Photographer of the Week (Picture Perfect/Manila Bulletin)
I'm honored to be the featured photographer for this week's Picture Perfect section (December 7, 2011) of Manila Bulletin (Philippine's leading newspaper). I'll update this post with excerpts from the article (a great feature written by Yugel Losorata) as well as insights behind selected photos included in the feature.
Thanks to Picture Perfect and Manila Bulletin!
Here's the article:
Travel photographer Allan Barredo realized this naked eye, looking through the lens of his camera. It changed the way he views the world, and the Philippines to be more exact.
"The more I got into photography, the more I see things in a better light and the more I become aware of my surroundings. I am a very staunch supporter for the protection of nature – it’s all that we have and the world really is a beautiful place if we only care to look at it closely," he shares.
Allan's “postcard-like” photographs have been attracting people, especially that they're like appetizing food shots appearing before hungry eyes. His love for the great outdoors is showcased the fact he is sharing the things he is fascinated with.
Knowing that the Philippines is an archipelago "with thousands of kilometers of combined shorelines," he finds extra engaging to hop from one place to another and capture such in the presence of either a sad sunset or a hopeful sunrise.
Waterfall as subject is a separate noteworthy experience for this native of Koronadal, South Cotabato. He says, "I also love shooting waterfalls – big or small, they are always beautiful and there is always something mystical about them. I think that’s the reason why waterfalls are always in our folklore as the abode of deities and diwatas." He adds, "Waterfalls are also very dynamic subjects and tend to change their configuration from time to time depending on the season. This means you can shoot them several times and still get different photographs."
Allan's first camera was an old Olympus C-4040Z bought from a side street in Akihabara, Tokyo. Its Japanese language menu made it a big challenge for him to tinker with it. But he was so interested with the equipment he was able to learn the photography basics through it. While most of his lenses and bodies are hand-me-downs from his brother who is also a lensman, his knowledge about the craft is seamlessly up to date.
One New Year's day he saw some of his photos published in this page, which is to say a perfect way to greet the year. Now he is featured again, on its front page as the year goes to a happy ending. "I have this long ongoing personal project of shooting indigenous culture whenever I can," he expresses. "We live in a very culturally diverse place and the more we become sensitive to these cultures, the quicker we break down barriers that hinder us from moving as one."
Allan was born in the province of Cotabato, the subject of the Asin classic credited to the late Cesar "Saro" Bañares. Its opening line is unforgettable ("Ako'y isinilang sa isang bayan ng Cotabato...") and our featured lensman has both the camera and necessary skill to help make the place keep its recall visually.
Like Saro during his time, Allan, whose photos are regularly published in travel magazines, is a man with certain views. When asked about joining photo contests, he points out, "Personally I think most of the contest nowadays are not photographer-friendly, especially to friends who actually take photos for living. They are simply a clever ploy to get quality photos at very minimal costs."
He competes only when he is picked, with his blog becoming a finalist for the Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards 2011 under the category Best Photography
One of his shots featured on the cover of a coffee-table book called "Exciting Philippines," Allan believes he can inspire people through his work, to be more aware of the beauty around us. He voices out, "I think we are caught up in the drudgery of our daily lives we sometimes forget to be thankful for what we were given. It's there constantly, we just have to see it."
"I think everything is innately beautiful, no exceptions. God has created the world that way. We just need to have patience to wait for the right moment and take the shot."
That's emphasizing the positivity photography gives to Allan Barredo. It makes sense that he cares for the medium as a personal thing which helps define who he is.