finding my inner vision

Posted by Au Lim On Thursday, August 06, 2009

long time no kwento! after a reaaaally long while off blogging, i am resolving to come back to it. let's hope i can keep this promise to myself. ok, i'm not very good at keeping promises to myself. case in point-: my project 365. i always fall off! i'm starting to doubt that i can never pull the darned thing off. if not for friends who are with me on it, hihinto na talaga ako. (as an aside: i RE-started for the 3rd time [or 4th?] project 365 which entails taking one photo per day. this time, just to have added motivation not to stop, i made a bet with 6 other friends--actual money involved--and i still fail!)


what i'd really like to blog about first is about this photography seminar i recently took at PCCI. i don't do too many seminars, mostly due to financial reasons. if i have extra dough lying around, i would probably blow it first on camera accessories or save it for some new glass. see, i like things that are tangible. when i feel the need for some photography education, i would rather buy books.

my second reason for holding back on seminars is: i choose mentors and classes carefully. i understand now that in photography, or any other artform--there are plenty of 'styles'. since i don't have the luxury of spending too much, i try to choose carefully the mentor's style that would match what i would like to emulate.

however, there is something about the 3rd and latest workshop i took which was called Inner Vision. the mentor is a person i admire a lot because i see his work in I-Mag, Mr. Tilak Hettige. I had always been curious at how his name is pronounced, and learned then that it is just as it is spelled. He hails from Sri Lanka. He also authored a couple of beautiful books: Saffron Robes --a beautiful photographic essay on Buddhist monks which of course impressed me immediately being buddhist myself--and Tilaka. another photo essay about the spiritual third eye from which is own name was derived.

he met us first for a short intro on June 25 but the real first class was the whole day of a Saturday, June 27. the first exercise was at Greenbelt. he asked us to find letters and numbers in the environment. my first reaction was whaaa...?! and then 3 seconds later, i thought, cool challenge! he gave me this to find: MARK LBN98. i think he shuffled the participants names and added a few more random letters which made it look like a plate number. he told us not to worry too much about the exposure, just set the cam on auto and concentrate on finding the letters instead. we had 1 hour complete it. this was my take:

this is the 'MARK

and this is the 'LBN98'

after this, we headed back to class to download and there were more lectures. next we headed out to the American Cemetery for more exercises. it was midday and very hot. but we nevertheless had a good time shooting and learning about leading lines and composition. i was wishing i bought the UWA (ultrawide angle lens... hey, i didn't invent the weird photog lingo :-D) with me at this time. these are some of the shots i took.

the next meet was a Sunday at Tilak's house which surprised me. it was absolutely amazing how gracious a host and how generous a teacher he is. now only did he share to us his wonderful home that day, he also showed to us his collection beautiful photos and old cameras! and, oh yeah, wonderful food was served too...

coconut milk rice squares ever so slightly salty

lemon squares and Tin's yummy cookies

Tilak showing us an old treasure. one of the cameras in his extensive collection

and talks about the elements and stories behind his impressive photos.

the previous meeting, we were assign a photo essay topic so we discussed this with him that Sunday. then we had 5 days to complete it! the presentation was on the 6th day and it was needed to graduate from the course. my photo essay topic is called The Awakened Eye. i uploaded it on youtube for your (actually, MINE) viewing pleasure. between the day job and the effort needed to complete the task, it was pressure! but i learned later that this pressure was part of his learning process. without it, we would have completed it differently and it wouldn't be any less harder. i think i understand now what he meant.

after all that, i can say our mentor succeeded in what he set out to do. i would never have found that sort of "inner vision" without taking his class because i wouldn't push myself hard enough. the exercises he gave us in between practice shoots was right on because they put us in a certain frame of mind. i definitely highly recommend his class. you'll probably surprise yourself at what you will be able to come up with. i know i did.

1 Response to 'finding my inner vision'

  1. Lee i. Said,'> August 10, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    another inspiring post. sana mag-tuloy tuloy na ang blog na ito as we could all use inspiration in our ives. pwede ba daily updates? :-)


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