An Honest Post About How I Really Feel

I’ve been jumping from one draft to another finding the perfect photos to accompany the perfect words, and I guess you can say that I still messed up on this one. I haven’t been able to write anything “good” for months and I just realized why it has been that way – I am completely and utterly consumed. I’m distracted, overwhelmed, and outright exhausted. I’m consumed with life and work. I’m distracted by jumbled thoughts and unbaked plans that are constantly being made up, one after the other. I am overwhelmed with feeling of fear, worry, and excitement. To feel all these emotions all at once baffles me. It’s a strange sensation.

My photography started off as my own little hobby I was obsessed with. It didn’t have to be perfect, it didn’t have to follow rules, it didn’t have to be anything else other than what I wanted it to be. It just had to be mine and knowing it was mine was what I loved.

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I try my best to approach each post I publish with structure, direction and a hint of emotion because, well, it’s me. 2017 has been a whirlwind and it seems that there are no signs of slowing down. I’m thankful for it, don’t get me wrong! But it feels like I’ve just started, and already, things are… like this.

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All I hope for is that things start looking up from here. Rather, my spirit and energy gets a positive punch into them.

 

Photos by Gio Lo
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My Drive. My Inspiration.

Don’t be fooled. It’s not as easy as it looks.

I’ve posted enough photos on the internet to provide answers (or even just to jot down my learnings and observations) for readers who probably wonder what drives me to shoot. So I figured I’d write something up for ya’ll.

Nature – For long time readers, there is no doubt that most of my photos are almost always nature-centered (is that even a word?). It’s the smallest details that make the biggest impression on me: the different shades of green in the trees, the 5PM sunlight hitting the high grass atop a hill, the gentle motion the waves make. You know where I’m getting at.

Light – Yes, light. As a photographer, my best friend is the sun (also, sunscreen). I need to know its every move. I like to observe how it shines down on things uniquely each day. The contrast light creates with shadows can give you so many ideas.

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Walking – I’ve always liked the feeling of just walking from one destination to another whether intentional or not. It gives me this sense of freedom. It also allows me to practice my creative vision and observe the streets, people, and light (photography is all about light and I can’t stress this enough). It’s a good practice to evaluate your eyes and its creativity to mentally capture shots you think are worth photographing.

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The Goal – You can’t want to excel in something and not have an end goal in mind. No matter how long it takes, as long as you’re moving means you are closer to your goal. Don’t let that dream fade away, people!

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Photos taken with my Olympus OM-1 and a YKL 100. Processed  by Sunny16 Lab.

 

My Boyfriend – Okay, I know what you’re thinking, what a mushy post *closes tab*. Hear me out though. He’s been the one person who never doubted my ability to photograph. The one person who pushed me when even I decided to give up on my dream to become a photographer and there really are no words to thank him for what he’s done for me. Besides that, he’s got this exquisite mind. He hopes to be a director one day and his inspirations inspire me as well! His creativity bleeds onto me, the way mine bleeds onto him. I guess we complement each other that way.

There are so many more things that inspire me and my photography, but these are the five main ones that really push me to create and experiment with my art everyday even when I’m in hopeless rut!

What drives you to shoot?

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A Shot In The Dark

Photography never came to me as a calling. It simply was a hobby done due to its availability at the time I gave it a go. Never in a million years did I imagine it to turn out the way it has in my life today. Of course, after giving it much thought, practice, and time, today is a far cry from where I truly want to be.

It was a big risk what I did and I don’t believe regret has ever fallen upon me because of the decision I made. I do wish I could’ve realized it sooner.

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To all those who ever believed, to all those who ever trusted, to all those who still remember, thank you. It wasn’t an easy decision, it still isn’t, but you help me get by.

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You give me hope. You give me a reason to live. You give me guidance. I thank you all.

Photos taken with my Olympus OM-1 with a Kodak Portra 400

Accept To Progress

This egocentric world has taken over our outlook in life. We only consider our individual thoughts and actions correct; what everything else thinks, says, or does is wrong, unless we approve of it. And how fucked up have we become?

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Why can’t we just accept each other for who we are and what we continue to become? Why are we all so afraid to understand? To fall in love with new things? What is stopping us from loving each other? Where is all the hate coming from?

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How can we allow this fire continue to slowly burn this urge to break free from the shackles this society has kept us in? How do we break free? Am I doing this alone? Is there anyone else with me? If and when we do get out, are we all free for the right purpose?

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Photos taken with my Olympus OM-1 and developed by Sunny16 Lab.

Life is Good

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I won’t lie, March was awful. Bad, bad, bad. I have trouble getting through that month every single year. I can’t find the reason behind my struggle with said month, but I find that it has a lot to do with the change in weather. I guess, my body likes to be in its cold February state. As soon as April comes marching through the door, I swear, I become the happiest most positive version of myself and my entire being is in full acceptance of the desert like heat this country has to offer me.

Not realizing the dark pit I was in last month, my emotions were going haywire as if my cords were loose or unplugged – I felt broken. Yes, I know, it sounds quite serious when I put it that way, and no I was not PMS-ing. I was simply feeling sad. Uncommonly sad. I imagine that it was me mourning the loss of my college professor, mentor and dear friend, Danilo Franco, who had passed earlier in the year. I shrugged my grief off – putting it aside so I could be “strong” for him. What good did that do?

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In spite of it all, a new month has come along with clearer skies and brighter stars, and I am left in renewal of myself. Life is more than I could wish for. It is more than I could ever imagine. The people I love continue to understand and support me regardless of how inconsiderate I can be sometimes. Their patience is more than I could ever ask for. These people build me up to become the person the universe designed me to be. I am molded by those who surround me with their kindness. I am blessed because of them and their belief in me, my talent, and creativity.

Life in itself is beautiful as it is and being able to give you entirety to fully live it makes it all the more beautiful. Tell me, how is life good to you?

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For all photos above, I used my Olympus OM-1 camera with a zoom lens (not sure which lens it was; Ill update this post once I get home to see the lens). The film I used was a YKL C100. 

I shot these photos in the middle of the day and I like to under expose my photos as I feel like this balances out the brightness the sun gives. I also look for subjects that get hit by the sun in an angular way (does that make sense to you?) just so that I have a good equal amount of shadows and highlights, plus a great middle ground for the midtones. 

If you have any other questions as to how I shot these photos, leave a comment down below and I would gladly answer them!

The Rise of The Met

What was once a focal point for Manila’s high society, treated like a gem at its peak, The Metropolitan Museum, or simply the Met, is now nothing more that an empty structure slowly disintegrating into itself. Although its exterior may not show as much damage as its history has said it’s experienced, the interior of the Met tells about just that – ruined. Stolen electrical wires and balcony seats, wooden floor pieces removed from their beds, doors and windows too rotten to open, and so much more. The Met today would probably be the perfect scene to get lost in if you were filming a horror movie with the protagonist having been eliminated in the end. Tragic.

With continuous efforts for rehabilitation having been made in the past, it is only now that a full and hopeful one will be done – praying to God that it would be a successful one at that. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts had finally claimed restoration for the historical structure, allotting millions of pesos for the full revival of the long-forgotten astounding theater.

I trust that love for culture will bring back what was once a majestic palace that hosted the artistically inclined beings of the past. I hope to one day walk the new polished wooden and marbled floors of the building just like the elite did back in the day. How marvelous would that be?

The Met today.

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Olympus OM-1 Zuiko 50mm 1.8 | Kodak Portra 400

For updates on The Met, may I suggest you follow a dear friend of mine who is currently in the works of creating a photographic collection and is using the building as her setting. Her name is Aia and she is an amazing photographer. I highly suggest you check her work. http://helloaia.tumblr.com/