Saturday, January 31, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #27

This week's theme: MANILA'S HOMELESS - 2

Photographs of the "homeless" (Manila's Homeless, Manila's Urban Aetas), can be offensive to some people. But ever since I started shooting on the actual streets of Metro-Manila, my camera refuses to turn away from a reality that readily greets me anywhere I look.
In the Philippines, a third-world country, you would have to be blind not to notice the reality of poverty everywhere you go-- particularly in the urban areas. There are a lot of people in this country who look negatively at photographers and filmmakers who highlight these scenes of desperation, citing that we propagate the negative image our country is getting internationally. But try as I might, I can never turn my eye away from this problem,  which constantly assaults not only my conscience but also my very humanity.
When the Pope visited the Philippines two weeks ago, I was appalled to learn that the government's Department of Social Welfare and Development deliberately evacuated homeless families from the city streets, in an effort to rid Manila of its unsightly vagrants. The DSWD spent P4.3 million to accommodate 490 homeless families in an expensive beach resort for 6 days (until the Pope left)-- using valuable funds to sweep the problem under the rug, instead of using it to actively help these people get more decent dwellings. It's scandalous!

So I am now posting more photos to make it clear to everyone out there, that thousands of these homeless souls live in our city streets. It is seldom shown or acknowledged, but no real "Manila-based Street Photographer" should ever deny this.   

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"Central Living And Customized Lifestyle"

"Dumura Dito (Spit Here)"
"Light And Shadow In Yellow"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Friday, January 23, 2015

Photo Mural Commission - Part 2

After shooting flowers in my studio last week, I tweaked and converted my RAW shots in Adobe Lightroom, then proceeded to edit the images in Adobe Photoshop to create the mural's abstract collage files.
Anne (my wife/business partner) and I spent the whole week gathering proposals and bids from a dozen of the Manila's premier digital printers. But we still ended up using our regular large format contractor Pixografx, because no one else was able to match their quality, reliability and professionalism (a rare virtue in these parts), specifically when it involves dimensions of this size-- 4 x 6.5 feet.
We met with them yesterday, to proof and finalize the print...      
Discussing the nuances of the art-piece with imaging expert Rain Lacson...

When I was asked to do this mural and was told to come up with the art, I originally proposed doing nudes (w/ one or two models) in a surreal composition. But it was flatly rejected. The clients countered that the commissioned artwork will be prominently displayed in their dining room, so they would prefer a less controversial piece-- preferably something less upsetting to their gastronomic sensibilities.

Test printing on different papers to get the right texture and ink clarity.
During one of our meetings, the clients mentioned admiring my "Butterfly" series, which features flowers and insects. Unfortunately, most of those images were shot ten years ago with a low-resolution camera and would not work with the size of the proposed mural. So I suggested shooting new high-resolution floral images for the project without the butterflies (w/c would require field work and more time), and they happily agreed.
Anne helping me  proof for printing...

Friday, January 16, 2015

Photo Mural Commission

I have been locked up in my studio doing flower photography, so I do not have much to show in terms of "Street" work this week.
Pope Francis arrived yesterday for an official visit and Metro-Manila is on holiday for several days (in anticipation of traffic), which gave me unexpected time-off to begin work on a mural project. The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic nation and the presence of  the Vicar of Christ in our country has been known to cause wide-spread hysteria, coupled with mass public congregations.
"Look Mom, It's Pope Francis!"
I recently received a commission to do a fine-art photo mural for a private residence (4 feet by 6.5 feet), so I am experimenting with some flower photography because the client expressed a fondness for floral art. I still have to figure out what to do in the final collage-- which I will eventually assemble in Photoshop (possibly with other elements), so there is nothing definite yet. But here is a sampling of some of the raw shots that came out from the shoot...

Friday, January 9, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #26

This week's theme: MANILA'S URBAN AETAS

I ended 2014 with street photos of "Manila's Homeless," so I thought to continue that theme at the start of this year to include a special group of vagabonds that sporadically populate Metro-Manila streets, Aetas (aboriginal Filipinos).
The Aetas (Negritos to Spaniards, Itas to Filipinos) are the original indigenous people of Luzon, the northern part of the Philippines. As a group, they have culturally resisted modernity by living in isolation in the mountainous regions of the island. But when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991, they were forced to move to resettlement areas. A large group of them have slowly migrated into Metro-Manila ending up in the streets, with nowhere to live and with no means of sustaining themselves-- except through alms. It is a tragic situation that I want people to notice.    

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"Living On A Crossroad"
"Simple Joys"

"In Our Father's Footsteps"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Friday, January 2, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #25

I am welcoming 2015 with a bang, by starting my "Weekly Street Photo" post early! I had a blast celebrating New Year's Eve partying with my family, but of course with a camera strapped to me the whole time. Manila is firecracker central during this festive time of the year and the whole city is ablaze. I was intoxicated, but I was able to capture a few shots (pun intended) :))

There was a live-band as well as a DJ in the New Year Countdown Party. Music flooded my senses that evening, that I decided to utilize some of the songs I heard to guide me in composing my shots. Here are three of my favorites...

"Some Enchanted Evening (...across a crowded room)"
"(Heaven, I'm in heaven...) Cheek to Cheek"
"Starry Starry Night (...paint your palette blue and grey)"
 --All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia