Been Out, But The Photos Don’t Come Out Quite Right

Manila Symphony Orchestra
Manila Symphony Orchestra, with guest conductor Joseph Esmilla

Model photography has taken a rest, even though I’ve bought a cheap one-light kit, inspired largely by the OneLight Workshop. Decided to just go out and photo-document my usual: gigs.

First up was the manila Symphony Orchestra, with fellow Rangefinder Filipinas member Joseph Esmilla guest-conducting. There was no intention to take anything serious from the event, I just happen to have a camera with me because I intended to go somewhere else after the event. Glad enough to have the shot posted above. It was my first time to attend a classical music concert, which surprised the people I went with. It was a great concert, and I wished then I was exposed and understood the music better, along with the nuances of this sort of concert-going.

The Shocking Details
The Shocking Details

Without much sleep one night, I went to see a gig with The Shocking Details, an all-girl group I’ve met a few times before by way of Nariese, my collaborator with the model photography. Because of the connections, I told them I wanted to follow them for a few gigs, photo-document. When I got the facts that 2/3 of the band were photographers, and one of them will be teaching photography at one university, that’s when my own expectations began to sink a bit. Sure, gig photography was my realm, but about this time, I think I need a good tune-up to get some good output. Their set was short, I didn’t have much of a warm-up, and blah-blah-blah excuse-excuse. I do want to watch them again, I can have another chance at it, can’t I?


My first gig-night after a long time happened a week ago, and again, it didn’t feel right. No matter, I had to start from somewhere again. I was using my new Yungnuo flash at that time, and I was also trying to shoot manual for a change. The Kulukati shots had that color and exposure I like a lot, but with General Luna there, too, it was hard to turn-off that pretty-girl bias.

General Luna
General Luna

Make that a jaw-dropping gorgeous girl bias. I was suddenly reminded of my old me-with-a-girl photo project when I literally had a corner of Route 196 with Nicole, the band vocalist, when I told her I wanted to take a photo of her, and she suggested I should be in the photo, too.

On a non-gig photography note, I went out last weekend with my usual posse to a few towns in Rizal. They had about four large-format cameras in tow, while the rest did have the usual film cameras. The first stop was at a lakeside scenery in Pililia, which was void of anything that looked like it was meant for tourists, which I know the group much-preferred. Lunch was had at a favorite restaurant of the group, whose name escapes me, but the food, oh the food: crispy dalag, inihaw na hito and pusit, chili-fried crabs, sinigang sa miso na kanduli, etc. This photo-walkabout would’ve been just alright with me, even for just the spread we had. The second shoot-venue was at Morong church, where Direk Uro shot this of us with a Pentax ME and a 20mm lens:

This weekend doesn’t promise a lot of photo-opportunities, but I’ll be back on the dayshift at work this August, so here’s hoping that there are better shots to come. Maybe I’m just taking to heart to much what one of my photography idols, Luis Liwanag, would always say: You’re only as good as your last photo.

UPDATE: Here’s another snap from the group c/o Atty. Yet:

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