Saturday, December 09, 2006

Profile of an Extremist

Linus Escandor II (mtxtremist), the peppy bald guy we all know =). I First met him during the sunset shoot organized by our fellow FPC members mid this year and honestly speaking, there is no such thing as a stranger with this guy, just unacquainted friends.

Loves the outdoors, Passionate about photography and "very much single" (he stresses) are just few of the words to describe Linus.

So for those who would want to know more about our first Featured Photographer for this month, FPC brings you the exclusive interview with our FPC fellow
Linus (mtxtremist) Escandor II



1. When did you start photography?

My father gave me a SLR Camera,an Olympus OM10 with 35mm lens as a gift in High school. Since then I kept on cLicking. This hobby continued when I entered college and thus started taking serious pictures from then on. My passion for photography grew when I founded my own camera club in San Beda and was active in conducting photo exhibits. I became a photo editor for our yearbook and at the same time press photographer of our school paper.

This shot was taken way back 1989. This was my break-in shot.

2. You have been in photography for a while b4 you entered the pro league. Can you please share to us the very first lesson that you have learned by the time you became a pro photojournalist?

Whenever I submitted my photos to the editorial department, my photo editor oftentimes or always criticized my shots, the composition, and basic subject positioning and balance. He told me to be patient and be one with the sorroundings before clicking the shutter release button.

My photo editor never provided me tips and techniques before any photo assignments eventhough huge issues were involved. He just showed me the correct way after the assigment. I learned a lot from my mistakes. I am previleged to work with my photo editor,for sharing his knowledge and techniques in photojournalism.

3. Can you describe to us the life of a photojournalist?

In a short period time I realized that taking pictures as a photojournalist is not a walk in the park. I may have a vast experience in photography. Been into sports, a bit in fashion, outdoors and landscape, and still life. But nothing compares to photojournalism. Photojournalism is a visual text that represents a story. You have to compose a picture which signifies truth and have to be fast and work with your instincts in taking the picture.

Life is somewhat difficult and lonesome being a photojournalist. One has to sacrifice time and money. Photojournalists are always away from their loved ones and have to work on holidays. I am always sweaty because I am always on the run. Not withstanding the courage to face danger and death treat as well.

After all its the PASSION IN PHOTOGRAPHY thats keeps me going.

4. You are considered a PRO-journalist. How does it feel?

I am not yet a pro when it comes to experience in taking quality pictures. It is just a fulfillment for me as a correspondent to see when my photos being published and even proud if chosen to be a banner photo (frontpage). I realized that a lot of people can view my pictures unlike before when it was only my friends and few persons I know that appreciate my works. It feels great that my pictures are in circulation.

I am still an amateur as compared to those hardcore photojournalists but Im coming my way.However, through hardwork and dedication I believe those old timers will recognize my efforts as well.

5. Hectic and unpredictable schedule of your job. Do you have still time for Mountain climbing?

Yes, just overnight climbs.

Philippine Independence Day climb
I climbed with some of my friends from the Media. We dedicated this to our Independence Day. This is where the encouragement to pursue a carreer in Photojournalism started and the rest is history.

6. Since you love mountain climbing also. What if your boss suddenly asks you to cover the Philippine team to climb mt. everest?

Its an opportunity so I will take the offer. Its my dream to climb Mt. Everest.

7. You know Rastamarie right? Sabi ni Rastamarie favorite photographer ka raw niya. What can you say about that?

Dianne is a good friend. We share the same passion which is photography, mountaineering and music as well.

8. How did you get your break in Photojournalism?

A friend of mine in the media introduced me to my photo editor, he was the photo editor of Manila Times before. He checked my flickr account....the rest is history.

I was moved by the scenario in Albay. It was hard to imagine how difficult life would be for my kababayan in Bikol a sad experience for me to cover such disaster. (Breaktime) The shot is different from other pictures published.

9. WHat is the most interesting assignment so far as a photojournalist?Why?

Human Interest fascinates me among other subjects in Photography as a photojournalist. WHy? because the human aspect is indeed a versatile subject.

10. How does it feel being a pro and having someone to tell you what and when to shoot? How does that compare with when you were free to shoot anything in your own time?

I do appreciate when someone gives me instructions on how to take pictures. I dont have any formal lessons in photography and everything was self taught. It is a challenge for me to work for a photo assignment because if I fail to produce the required picture then I will be penalized and the publication will suffer. It is hard to work for an assignment as compared to shoot freely. Every second counts in photojournalism,I dont have the leeway to instruct my subject to do this and do that. I dont have the control over lighting conditions as well.

11. How do you compare news journalism vs. Daily life journalism? Which would you prefer if you have a choice?

I think news journalism focuses more on the current events. The hot issues of the day which is what you will see on the newspaper the next day. Daily life are ordinary things you see as you go along your way in the city. Between the two I will choose news since that's where the action is.

Actually this young man who jumped was an autistic. He was fearless and jumped a lot of times. (Lukso)


Anonymous said...

Nice job Extremist!!! I just wonder if the photo editor you're referring is Mr. Albert Garcia (Manila Times to Bulletin now). He is a World Press Photo awardee and my mentor for three years. Galing. Thanks for FPC moderators for their excellent perspectives.


PowerPee said...

those 2 dudes jumping is the best for me! Congratulations Mr. Linus! :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats Linus. Thank you for sharing us your experience.

Rastamarie said...

Congrats Linus...idol! hehe...keep up the good work.Congrats din daw sabi ni Gel. Mabuhay ka kaSABIT hehe

aby said...

congratulations, linus! more power to you! favorite ko rin yung Lukso photo. :D kudos to neil for the interview, too :)