Saturday, December 02, 2006

Mountain's Viewfinder

Rastamarie (ras’ta-ma-rē), n. nature-lover; backpacker; talented photographer; adventurer; queen of the jump shot photos.

Just look at Dianne’s photos and you’ll definitely agree with me. Her passion for the outdoors shines through in her captures, as she takes us on a visual journey of her explorations, adventures, and triumphs.

As I went through the e-interview with this talented lady, I discovered that, aside from being a lover of nature and photography, she is a music fanatic as well. In fact, her name actually comes from...oh, wait. Before I ramble and give away the whole interview, just read and find out for yourselves. :)

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Please tell us your full name and then your flickr screen name.
My full name is Dianne O. Obviar, but I prefer to be called "Yhan". Screen name is Rastamarie.

Your first name is Dianne, your nickname is Yhan, and your flickr screen name is Rastamarie. Ang lalayo ha. :) How did you come up with your screen name and what exactly does it mean?
Yhan – from Di-yhan =)
Rastamarie – I’ve loved reggae since high school. I'm a fan of Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Indio-i, Peacepipe, Herbs, and other reggae artists. "Rasta" is from Rastafari and "Marie" is part of the name I’ve always wanted to give to my future baby girl. =)

Where do you live at the moment?
I stay in Makati City.

What is your current occupation?
I'm an ITO Support Specialist.

What is your current gear? (camera body/bodies, lenses and flash guns only)
Camera Bodies - Canon 400D and Sony DSC H1
Lenses - Tele and Wide Conversion Lenses for Sony DSC H1

Do you bring all of them during climbs?
I haven't brought the Canon 400D since I just bought it weeks ago. Maybe I’ll bring it on the coming Mt. Pulag climb (just hoping the lens won't moist.) But with the Sony DSC H1, when I climb, I always bring the wide conversion lens for landscape shots. For now, I will only bring with me the Canon 400D for upcoming climbs.

Tell us about your dream gear.
Nikon D200

Who or what convinced you to opt for Nikon, especially since you are a Canon 400D user?
When I tried using Nikon D200 when we had a debut photoshoot, I was very satisfied, though it's pretty heavy for me. After using it, I read the reviews and even talked to some Nikon users, I was pretty convinced but budget-wise, I don't think I can afford one. Although, as masters say, it's not always in the gear, but in the eye of the photographer.

What’s your favorite photographic subject(s)?
Nature - landscape and macro shots, jump shots, streams

Sunset in Taal

Can you tell us why we these are your favorite subjects?
I'm a climber and along the trail you'll see different things. Even a simple leaf amazes me. Since one of my hobbies brings me very close to nature, I love to take photos of places/mountains I've been to as remembrances and something to share to others. As for jump shots and action shots, for me it requires proper timing. It's fulfilling for me to take an action shot with just one click. Sometimes it's pretty hard, especially when 4 or 5 people jump, because it takes like 4 jumps before I capture the best one.

When and how did you start taking up photography?
I really love taking pictures since high school and even joined the club PALS (Photo Association of La Salle) where I was the president for the whole school year of 1997-1998. I found it fun and very fulfilling.


Since it seems that you have been quite the seasoned photographer, what kind of photographic style have you adopted?
Having your personal photographic style is somewhat difficult to reach because you will not really know if what you've captured is really something only you have done. For me, when I capture a moment or still objects, I don't care if it has already been done or something, but what I'm up to is how I see these things. With my pictures, they will get to know the "me" involved in the shots I made.

How would you describe a good photo?

For me there's no such thing as a "perfect photo." Sometimes, when I look at the pictures in flickr, I don't judge the technical aspect of the photo. It's what the photographer wants us to know. Simple dice in an empty space, for example, depicts so many meanings. Something that will make you think, "May arrive." =P


Any favorite photographer(s) in particular?
Linus Escandor II (a.k.a. mtxtremist) and Raul Montifar

What’s your photographic ambition?
I want to be a photojournalist (because I also love writing) and to be a National Geographic photographer which, I guess, is impossible. Hehe. When I was in high school, I took photos. At the same time, I also wrote some articles for the school activities. I enjoyed it a lot. In our group in SABITMountaineer, I also wrote some articles regarding climbs or activities.

Why would you consider being a National Geographic photographer impossible?
For me, it needs dedication and time. Right now, with the nature of my work, I don't think I will be able to be a photojournalist, except for the company newsletter and mountaineering club. As for being a National Geographic photographer, there are lots of photographers around the globe who are really the best ones. I don't think they will consider someone like me.

How did you find out about flickr and the FPC group?
I was searching through the flickr groups and then I saw FPC, I felt that this group is a good one based on the description. And it really is!

When did you start mountain-climbing? What preparations do you do before a climb? Do you have to undergo special training for this?
I started this sport when I was 16. Preparations depend on the elevation of the mountain as well as the difficulty (i.e. if it's a minor climb or major.) However, whether it is easy or not, I jog. The most important training for backpacking is to know the basics and "Leave No Trace," which is an outdoor ethic.

Where was your most memorable climb?
The most memorable climb I ever had was the 17th Annual Climb in Mt. Halcon. April 2003. I experienced a lot and met many climbers. There were more than 300 climbers who joined the climb.


You're a member of Sabit Mountaineer. Please describe what this group is all about.
SABIT means Society of Adventurers Bringing Interactions To all mountaineers. It was just founded last year. This is a unique group since we don't have officers (no politics), just organizers and every member can be an organizer of a climb. Everybody gets a chance to be a leader, thus enhancing their leadership skills. Most of the members of this group are freelance mountaineers. We don't just climb. We also do some outreach programs and support other activities of other group.

Aside from photography and mountain-climbing, what is/are your other passion(s)?
I also love surfing, snorkeling, and composing songs. =)

Sunrise Jump

Your "Sunrise Jump" has been featured in the debut issue of PoW! How did it feel to be in the first batch?
I was flattered that my work was recognized and very thankful. The PoW! inspires everyone to improve more. It's a good concept. Keep it up.

I love your outdoor photos, especially the jump shot series. Would you consider photography as a future career path for you?

Oh, thank you. If given the chance, why not. But probably (I will pursue it) if I become rich and put up a business where I can focus on photography full-time.

So...any special someone? :)

I'm not committed to anyone right now. =P

What message would you want to impart to the other FPC members?
Keep up the good work! Really, this group is the best. I’ve learned a lot from the members and this group inspires me to take more good quality photos. More power and God bless!

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For Dianne, there are more mountains to climb, more adventures to conquer, more jump shots to take, more people to inspire, and more dreams to fulfill. Whatever path she takes, she will surely take us with her, one fantastic photo at a time.


ronrag said...

olryt, another future Nikonian... a soon to be convert to the better side !! :)

Rob said...

Nature and photography meets with Diane! Big dreams but as they say, when you dream, dream big! Keep shooting! :D

Great job, Aby! :D

alexdpx said...

That "Sunrise Jump" is really awesome to me. Congrats Diane =)

PowerPee said...

I agree with Alex. Never in a lifetime would I be able to think of that "Sunrise Jump" great job Diane! Congratulations! :)

Rastamarie said...'s really nice.....

ed's said...

Really awesome pictureS! Congrats Diane!

Linus said...

Congrats Yhan and be happy always.