Photographs must not lie, and must be prepared with proofs of their veracity. If exposed wounds, scars or even guilt are able to make us better persons then why not show them?
By Ross Capili
Camera lenses, like our eyes, are able to "see through" what is seemingly ordinary into what lies below or beyond the surface.
If artist photographers take a closer, more careful look at "ordinary" subjects, then the extraordinary truths of those subjects are bound to reveal themselves. Start to see from the heart. The old marketing adage advocating "truth in advertising" is most probably applicable to photography as well.
Photographs must not lie, and must be prepared with proofs of their veracity. If exposed wounds, scars or even guilt are able to make us better persons then why not show them? The same principle applies to capturing images – you should be able to take and present photos, with substance, on the spot – to avoid committing the "sin of addition" known as Photoshop "manipulation."
Photojournalism as fine art could be the perfect way to illustrate the point I'd like to make here, and I would like to continue with a look inward.
For two days last week in Barangay San Pedro Cutud in San Fernando, Pampanga, I had the opportunity to photo-document various acts of penitence and the fulfillment of personal pacts with God.
On Good Friday each year, thousands flock to witness the Via Crucis – the world-renowned crucifixion play that has been re-enacted on a man-made hill for the past 53 years.
During the Maleldo or "holy days," I went forth armed with my Rollei35 film camera, one Canon 30d body with selected lenses (Canon 24mm-105, Sigma 15mm-30mm, Canon 70mm-200mm). As I joined the people in contemplation, I endeavored to capture the profundity of what we were witnessing with every shot I took.
I've decided to let my images do most of the talking on today's column, as they have the power to say so much more. With me in post-Holy Week mode, the fervor, the passion, and all those "images beyond the ordinary" to which I bore witness remain vivid in my memory. And now, silence, please.
Rossano Capili - signing his name professionally as Rosscapili- is an accomplished artist - a painter, photographer, graphic designer and digital fine art printmaker.
The article and accompanying photographs were first published in 2009 in the author’s Shoot At Random column for the Manila Bulletin. All photos and copyrighted to the author
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