Thank you very much Sir Ronald Jayme for featuring me as Picture Perfect's Photographer of the Week, to Ms. Jojie Alcantara for the wonderful write-up and to the graphic artist who made the layout.
By Jojie Alcantara
Published: September 23, 2014
“I am a storyteller,” shares Rodel Diaz, professing his love for art which dates a long way back to childhood. He began painting and sketching; but lacking the discipline to prepare his tools meticulously, he transitioned into photography which was more to his taste and personality.
Rodel started a career in web design and graphic art during what he refers to as “the dark dot-com era.” A graduate of BS in Computer Science at UP Los Baños, this Quezon City-born guy is currently working as a software engineer in a multi-national company in Taguig.
“My photography started before the Internet enslaved the world. As a self-taught weekend photographer through trial and error, I shot mostly with an SLR film camera borrowed from a friend. I bought mine while working in Hong Kong just a few months after the world revealed the first DSLR. Several years later, I finally went digital after renouncing my purist view against digital cameras. Today, I am utilizing the wonders of digital photography and post-processing in creating art. Since then, photography has been my outlet, my escape from the IT reality,” he explains.
For Rodel, a photograph is effective if it evokes a reaction, a range of emotions – happiness, sadness, anger – it can be about the composition, subject matter, and lighting or the combination of all three.
He believes his being a moody person greatly affects the end product. He notices his shots are better when relaxed and in a good mood. But in overcoming and managing this moodiness, he needs to care about whatever he is shooting. These moods influence his preference for bright colors, or toning down to subtle and dark.
“I have no particular preferences in pictures but I have great respect for people who still shoot film. I used to shoot film and was at one time a purist because I once believed that a photograph should never be manipulated. Little did I know that even films are being post-processed. My work as a graphic artist introduced me to the realm of Photoshop. By digital post-processing, I was able to extend my creativity by enhancing the photos I took. Post-processing has become my way of self-expression. I love playing with colors, but there are photos that stand out if they are in black and white,” he says.
Rodel has since made several attempts to join a few well-known camera clubs, but time management was an issue. In his daughter’s school, the Mindbuilders Preschool owner invited parents to volunteer as official photographers during school events. The MB Paparazzi was born out of camaraderie, and even though their kids were already in gradeschool, they keep in touch and hold photography talks and workshops from time to time.
He had also joined photo contests organized by his company where he won the grand prize.
“Currently, I am enjoying wedding, lifestyle, and fine art photography. But I am not confining myself to any specific area as I am open in trying other types of photography like food, real estate, and travel. When I travel, I always look forward to having several photos shot in a different perspective. I tend to capture emotions. By trying to connect with the locals, my travel becomes more meaningful, making my documentation easier. Human interest is my favorite subject. You can create stories by just capturing a single emotion done candidly. I don’t know if it is good or bad, but I don’t have an ultimate goal as a visual artist. I just want to take great photos and go where my camera (and artworks) will take me. And so far, I am not disappointed,” he narrates.
Rodel is guided by two basic and most important principles a lensman must-have: patience and passion. For him, nothing great is achieved in a hurry and without enthusiasm. He believes this is where he is most passionate about – capturing light through his lens and telling stories through his art.
“The best thing about being a photographer is that your eyes will be trained to see the essence of things beyond the naked eye. And in effect, you will appreciate God’s wisdom better. You will see beauty even in the ugliest subject you could find. That’s what photography has taught me,” he ends.
Reprinted from: Manila Bulletin/Picture Perfect/Published: September 23, 2014