These are actual island dwellers I’ve encountered during my travels to far-flung provinces. They are fishermen, children, kids – people who live simple lives and enjoy their natural surroundings. They don’t have elegant homes, fashionable clothes, regular work or a lifestyle to speak of. I don’t even think they have cellphones. In the first place there are no signals in these remote places. What do they have? An affinity with nature that we, dwellers of the metropolitan jungle, so obviously lack. And the barest of their needs to live a life are aptly provided for by nature’s resources, right at their doorstep. God bless these island dwellers, these people of the sea.
Outlines, forms, shadows, shapes, lines, light, tones, textures – these are the ingredients of black and white photography. Have fun with your imagery. Play with the elements and composition. Love the light. Bask in contrast. Experiment. Crop to exclude and emphasize. Discover. Assess with your eye. Process with your brain. Capture with your heart. With these, I can offer no other more meaningful tips when it comes to making monochrome images. With tools and knowledge, it all boils down to you – the creator and artist. After all, each picture is an individual mark of its maker.
Portrait photography is not my forte. But given the time and opportunity I would love to engage in this area of photography because it’s always a different experience taking photos of people and another thing, this one has commercial applications. In other words, you can earn money doing this stuff. Doing this stuff however requires a lot of things to come up with professional results. This is set up photography that needs the appropriate camera and lenses, lighting equipment, a studio or a field location and a model. If you are already into this, well and good. You have found your niche. Yet for us casual shooters, we find situations where we take pictures of individual family members, friends, children, and of course we’d like to make them look good. Google “how to take portraits” and again the number one result is our mainstay online photography instructor Darren Rowse with his article How to Take Portraits – 19 Portrait Photography Tutorials. It’s actually a compilation of tutorial articles from the archives of his site DigitalPhotographySchool.com. With an extensive archive of over 600 articles, Darren compiled the best articles pertaining to portrait photography. You may have to bookmark this and go over them in your free time. Formal portrait photography is exciting, it is a controlled situation. If you have a photo group who does portrait sessions with professional models, do join the activity. It gives you the chance to practice your shoots, get to know more of what your camera can do, get advice from your shooting buddies, and learn how to go about tackling your subject. For the likes of me who only has nephews and nieces (such as my niece Roxanne in the picture) as willing models, I found lots of insights in the various tutorials, things and tips I could readily apply anytime I get to take more portraits in the future.
So nothing is permanent, we know that. This world is always changing, shifting, transforming. Sometimes you chance upon that transformation. The blinding light of day will become grayish and the sky will be enveloped in deep colors of a setting sun. The thin wisp of clouds change into full, bulbous mushrooms as they fill the distant horizon. Even the sea will ebb and eventually rise in a continuing cycle. Trees will shed leaves, shells will open, rocks shall form. Nothing is ever in a fixed state. A generation of children will become tomorrow’s workers and leaders. Innocence will be overtaken by reality. It is the call and command of nature that everything changes in its appointed time. (Photo location: Guimaras)