Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Winner Professor

Before the First Canon Shoot and Run Photo Marathon dinner and awarding ceremonies ended last December 16 at the Palacio de Manila, Flickerians (as FPC Members are also known) were excited to know that about 10 of their photos out of the approximate 300 made it to the top 50 for the theme "Splendor of Manila." Not one of the 10 photos made it to the two spots and so we went home a little disappointed but very much happy with the experience and company of fellow Flickerians.
Or so we thought.
It turns out that the 1st Runner Up of the "Splendor" theme, Rob Fontanilla, is a Flickerian. So, Andrew, an Admin who knows Rob, called one day and asked if we could feature Rob on the blog. Sure we will! Pat, another Admin, gave me the winner's number and I made contact with Rob, who turned out to be a very busy Professional Photographer and Professor. Therefore, I settled for the e-interview option after several attempts at a telephone interview. The last time Rob said we could do the interview on the phone was the morning of his birthday, and unfortunately I was in the office. So, I sent him the questions and now, take a look at his answers and gain insight into the world of a Photography Professor.

Rob Fontanilla

Data Vitae
Full Name: Robert V. Fontanilla
flickr Screen Name: ROB FONTANILLA
Present Address: Quezon City
Occupation: Professional Photographer and Professor in College of Saint Benilde--La Salle
Current Gear:
camera body = Canon 400D
lenses = 18-55mm kit lens
50mm f/1.8,
flash = 420EX
Favorite Photographic Subject: Glamour, Travel and Portrait
Favorite Photographer: Annie Leibovitz and Richard Avedon
Dream Gear: Canon 1Ds Mark II N
Photographic Ambition: National Geographic job and advertising shoot in New York

Rob's Photographic Mind
FPC: Do you have a family? If yes, how do you find time for your photography? If no, how much of you bachelor life do you spend in professional Photography?
RVF: NONE. I DONT HAVE A FAMILY. Half of my time I spend for photography... part of it shooting if i have [a photo job], and another part as a Professor of Photography in La Salle-CSB

FPC: Do you limit your Photography to a particular category? Which do you like shooting best?
Actually I dont limit my photography, although I'm inclined to portrait, glamour and travel.

Carlet Marcelo by Rob Fontanilla

FPC: I read somewhere in one magazine that you must specialize in one area to become professional. Do you buy that idea?
I don't buy that idea, but it pays to specialize on something. Like a trade mark... The only difference between a pro and hobbyist (although they may produce same result) is that the pro gets paid for.

FPC: Do you think that for a photographer to be recognized, he must have "hi-tech" gadgets?
Not really, its more about the talent than the gadgets, although I don't disregard the fact that having better equipments has its advantages.

FPC: When is a photograph artistic to you? What makes it an art?
RVF: Everytime. I always consider photography as an art. But if you want to be more specific, its on the style.

Boatman by Rob Fontanilla

FPC: What made you take up Photography? What and who are your inspiration and influences?
It all started as a hobby. I just love to shoot. And giving up other important things for photography. Inspiration? I like the works of Richard Avedon And Annie Leibovitz.

FPC: What style of Photography have you developed for yourself? What makes you think it is good?
Actually none. I apply as many style I could think of, during the actual shoot. Shall we say, "Let it be." I dont want to be tied and limit my work based on a certain guidelines. But in my advertising work, it's different. I want an actual layout, I plan ahead, how and what to shoot.

Fruitworks by Rob Fontanilla

1st CSR Winner
FPC: How did you learn about the Canon Shoot & Run Photo Competition?
A student of mine told me about this contest.

FPC: Where you with a group or a companion during the competition? Does it matter that you have to have company in such kind of competition?
Yes, I'm with a group--some camera club members and some friends.
Not really. Maybe for security reasons, that's why you have to have somebody during the shoot, cameras are too expensive. Actually, we got separated during the shoot.

FPC: What was your strategy for the first leg? The second leg?
RVF: First--combination of Static and non static subjects. Second--more on the emotions.

FPC: What places did you go to shoot your entries?
RVF: Actually, to start, Manila Cathedral, then the walls of Intramuros.

FPC: What were you after with the first category? How did you interpret "Splendor of Manila"?
I just present my subject the way i see it, focus on the subject and add some elements just to decorate my subject, not to over power it. That's basic composition and selective focus on the main subject.

FPC: When the anchorwoman said "Faces of Manila," what images came foremost to your mind? Were this the images you chose as options to submit?
Actually, no. I looked for happy faces, afraid to show something negative because I know, that's is a no no.

FPC: Did you think that any of your photos would win?
Actually no. In every contest I'm not expecting anything but its okay for you to wish and hope to win. Actually, Im not expecting I'll win from the first category, because when the host announced that they are showing the top 50, my photo was not shown during the presentation. So, I told myself that I'm not going to win from this category and hope to win from the second one. But suprisingly, they mentioned my name when they announced the second place, and everything is history.

Super Kid by Rob Fontanilla

FPC: Is this your fist winning photo contest? If yes, how does it feel? If no, what were the other contests you joined?
I've won several photo contest way back:
CCP Photo Contest black and white category
Florikultura of DOT
Preview Magazine Photo Contest
Cavite Independence Day Photo Contest
FPPF Photo Contest
Camera Club Photo Contest
- end -

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