Most camera/photography clubs based on discussions, topics-of-interest are pretty generic these days, wherein you talk about the latest gear, organize shoots with models, defend your chosen camera brand, diss the other, follow the trends, put up contests, wow each other with photoshop skills etc. There’s hardly any difference to pick-a-random-photography-term group from the other. The aesthetic sense among them also falls under the sharp, perfect exposure, and retouched.
What’s so bad about that? Nothing. Its the norm, and I don’t believe this is only happening in the local setting either.
But I was never a fan of this thing called the ‘norm‘.
RFilipinas’ common sense of aesthetic is largely based on traditional photojournalism. The group has a deep love for photography’s history, the practice of the masters, and the output that film brings. We champion the elegance of our overlooked equipment -except for the Leica RF’s of course- where the only other preparation to take before clicking the shutter is knowing your film speed, that ideal balance between the shutter speed and the aperture, and the desired composition. Its simple, and fucking elegant. Of course there’s the path to developing, processing and printing your film, but the essential work’s been done by that time.
Now, Flickr Philippines? That’s a group unashamed of being called amateurs, with most brandishing point-and-shoot digital cameras. Eh? What’s so great about that? Its the interesting mix of enthusiasts -and I’m using the term enthusiast not as a ranking of photographic skill- and that young and fiery spirit that emanates in most of the members. We’re not that serious, but we can if we choose to be. Its reminiscent of an old college organization, where there’re seniors and the other people eager to learn, using the equipment available to them, and no forcing throats to swallow this-and-that camera marketing. You could also say its the innocent, “pre” version of the generic photography group I was referring to earlier, sans the I’m-a-photographer ego.