Serenity in a 3rd world

Jaro Cathedral Jaro, Iloilo City, Philippines

In a land of constant upheaval and chaos; where lanes and lines are typically tangled, I hoped to refine a few frames from my Philippine experience into balanced, organized windows of observation without affecting the subjects or the scene. Slices of everyday life that wouldn’t put your eye out–Norman Rockwell if you will, Philippine flavored.

October 31st (All Soul's Day) in the Philippines is celebrated in the cemetery, where candles are lit and the souls who've past are honored by surviving family and friends.
Cemetery Parking lot, Sigma Capiz, Philippines • October 31st (All Soul’s Day)

Photography is a private venture for me. But while pursuing the art of making images, I’ve acquired many fellow photography friends over the years. Those who’ve taught me, those whom I taught, and those whom I’ve tripped tripods legs over with, while abroad on photographic vacations. All have helped define who I am as a visual artist while working with me.

But I’m likely at my best when I’m alone, unlike many photographers who like to roam in packs. “Let’s go shooting; wanna go shooting? Hey, a bunch of us are taking a trip into Yellowstone this weekend, feel like shooting with us?”

The issue for me is, how will this in-mass presence impact the scene or the people I’m hoping to create an image of?

You can stow a derringer in a pocket and carefully aim at something up close, or be one of a dozen canon’s firing away in a line of turrets, shell-shocking the shore.

Most of my work involves street photography–journalistic capturing of moments which I’ve had no hand in manipulating. If my shadow or my attitude are cast onto the subject, then I’ve missed my goal at capturing an honest moment and have instead, manufactured one with a lot less soul than it might have had, had I not been such a presence in the making of it.

The most important rule I’m reminded of however, is that there are no rules. With merely a camera in hand and no agenda in sight but to follow the light, this is what I love.

Here are some of my favorite places and faces from my recent travels to Manila, Roxas City, Iloilo City and various other places in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines.

(click on photos to enlarge or view slide show)