A couple of months ago I added a Phantom 3 quadcopter to my collection of tools as a photographer. It has been wonderful learning to fly this and being able to use it as another creative tool. I have been exploring both photos and video with the quadcopter, but I must say that learning video with it has been awesome. My family was recently in town and with visitors comes some travel. We stayed around Cebu during their vacation and I got in as much flying time as I could. I try to approach video in the same way I take photos, focusing on strong natural light to create mood and emotion.
Here are the first two installments from Project Katutubo in Tawi-Tawi. Thanks again to The EXTRA MILE Productions for producing these. There are still more in the works and some exciting plans for a longer version. In the first episode I shoot the geometrical patterns and colors of a Tepo, a mat made from pandan leaves, as well as the Sama-Bajau who diligently weaves it. The second episode was taking while visiting a seaside village in Sanga-Sanga. Here we chanced upon a young Bajau-Sama bride who was to be wed that evening.
I had the privilege of being a guest judge on the finale of History Channel’s Photo Face-Off Season 2. It aired in Asia at the end of October. My first big appearance on TV and it was a lot of fun. I helped judge the second of three challenges in the finale.
Last month I teamed up with The EXTRA MILE Productions who documented my trip to Tawi-Tawi, the southern most province in the Philippines. This is a place I had always wanted to visit, but because of certain security issues it took some planning to make a trip happen. More than three years on since we started this project on Kickstarter we are still going strong with plans to continue this important work.
I thought I would spend some time and put together my highlights from 2014 in photos. I’ve never done this before, but I haven’t done many blog posts this year and therefore thought I should get another one in before the year ends. At times this year was extremely busy and at other times I was able to do more of the behind the scenes work that always seems to pile up. I had some firsts this year, including my first solo exhibit, and I took on more commissioned work than in previous years.
A blog post is well past due and it always amazes me how fast time goes by. Since my trip to the Cordilleras last April/May I feel like things have been non-stop making time soar by even faster. The past few months have mostly been filled with planning and getting things in line for the upcoming year with some intermittent travel, assignment work and workshops. The most exciting event I have been planning for is my first solo exhibit this coming January in Manila. The exhibit is entitled “The Forgotten Ten” which refers to the some 10 to 20 percent of the Philippine population considered to be indigenous.
The past couple of months have been action packed with lots of traveling, learning and thinking of the year ahead. Inevitably, when one starts to think about the challenges and hopes for the future we find ourselves reflecting on the past. It was this time last year that my wife and I finished a successful Kickstarter campaign for the Katutubong Filipino Project (Indigenous Filipino people project). It feels like a lot longer than a year ago that we ventured into this project, but we are thankful for it and for all of the people we have meet because of it. We are still working on the project with two major areas still to visit with our Kickstarter funds.
I’m back in Mindanao and wanted to share some images from the past few days. I have been here looking to photograph some of the indigenous peoples in the northern region of the island, and it has proven to be somewhat difficult. Despite one very disappointing day we were able to find a small Mamanwa community that allowed us to photograph them. I won’t go into detail here about the difficulties, but it basically involves the tribes wanting a significant amount of money to let us document them. I have had very gracious hosts the past few days in Bayabas, Surigao del Sur.
I have heard numerous times now of a mountain town here in Cebu where the weather is cooler and vegetable farmers carry large baskets of produce on their heads. I have always had a small interest in going to see what this was all about, but a part of me never thought it would be too interesting – vegetables are really not that exciting.
The town of Donsol in Sorsogon is agreeably more known for the whale sharks that abound in the area. However, it is hard not to notice as well these men scattered out in the water during sundown with their big, wide nets. They are ‘shrimp farmers’ – fishermen collecting shrimp by dragging the net at the bottom of the ocean and sorting through the algae by lifting the huge thing up to their waist.