Dateline: Tacloban, Six months after Typhoon Haiyan

It’s been quite a while since I have revisited typhoon devastated Tacloban City. I was hoping on documenting it’s rise from devastation.
A couple of weeks back, just before the 6 month after typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) struck and destroyed a large swath of the area, I was commissioned to do some video work for the UN’s Farm and Agriculture Organization. Below is the finished short.

May 2014
Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) hit the central Philippines on 8 November 2013, destroying some 600 000 hectares of farmland and leaving tens of thousands of farmers without a source of income, severely threatening their food security.

Thanks to an immediate response by the international community, the Department of Agriculture and FAO were able to assist tens of thousands of rice farmers quickly restore and replant their devastated fields in the wake of the disaster, working closely with the national government at all levels. Within weeks of the disaster, FAO, the Department of Agriculture and their partners, began distributing certified rice seeds and urea fertilizer to severely affected farmers, reaching 80 000 families in time for the December/January planting season.

Some have already gathered their crops, others will be doing so over the coming weeks and into early June, giving farmers hope for the future and kick-starting their recovery.

– See more at: http://www.fao.org/emergencies/resources/videos/video-detail/en/c/231219/#sthash.LGvOepTX.dpuf

A midsummer Night’s Dream

X100-2

 

Woke up at 2:30 am due to extreme hot weather conditions so I went down to have a drink of ice-cold water, browsed the internet and saw this article about a trusty camera that another photographer has.
I’ve always been amazed at how other people have managed to keep their cameras pristinely clean and shiny…I don’t know, maybe I am just a camera slob but look at images of the first Fujifilm mirrorless camera I ever had. Bought it about 3-4 years ago as a Christmas present to myself after being frustrated with the rising prices of film. I was accumulating about 60 rolls of films I shot with my M4-2 and I haven’t even processed the rolls.In short, the process from shooting to seeing images became a long and tedious process for me and I was shooting voraciously in the streets.
Now back to the trusty old X100… long story short, It was unfortunate that the unit I owned, suffered from the sticky shutter syndrome.I could not shoot my X100 in any mode other than fully automatic and aperture priority with the opening set on F2.0 only. Otherwise, all my images will be over-exposed.
Imagine lugging around a PHP 57K camera for a couple of years, way past the warranty period and the local distributor whom I bought it from kept promising me that they would repair it…until I got tired and accepted it’s fate.So for two long years, I shot all kinds of stuff…from news to street photography and even multimedia stories with it…from Abra to Mindanao and all on fully automatic mode. Luckily, the exposure compensation dial of the X100 was conveniently located near my right thumb and ever-ready for exposure adjustments.
This trusty old camera with the most wonderfully sharp lens and hybrid optical system is a classic so I held on to it . One day, Fujifilm came to our shores and set up it’s corporate headquarters in Makati. One year after they came, my X100 got a shot in the arm and was repaired free of charge and thanks to their Technical Manager Richard Maranga. It still lives, my X100 despite having been reinforced by his big brother XPro-1, an equally trusty camera.
So the story goes on… till the next hot summer night.

 

 

X100-3

X100-4

X100

See also:

A Camera Built To Endure Klutzes: The Fuji X-Pro 1

Hot Summer Nights

hot summer nights
A woman sits by a main road beside her cart full of recyclable materials. Taken with a Fujifilm XPro-1 with a Voigtlander Nokton 35mm Classic lens.

I started using my M-mount lenses on the Xpro-1 so I had my 35mm Nokton Classic cleaned and calibrated so I can use it for poor lighting conditions as a normal lens owing to the 1.5 crop on the XPro-1’s APS-C sized sensor.

Nightfall:Tomas Morato Ave.
Nightfall:Tomas Morato Ave.

Getting inspired

Whenever I go out hunting for images on the street, I don’t really have a planned theme…Street photography for me is supposed to be spontaneous or unplanned..the fun of it is when moments or a unique vignette of a scene pops out from your visual landscape. Themes and projects are for the photojournalistic side of my brain. Street photography allows me to wear a different hat. to have the luxury of being able to shoot freely and without pressure from paid assignments.
Most of the time, you lose your touch …and that is the main reason why photography has to be a passion, a lifestyle…It is and should be a part of my daily life, otherwise I suffer from a “visual block”.
Today I started out by visiting The San Sebastian church, where i sat down, absorbed the tranquility and began to meditate, to thank God for pulling me out of evry predicament I thought I could not handle. Then I became aware of the surroundings and began to shoot.

newblogpix-2

 

San Sabastian Church 2014
San Sabastian Church 2014

 

newblogpix-5

 

newblogpix-6

 

newblogpix-7

 

newblogpix-8

 

newblogpix-9

Kickstarting new life into my blog (procrastinating sucks the life out of you)

It has been ages since I’ve posted something into my sites, and a lot of things have happened since. To name a few…calamities, devastation, political chaos, family crisis, health concerns, loss of friends and stuff related to our existence on this planet.That was 2013 and I have somehow managed to navigate all of those in a rally towards the last quarter. Although I almost didn’t make it through the last days of December due to extreme exhaustion and probably mental anguish from the life-taxing coverage that was typhoon Haiyan.
It’s now 2014 and since I promised myself to somehow inject new blood into my websites, I am now just attempting to follow through on my self-promise.

Self you say?. that’s a good place to start…since we are in the “selfie” capital, I would like to post one from the hundreds I have stashed away.

Probe shoot  selfie
Taken a few days back during a lull in a video shoot with the Probe team.

Wide Open Streets Workshop: Street photography workshop scholarship

1289930_10151832100033415_888432924_n
In behalf of the Wide Open Streets workshop, I am offering 5 free slots to deserving and passionate street photography enthusiasts for a forthcoming edition of my workshop in October.

Requirements:
Workshop Requirements

Participants are required to send a body of work (portfolio Approx: 15-25 images).
Participants are required to bring printed photos of the portfolio for review and editing (4R prints are sufficient).
A laptop or mobile computer with photo editing software
A short bio and letter of intent to join the workshop.

* exclusive of transportation expenses and food)

email the short bio and letter of intent to luis.liwanag@gmail.com not later that September 21, 2013

News Reportage with a Fujifilm X100

One time, I received a tip that there was going to be a demolition of informal settler’s shanties in San Juan… I had my X100 with me and since time was of great importance ,I did not go back home to get my DSLR cameras.
At first I got so nervous since all my colleagues were clicking away with their high end equipment and all i had was a compact camera with a 35mm prime lens. I held my ground because I knew that if only I could focus accurately, my X100 would carry me through the whole violent coverage..I want to share a slideshow of that fateful day.

Rollover your mouse around the icons for navigation controls and click on the lower right for viewing the slideshow in fullscreen…