IT is hard to find words to describe photographers. They work long and hard on their photos, which tell a story and accompany their dreams of becoming good press photographers, of doing good with their lines, of changing the world up to the least small corners of it. As they imagine that, perhaps a hundred years from now, their stories would be heard, with their pictures capturing how men thought, felt and reacted in response to the circumstances of their time.
They are different from you and me. While reporting side by side on news coverages, our differences are deeper than rhetorics, skin shade or liver spots. You read and weep, because every picture is worth a thousand words—breaking moulds, going beyond boundaries. The photographer rolls his craft of graphic details in one coherent whole—more vicious than the pen. The camera can turn blood into smoke, sometimes ignoring convention, as they click away always on a trail of scoops and excitement.
Today, the field has become more competitive, with a broader range of subjects. Photographers now cover wars and wonders, fashion, entertainers and athletes, celebrations, disasters and discoveries. With developed skills and extraordinary versatility of not merely covering just an event—combining information with emotion, even comment.
Old timers like Joe Cobilla, Ted Talag, Rudy Autor, Ric Gavino, Robert Gamo, Benny Uy, Nikki Arriola, Bobby Crisostomo, Philip Ner, Romy Balboa and Sid Guerero have instinctive quality. The younger ones like Mar and Oscar Arenas, Reggie Cantuba, Marc Pijuan, Jun Tulibao, roar with new vigor, bred to the bone and polished by training.
Today, photographers are different than before. They have more visual sophistication, with photos better composed, more artful, and less like poised tableau.
“The calendar,” presented by the Philippines Press Photographers-USA to Consul General Leo Herera-Lim last week at the Philippine Consulate, captured images with anecdotal essays of people and events, which shape our daily world. They capped off a collection of vivid nostalgia delights, history and drama, with communication of reality ideally suited to the aims of journalism. Ace photographers Sid Guerero, Jim Hernandez, Bobby Saddul, Bobby Crisostomo, Mar and Oscar Arenas, and Anthony Castillo, whose calendar photos have covered life, birth and death, and what in between. Seasoned lensmen F7 Photo Group opened their Light and Shadow Photo Exhibit at the La Hambra photo Gallery, last February 15, which will run until April 18. The exhibit features Benny Uy, Joe Cobilla, Marc Pijuan, Rick Gavino, Robert Gamo, Art Ramos, Philip Ner, Jerry Ubalde, Nikki Arriola Ric Gavino and Vic Magsaysay.
It is a collection of photographers where their cameras relentlessly captured every unrestrained expression of journalism, partialities, determined to get what others failed to get—fierce and competitive, always on the trail of scoops and exclusives.
The power of their photographs, with vivid communication of reality is a tapestry which tells a story, through images of people and events, captured in a split second. Needing only a few words, the photos deliver the complete message.
Photographers interest me a lot. My last photo editor could be hovering in a corner, or taking photographers of dull stationary buildings or castles all over Europe. He didn’t do them to win a prize. His pictures are unrelated to news, events or feature story but they make a nice antidote to hard unhappy news of the day. He sets an example to the rest of his colleagues to simply enjoy the fun of pictures, recapturing the enthusiasm, which leads one to become a photographer, to begin with.
They call him Mr. G.