Saturday, March 17, 2007

FP: "Airistic" Portraiture

Our featured Photographer for this week is FPC's first Photographer of the Month (PoM, Jan 2007). Well, that doesn't bring you much of a surprise; we all know who he is! And he proves to be a repeat contender for February. If indicators are trustworthy, he's going to bag the title again this February! What with two winning entries to the Club's photo contests?!

That obvious matter having been said, let us dig deeper into the person of this prolific newbie, Airic (or Eric) Espenida, known in flickr as Ryuji23.

r name:
Real Name: Eric Espenida
Lives in: Angono Rizal
Day Job: Web Quality Assurance Merchandiser/Freelance IT Specialist
Current Gear: Nikon D70s; Nikkor 50mm lens
Dream Gear: Nikon D200 / Nikkor18 - 200mm VR/SB800 flash
Favorite Photo Subject: Portraiture
Favorite Photographers: Manny Librodo, Ross Capili, Daniel Go
Photographic Ambition: Build my own studio, become either Wedding, Events or Fashion Photographer

1. Him and His Family

FPC: How many siblings are you in the family?
Ryuji: I have one older brother so that makes me the youngest in the family.

FPC: Has the place where you grew up anything to do with your passion for Photography?
Ryuji: I grew up in Makati City for the past 20 years. In my childhood days I preferred sketching cartoon characters (I made my on comic books when I was a kid) or loitering around the neighborhood just to observe the environment (church, old houses, buildings, houses etc.). But I didn’t think of taking pictures back then because my parents didn’t want me to use our old film camera just because I didn’t have any idea how to used it.

I lost my sketching hobby when I was in grade 6 when I shifted my attention to basketball. I joined the school's varsity team when I was in high school. I was more a sports- & computer games-minded until I graduated in college, with the degree of B.S. Computer Science, from Adamson University.

My interest in art was somewhat revived when we moved to Angono Rizal a few years back. Knowing the place as the "Art Capital" of the Philippines, I saw most of the works of our famous national artist in galleries and dreamed that someday I could also have my own. However, I haven’t think photography would be my medium then; which I do right now! Hehehe hmmm... But I guess I would engage in art in general rather than photography only.

FPC: What does you family say about your passion?
Ryuji: “It’s an EXPENSIVE hobby!” my folks asked me why I chose photography. I told them that this is one way for me to travel and meet people. Then my dad said, “For as long as you still have an extra for our expenses at home, I think that will not be a problem.” Luckily, I still have my monthly salary left for my hobby! Hehehe But all of them are supportive, especially my dad.

2. His Photography

FPC: When did you take up Photography and what was your inspiration?
Ryuji: I took up Photography only last August 2006; Don (shutterglass) introduced me to this field after he returned from the US where he bought his Nikon D50. I was amazed with its [physical form]; but I still can’t afford to buy one. Luckily, Canon S3 IS is a little bit cheaper so for two months I saved enough cash to purchase my first camera last November 2006.

It was a memorable story because when we bought it in Hidalgo, it was almost closing time and we just ask the store owner to wait for us for a little while because where coming from the office. I’m pretty much happy to have my own digital camera, and I just can’t stop taking photos without thinking about composition; mostly candid.

Then we attended the “Thursday shoot @ OWG.” This is where I met mr. Ross Capili and I was inspired by all the works on his gallery. This is where I also learned to incorporate composition to my photos. Aside from that I also saw the works of Manuel Librodo and I was really astonished about how he composes those portrait images. That’s when I decided to focus more on portraiture and to take those frontal shots.

After two months using Canon S3 IS, I shifted to Nikon and bought a Nikon D70s from Chewy, I bought my 50mm lens from kuya Perry. If I liked my S3 IS before, I’m much happier when I got my D70s. It helps me a lot with my shots.

FPC: As a beginner, how did you accumulate your knowledge about Photography and about taking pictures?
Ryuji: With regards to Photography, I’m not into reading books or articles regarding techniques on how to compose a photo (I often fell asleep when I read! hehe.. Unless its all about computer or FHM hehehe). I'd rather visit ones picture gallery and view all of the artist's works. I prefer looking at the picture itself and study its composition.

I think this technique, helps one understand the composition and then create his own version based on what's learned from the particular images. Some might say you’ll just copying ones idea but hey! A picture is worth a thousand words, every one has a different interpretation on a single picture.

FPC: What kind of subjects inspire you most to take pictures?
Ryuji: Woman with veil or a person showing emotions.

FPC: When is a photo “good” to you?
Ryuji: I think every photo has "good" attributes. It's up to the person how will they interpret its meaning. But primarily, I like close up portrait of a lady showing her emotions.

FPC: Are you a technical person, one that pays greater attention to technical details, or are you a compositional photog?
Ryuji: Now, I’m more of a Compositional photographer. I like to maximize what is available. I’m also of the spontaneous type because there are certain shot that’s hard to plan or complicated to compose--that certain moment you’ll just have to wait, and when that right moment comes, you know that it will turn out a good photograph.

FPC: What or who are your influences in Photography?
Ryuji: Manuel Librodo, Ross Capili, Don Garchitorena, Ronnie Ragonton, Daniel Go, JC

FPC: What are your personal rules for taking photographs?
Ryuji: Just be natural, always show your emotions and be enthusiastic on everything that you do.

FPC: Do you look up to someone as your mentor, or exemplar, in Photography?
Ryuji: I consider kuya Ron as my mentor because he knows much stuff regarding Nikon and how to maximize a Nikon gear.

Manuel Librodo, Ross Capili & Daniel Go: These guys are very good in composing a shot, I often look at there works and study how did they do it.

Like I said, every person has a different interpretation on ones image, so I think getting a few ideas on these people and combine it to create your own wont harm any one :)

FPC: How do you see yourself as a photographer, say, in the next 2 years?
Ryuji: Within the next two years, I think It will still be pretty much the same, learning the basic of capturing an image takes only 2 hours, but mastering it will take years.

FPC: Any plans about going pro? What kind of pro?
Ryuji: Yes, but it still a long way for me. Wedding, Events, Fashion. Either of the 3 or all of them! Hehehe

3. About FPC

FPC: How did you join FPC?
Ryuji: Don Introduced me to FPC, I was encourage when I saw the FPC T-Shirt, so cool!

FPC: What is your first impression of FPC? What is your impression of it now?
Ryuji: Back then it was Just an ordinary Photo club. Now I realize, it's more than a forum. It's like a one big family, group, organization, where there’s no discrimination whatsoever. Everybody shares the same purpose and that is to click those shutter 1000x! Hehehe

FPC: What do you think makes the Club click?
Ryuji: The Bonding, the Camaraderie, and helping each other to learn more or improve more in photography.

FPC: What can you say about the FPC events? The discussion threads? And the administration?
Ryuji: I really enjoy the events! Traveling with the group, have a chance to meet models, having fun on an outdoor shoot, having a nice discussion on the thread, and most of all spending 8 hours a day just looking for those members who post their photos in the groups gallery [Pool]! Hehehe

FPC: Do you envision FPC to be anything in the future?
Ryuji: A well established group, very well known not only in the Philippines but in the World.

FPC: What do you like best about FPC?
Ryuji: The outdoor shoot events of course! Hehe

FPC: You are FPC’s first Photographer of the Month (PoM). Does that put any pressure on you?
Ryuji: Honestly none, because I still consider myself a newbie and there still a big room for me to learn. I am very happy to be the PoM. This inspires me to keep on learning and think new composition but there's still a long way for me and I still got nothing to prove.

FPC: It looks like you are again a contender for the February PoM. That is commendable. Are you trying to prove something?
Ryuji: Really?! Wow! Nope, like what I’ve said it still a long way for me, all I want to do for now is to keep shooting, keep joining the event and never stop taking notes from the PROs.

FPC: Do you see any improvements that FPC should make in any of its activities or programs? What are your recommendations, if any?
Ryuji: I think more photo shoot. I also hope if there are major events like the Hot air Balloon Festival, motor show, concerts, etc. The FPC group should be there and be one of those groups that will officially cover those events.

I hope we can be accredited and recognize this year as one stable photo groups in the Philippines.

FPC: What is your message to other FPC members?
Ryuji: Just keep on Shooting! Always join the Photo Events in FPC and have fun meeting new people or members of these group!

We are one group, We are F.P.C.!

- end -


Perry said...

Great interview! I'm glad that my 50mm lens won 2 contests already he he... congratulations and God bless Eric! :)

usclabdog said...

hey congrats! pom, pow,poy na lang ang kulang and that will be a grandslam!

ronrag said...

this guy will certainly mature into a better photographer as time goes by!! and i'm so happy to be considered by him as a mentor!! just keep on joining the monthly contest and you'll get there, Airic :)

Airic said...

I have nothing more to say... i'm so very thankful that FPC gave me a chance to be there Featured Photographer.. I'v learned so much from you guys and i will continue to take notes and join events on these group!

thanks so much :)

JC said...

i'm so proud of you bro airic... keep up the good works. you have an eye. you just keeps getting better and better. inspire more friends through your beautiful masterpieces. and yep, always feet on the ground. hahaha... saka, dapat lagi lang masaya sa shoot di ba? congratulations brother!!! c",)

alexdpx said...

I like this guy although hindi ko pa sya personally nami-meet. Very humble. Makakadalawang PoM na and yet he insists that he still has plenty to learn - hehehehe.

Congrats Ryuji!!!