Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Odie Gementera of the Camera Club takes a look at a craft we all love - photography.

On his beginnings as a neophyte photographer //

My first camera was a match box with a hole at a corner and a rubber wheel attached in front to make it look like an SLR. I would put little drawings inside the box and pretend they were pictures that I took. Way, way back when I was still a kid, I already had an interest for capturing images. Little did I know that that match box, combined with unexposed film, can be a pinhole camera that can produce real pictures.

The real camera came when I was already working. The first one was a point-and-shoot with Advantix film. Then came the 2MP digital camera; bigatin na yun noon. Then I went back to film; it was a 35mm SLR camera. After rolls and rolls of film I decided to go for a Digital SLR. There wasn't much of an inspiration when I was just starting; it was more of fascination to
capture good images but now I look up to my maestro, Benjie Rivera, and other digital masters like David LaChapelle and Andrzej Dragan.

On what he felt when his first photo got published //

It was a great feeling seeing my work get published in a newspaper that reaches the entire country. Nationwide agad! It was a photo of a man silhouetted against a colorful hot air balloon. After that was the low key shot of Eileen (a model) that won 1st prize in a photo contest. It was published in Camera & Imaging Magazine first quarter of this year. Then came invitations to shoot amateur models like Carla Samonte and Cherry Ann Kubota (both for FHM), and Precious Adona (Bench Model Search) and few celebrities like Kristine Jaca and Jennifer Lee of Viva Hot Babes. My shot of Jennifer Lee will be published on the next issue of Camera & Imaging together with the article that I contributed.

Just last September 11, I contributed to my maestro's article in Manila Bulletin. The photo of our very own Michelle Aglipay of Journals was used in the article. The photo was actually a product of one of the SPI Camera Club's workshops called "Shooting in Low Light".

On why he decided to organize the Camera Club //

To have people that I can converse with na maiintindihan ako at makasama sa mga photo shoot. Seriously, I wanted to share what I learned and be able to use those skills here at SPI. Actually, one of the club's responsibilities is to document all the activities of the company.

On what he sees is the future of photography in SPi //

How do I see the Camera Club 5 years from now? Somebody will have a 20+ mega pixel camera! I see a lot of potentials in the current roster. We have Roger Ramos, Wowie Tantiangco, Art Salustiano and Jimmy Reyes who are very enthusiastic about the craft. And there's this one employee who is also doing well in photography, 'di lang s'ya maingay tulad ko. His name is Red Dungca of Journals. This guy keeps improving his skills, makati rin kasi ang daliri sa shutter. If you'll see his work, you'll be impressed like I was! These people will also have their work published in the future.

Right now I am trying to equip them with the skills they need so they can also compete with other photographers outside of SPi. I am coordinating with my other club so we can have a joint project to expose them to other photographers. We have finished the first module of the learning session which is Basic Photography. Future lessons will be focused on specialization like Lighting, Portraiture, Food Photography, etc. Who knows, maybe in the future the club will be commissioned to shoot for SPi or PLDT's brochures.

On what he thinks of photography as an art //

Like what I always say in my learning sessions, as a painter creates images with brush and colors, so does a photographer 'paints' with camera and light. If you create something that brings out emotions from the viewer, that is art and photography is no different.

On what he thinks are the qualities a good photographer must have //

Look at the world in a different perspective. An ordinary bench may not strike as a good subject for most of us but if you look at it in a different perspective, add the elements that surround it you can make an interesting image - something that will tell a story, elicit warm feelings, and bring out emotions. Keep on Shooting!


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