Month: January 2013

Badjao baby

This Badjao baby caught my eye as I walked carefully on wooden planks stretched across the waters within a cluster of houses built tightly and interconnected by footpaths. The family welcomed me into their community, even though I was a stranger in their eyes, just passing by to document their unique way of life. I took note of their smiling faces, houses on stilts, and their floating boats as vehicles.

Art of Seeing (2nd workshop poster)

“Street photography is the most challenging form of discipline because it is spontaneous, unpredictable, and a reflection of lifestyle and culture, good and bad. The documentation of candid moments trains you to be a keen observer in life, sheds your inhibitions, teaches you to socialize better in your environment, and gives you faster motor reflexes. If practiced well, it turns your everyday snapshots into memorable art.

The Art of Seeing (my street photography workshop)

In 1997, street photography in Indonesia started my journey to photojournalism, eventually pushing me to explore portrait, landscape and travel which is part of the field I specialize in. Come take a walk with me for one day, as I share how I observe, compose and capture scenes around me. It will provide a fun and helpful training ground for you too.” ~ Jojie A.

Silhouettes on the shore

“To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of year, to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea, is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.” – Rachel Carson Sometimes we don’t need too much color in our imagery to get our message across.  Choosing black and white for this photo was an easy choice. It heightened the details of the four silhouettes and elevated the drama a bit.  Shot at around 5 in the morning, high tide was rushing in as a tropical depression was approaching.  Still the early risers in this coastal community continued to swim and frolic on such a windy morning. When you go for minimalism whether in black and white …

On the edge of paradise

“In a sense, each of us is an island. In another sense, however, we are all one. For though islands appear separate, and may even be situated at great distances from one another, they are only extrusions of the same planet, Earth.” ~ J. Donald Walters Excerpt from my published article: “Tawi-Tawi: on the Edge of Paradise” An island province of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Tawi-Tawi lies in the southwestern tip of the Philippines, sharing sea borders with the Malaysian State of Sabah and the Indonesian East Kalimantan province. Flanked by the province of Sulu to the northeast and Sabah, Malaysia to the west, one can visibly see the neighboring country on a clear day from the highest peak, Bud Bongao. Tawi-Tawi also covers some islands in the Sulu Sea to the northwest, the Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi Island and the Turtle Islands, just 20 kilometers away from Sabah. Tawi-Tawi forms a part of the Sulu Archipelago chain of islands which has small submarine ridges protruding from the sea, extinct volcano cones and …

Do better the second time

“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” ~ Oprah Winfrey For a few of my friends who are afraid to take the risk, failure sets them back because they fear ridicule and falling down on their feet.  For me, failure is not a setback, it’s a constant reminder to do better when another opportunity arises.  It keeps me grounded.  I love to tell my stories of failure in workshops to those who think I sailed smoothly in my field of work… and in my life, for that matter. Embrace your mistakes.  But don’t repeat them.  Once you acknowledge them,  pick up the pieces, and move on. Camiguin Island is a magical spot in the Philippine archipelago. Here, while waiting for a glorious sunset, I tumbled and lost my footing several times while balancing my way to these kids who were playing on the …

Morning has broken

“A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all – he’s walking on them.” ~ Leonard Louis Levinson Morning Has Broken © Jojie Alcantara 2010 Took images of a glorious sunrise overlooking Davao and Samal Island at 5am from a high elevation in Mountain Haven, right after day one of our workshop back in June 2010. The weather was perfect, the sky marked with attractive cloud patterns in soft orange hues. This photo was taken straight from the cam, and only resized and watermarked. I used a Canon 7D.

Change for the better

“Once I was looking through the kitchen window at dusk and I saw an old woman looking in. Suddenly the light changed and I realized that the old woman was myself.  You see, it all happens on the outside; inside one doesn’t change.” — Molly Keane

Love life!

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” ~ Bruce Lee Sunset in Tanjung Rhu Resort, Langkawi, Malaysia © Jojie Alcantara I could never get over the sunset in Langkawi.  This particular area is the 5-star Tanjung Rhu Resort, located at the northernmost tip of Langkawi Island. Spread over 1,100 acres of sprawling rainforest, healthy mangroves, and rolling limestone, this breathtaking private 2.5 km beach may well be unmatched anywhere else in the island.  I stayed in another beautiful resort, but we had a beautiful dinner overlooking the beach here, where I had an opportunity to witness a gorgeous sunset at that moment.

Monk in Angkor Wat Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia © Jojie Alcantara

Climb the ladder of life

If you’re climbing the ladder of life, you go rung by rung, one step at a time. Don’t look too far up, set your goals high but take one step at a time. Sometimes you don’t think you’re progressing until you step back and see how high you’ve really gone. ~ Donny Osmond Cambodia was in my bucket list and a dream destination come true when I first visited it in 2011 (I traveled from Saigon, Vietnam to Phnom Penh to Siem Reap).  I stayed overnight in Siem Reap, the gateway of the ancient wonders of the Angkor temple complex and barely skimmed the explorations of these ancient wonders. The next year (2011), when the maiden flight of Cebu Pacific’s Manila to Siem Reap was launched, I was able to cover more of the temple ruins, enjoy its breathtaking vistas, experience the culture and marvel at its sunrise and sunset in my 4-day stay. In the biggest and highly elaborate temple complex called Angkor Wat, I laboriously climbed the top floor (the stairs had narrow, …