, I wanted a shot that will satisfy me. But the journey, rain and all, was worth it. All I needed to do was focus on my goal.
“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” ~Eddie Cantor Self portrait with tripod and timer, at around 5 in the morning Waiting for sunrise in Dahican Beach, Mati, Davao Oriental © Jojie Alcantara 2012 //
“What’s really important is to simplify. The work of most photographers would be improved immensely if they could do one thing: get rid of the extraneous. If you strive for simplicity, you are more likely to reach the viewer. ” ― William Albert Allard Simplify. A most handy and practical tip for the photographers. Simplify. A most handy and practical tip to use in life. Waking up at 4am to catch the sunrise in a remote coastal barrio within my city is rewarding and most often, my feel good therapy. © Jojie Alcantara 2012
RELOAD, REFRESH, RESTART 022 – It’s what we do in our computers. So with life, we take a break. If all else fails, reformat. Sit back, relax and enjoy my favorite video reposts. 🙂 Sharing to loved ones and smoker friends, with a gentle nudge and reminder of caring. You can do the same.
“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.” ~ Bob Moawad Me in Siem Reap, Cambodia, April 2012 Taken by Ian Garcia
“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh This was another of my “shooting from the hip” episodes. I was going back to my transportation when I looked back and saw this monk walking towards the sunlit temples of Angkor Wat, from where I just had my sunrise shoot. As the sun rose and cast a golden glow on its path, this monk became all the more visible and translucent, making his dignified stance a joy to behold in a backdrop of archaeological significance. What made me took a shot instinctively, though, were the silhouette of his ears. It fused with the patterns of the temples.
“We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they’re called memories. Some take us forward, they’re called dreams.” ~ Jeremy Irons, British actor I love looking at old photos, especially in our family albums. It transports me back to my happy childhood. Last year, a severe flood in our vicinity literally washed away most of my nostalgic possessions and memories of yellowed prints and moldy negatives. I was left with a few scattered digitally scanned remnants of my sepia childhood. Rather than feel depressed about this loss, I try to recreate my new images into vintage photographs instead. Using this style takes me happily back in time. At least, for a while. Model: Teresa Kae Photo treatment: Vintage tones using Photoshop © Jojie Alcantara, 2012 More of these in my RETROGRAPHS gallery
If you want to practice portraiture, the best start is on babies.