Sunday, August 23, 2015

My Feature Film Project Gets Into Cinemalaya

Last Saturday, August 15, 2015, the Cinemalaya Foundation finally announced the 10 lucky finalist for its 2016 Main Competition on Full-length Features, during the 2015 Festival Awards Night at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Cinemalaya is considered to be the most prestigious Independent Film Festival in the Philippines, so film fans from all over the country as well as the Press enthusiastically welcomed the 10 projects that were chosen from an original pool of more than 150 submissions. I am ecstatic to announce that "Dagsin" (Gravity), my first Full-length Feature project, is among the lucky ten.
The finalist with Foundation Pres. Laurice Guillen and Festival Head Mel Chionglo
With its goal to promote and develop the Independent Film Industry of the Philippines,  the Cinemalaya Film Festival is arguably the most anticipated yearly independent film competition (our version of Sundance or Cannes) in the Philippines. In the last ten years of its existence, the festival has given birth to most of the country's up-and-coming filmmakers, ushering forth the digital age of Philippine Cinema widely known as "The Philippine New Wave." The festival aims to encourage "works that boldly articulate and freely interpret the Filipino experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity," and Cinemalaya has consistently delivered on this promise by having 5 films, from its ten year roster, be nominated by the Film Academy of the Philippines to represent the country for the annual Academy Awards' (Oscars) Best Foreign-Language film category.
The directors (and some writers) of the 10 Feature Films for 2016

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #39

This week's theme: CHILDHOOD FANTASIES

These are not posed. I had to wait a year to complete this set of three, since the elements in the photographs all happened by chance. I did not go around stalking children with this theme in mind, it was all luck. The photos are testaments to the wonderful magic that can happen when you become totally present and aware of everything that is happening around you. Serendipitous moments like these are what keeps me shooting "Street."    

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"The Princess and the Frog" Singapore
"Mirror Mirror..."
This will be my last installment of "Weekly Street Photos" for awhile, since my first full-length feature movie "Dagsin" (Gravity) was just green-lighted for production, and I will be super busy. Although there would be less photography entries maybe until the end of this year, it will be replaced by updates on our production for "Dagsin." Thank you for your support, and salamat sa Maykapal! 

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #38

This week's theme: RANDOM GROUP SHOTS

Group shots,  particularly in street photography, are some of the hardest photos to shoot. Even in the studio, taking photographs of people in groups must be timed precisely so that each person will be in their proper position within the frame, and their individual expressions captured with everyone's eyes (ideally) open. Imagine doing all that in a split second out on the "street"... It is short of miraculous!  Here are a few examples of random group shots I came up with :)    

(Click on Photos for better viewing)

"Talking Heads"
"Levels Of Vision"
--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #37


Large graphic Ads are the easiest elements to juxtapose in "Street" photography, specially in urban spaces. In fact, a lot of photographers would actually wait in front of a particular image (or location) until something or someone walks into their shot. Although this strategy is quite effective and has been used by a lot of "Street Photography" Masters including Henri Cartier-Bresson; I prefer to run into my images synchronously, never spending more than a minute to compose and take my shot before walking on to the next subject, since I do "Street Photography" mainly as a form of Zen meditation.  Here are three  photos I captured serendipitously, incorporating graphic Ads.   

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"I Feel You Bro"
"The Watcher Watching" Singapore
"Instant Family"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #36

This week's theme: SILHOUETTE

Photographing silhouette is an imaging technique commonly used by most photographers, because it is fairly easy to do. But it is also one of the most stunningly graphic ways we can create photos, particularly in Black & White. Here are three examples: two high-contrast (1 dark, 1 light) and one low-contrast, I shot recently.   

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"Into The Light" Singapore
"Bars And Wires"

"The Edge Of Darkness" Los Angeles, USA

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #35


I thought it would be appropriate to restart my weekly street posts with photos from my recent trip to Singapore. My children were still on Summer Vacation, so my wife and I decided to take the family to the Lion City for a week.
Despite my desperate need for R&R, I took my cameras with me (to my wife's chagrin)-- fearing that I will regret not having them around when the urge to shoot arises. I'm glad I did, because I came back with tons of pictures. It's a good thing my Fujis are so compact that I was able to carry my travel kit (2 bodies, 4 lenses) around in a photo-vest or in my small  camera bag.
Among the many things that fascinated me when I was walking around Singapore were the photographers I met on the streets. I guess the city is situated in such a compact area that you are bound to run into a fellow camera bug wherever you go. Here are some of the Pros I bumped into...
(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"Cosplay Shooter"

"Catalogue Shoot"

"Memories By The Bay"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Monday, May 4, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #34

This week's theme: ASKALS

Before I go on my 3 week vacation (with my kids), I want to leave you with one last set of photos...
When you walk on the streets of Metro-Manila you will surely come across an Askal (short for Asong Kalye: street dog or native mongrel). Often maligned and maltreated (sometimes even butchered as a delicacy), our native 'Dingos' are none the less considered to be the quintessential local symbol for the 'bad-ass' outsider or rebel. Our National Football Team proudly carries their name. So next time you meet one, throw him a bone, because you just came across a proud 'Pinoy!'  

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"Scraps Of Light"
"Hungry Like A Wolf"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #33

This week's theme: OVERHEAD SHOT 2 (Color)

Part 2 of last week's theme. I find the "Bird's Eye-View" of the world refreshing. It gives us a detached 'godlike' view of humanity from above, where we can observe ourselves more objectively. Here are a few some colored examples... 

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"Follow The Leader"
"Wi-Fi Central"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #32

This week's theme: OVERHEAD SHOT

I love taking pictures from above to punctuate my shooting routine. Viewing my subject overhead automatically refreshes my point of view and affords me a momentary pause to reassess my perspective on most photo projects I do. Here are a few examples in Black & White...   
(Click on Photos for better viewing)

"Human Ant Farm"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Friday, April 10, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #31

This week's theme: EASTER SUNDAY

Easter Sunday is a big day of celebration for Filipino families. Most traditional (elderly) Filipino Catholics literally believe that Jesus gets "reborn in spirit" each year on Easter, a spiritual regeneration parallel to the physical cycle of death and rebirth we find in nature.
I remember my grandfather being a member of a select group of initiates performing sentry duty in the church at midnight on Holy Saturdays to guard the corpse of Jesus (a life sized statue wrapped in a shroud) against theft, then proclaiming its disappearance before its eventual magical reappearance on the altar on Easter morning--testifying to the whole community on the miracle that just occurred!

Easter party time!
Easter Sunday in the Philippines is not all Catholic ritual. For more than a hundred years, after being colonized by the Americans, Easter Sunday has also been about bunnies and Easter Eggs-- the celebration of 'Spring,' ironically in a land that only has two seasons. After going to Easter Sunday mass, we traditionally party with our families.

After a period of sacrifice, fasting and abstaining, it's time to celebrate 'Life' once more... to the fullest... with the people we love!      

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"The Risen Christ"
"Easter Eggs and Cellphones"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #30

This week's theme: HOLY WEEK

Aside from Christmas, Holy Week is the most important period in this country's yearly Religious Calendar.  Being the third largest Catholic country in the world (after Brazil and Mexico), with more than 80% of the population baptized within the Faith, the whole country comes into a stand-still from Holy Wednesday until Easter Sunday. Everyone is on holiday-- most malls and restaurants are closed and everyone is expected to be in church.

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"Veneration of the Cross"

"Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam"

"Stations of the Cross"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Friday, March 27, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #29

This week's theme: STORE MANNEQUINS

I find mannequins to be wonderful objects to juxtapose in photographs. They give a surrealistic touch to what would otherwise be everyday scenes. Here are some examples. 

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"Wrong Way"

"Live Mannequin"
--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #28

This week's theme: COMMUTER BLUES

Commuting by public transportation in Metro-Manila has its own distinct flavor. Aside from the locally customized vehicles you will only find in this country, like the Jeepney and the Tricycle, we also have the normal ones like taxis, buses and trains. But no matter what type of vehicle you prefer, we do not necessarily follow strict passenger capacity or safety guidelines in this country... Speed and load limit are dictated only by the imagination:)) 
(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"Standing Room Only"

"One Too Many"

"The EDSA Drag Race"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Monday, March 16, 2015

The "Girl With A Pink Pony"

I would like to apologize for being remiss on blogging for the last few weeks. I've had back to back deadlines and I've also been busy with my kids.

In this part of the world, summer comes in March and both my kids had their end of the year tests in the last two weeks. Anne and I make it a point to tutor them personally, particularly our younger child. So between the test reviews and the horrendous traffic to and from their schools everyday, we almost had no free time to waste.
Apart from that and my regular work,  it was again submission time for most of the major indie film festivals in this region, so I was also busy with the applications-- writing and collating the requirements for my entries.

Lately, I have been ranting about the poverty that I personally encounter whenever I go out shooting on the streets of Metro-Manila-- how we, as Filipino street photographers, should not turn a blind eye on this graphic reality; to be unashamed to show the world the poverty that surrounds us, in our streets and in our neighborhoods. I believe that there is a pressing need to bring as much attention to this crisis, so that something can be actively done about it. So, aside from documenting this tragedy in my photography, I decided to write a screenplay on this topic too.

"Girl with A Pink Pony"