Inspired to Shoot

As I was editing the winning raw files in preparation for hi-­res printing of the recently concluded Sinulog Photo Contest, there was this one photo that really inspired me more about photography.

Photo by Leo Sibi, 6th Place Festival Queen, ?NEF f/3.5, 1/000 ISO2500

Photo by Leo Sibi, 6th Place Festival Queen, ?NEF f/3.5, 1/000 ISO2500

The Sinulog Foundation would normally forward the winning printed photos in their standard 5R format together with the raw files to their printing partner, GraphicStar. I’m normally called to finalize and edit raw files to ensure the optimum quality for hi­-res printing. I would normally expect that the raw file would differ from the printed version.My objective is to match the print and the file as much as I can and enhance accordingly. However, as I was scanning through the winning photos, I was intrigued by the shot of Mr.

Leo Sibi. For one, I was beside him when he took that winning shot. The lighting of the photo looks really good that I thought he did a good post processing job, only to find out that it was straight out of the camera.

The beautifully lighted and engaging image was captured raw. There was no need to edited some more. It was perfect. On that particular fraction of a second, the stage lighting focused on the face of the subject while she gracefully and wholeheartedly danced in honor of the blessed child.

Timing is the key coupled with the right exposure settings and composition. You’d probably credit luck at some degree but that’s what photography is. Even if both photographer is shooting at the same settings with the same lighting condition and subject, you’ll get two different photos from each photographer. Note that if you’re shooting at 1/125, there’s 7,500 possible still moments you can get in 60 seconds.

Even if you shoot Sinulog every year and compare your shots from the last, you’ll be surprised to see a different story every time. Even if I’ll go to New Mexico and stand in the same spot where Ansel Adams took that famous Moonrise, Hernandez using the same equipments, it will never be the same.

Photography lets us appreciate that fraction of a second and allows us to freeze and preserve a moment in time. I’m shooting Sinulog again next year and hope to catch those stunning photos. It is an inspiration viewing the photos this year but I’ve also have to say, objectively, that Judging needs to improve next time.

Keep on shooting everyone!

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