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Magic of Wonder

By Maan D’Asis Pamaran

Iloilo is famous for its soul-satisfying cuisine and friendly people, making it one of the top destinations in the Visayas region. Its geographical location has also earned it the nickname “The Heart of the Philippines.” Through the years, it has also cultivated a vibrant cultural scene, with artists such as Ilonggo painters and poets offeringits audience emotions taken from their province’s pulse and perspective.

This is what Eric Barbosa Jr. has set about capturing through his sojourns in the city, with his works published on Atmos.PH on Facebook. “I document various events, ranging from bike festivals, movie shoots, arts shows, to classical concerts. I guess that is my accomplishment, being a part of these events.”

  • A Candid Portrait of a Devotee (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    A Candid Portrait of a Devotee (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • Tribe Warrior (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    Tribe Warrior (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • Chess Match Between Two Local Market Workers (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    Chess Match Between Two Local Market Workers (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • A Dinagyang Warrior with His Santo Niño (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    A Dinagyang Warrior with His Santo Niño (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • Old Lady Street Vendor During a Blackout In the City (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    Old Lady Street Vendor During a Blackout In the City (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • Quick Snap During a Curated Photo Shoot (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    Quick Snap During a Curated Photo Shoot (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • Vegetable Vendor (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    Vegetable Vendor (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • A Very Young Prospect Balloon Buyer (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    A Very Young Prospect Balloon Buyer (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • Young Balloon Vendor (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    Young Balloon Vendor (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • Tribe Warriors (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    Tribe Warriors (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • Sadsad Festival (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    Sadsad Festival (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • Early Morning at the Market (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    Early Morning at the Market (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • Welder (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    Welder (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • Last Hit of Smoke (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    Last Hit of Smoke (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • Shipyard (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    Shipyard (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • Paraw Regatta Festival (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    Paraw Regatta Festival (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • Jaro Belfry (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    Jaro Belfry (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • Festival Dancer (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    Festival Dancer (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

  • Dinagyang Warriors (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    Dinagyang Warriors (Eric Barbosa Jr.)

    One of his other series deals with murals, interspersed with his street scenes that show everyday life of the dynamic-yet-idyllic Iloilo City. He started off with low-resolution shoots taken from a phone camera before a school project prompted him to use a DSLR for the first time.

    It was a challenge, he recalls, as he had only one to two photos per scene, taken from atop a chair. The excitement mounted as he waited for those photos to be processed. “Seeing the world through a new ‘lens.’ peering at the scene bounded by black on all four sides for the first time is pretty significant if you think about it.” He then started looking at images on the Internet, trying to figure out how they were taken.

    While it was the technicality of photography that attracted him to the art, it is the people in front of the viewfinder that inspires him the most. “I like taking candid street portraits of strangers. When I first learned of what street photography is, I thought this could help me overcome my introversion problem, and it sure did, because taking candid photos of people in the street obliges you to interact and share. I think it safe to say that my favorite subjects are people in their natural habitat. My mission is to capture iconic and unforgettable photos would stand through time.”

    If there is one theme that he would like to highlight in his work, Eric calls it the magic of “wonder.” “I want people to always wonder what is happening in the scene when they see my photos,” he explains and adds that he sometimes feels the need to reach for film because there is a whimsical allure to it.

    As an Ilonggo himself, Eric takes time to help nurture local photography talent through ISPI. “Technically, it stands for Ilonggo Street Photography Initiative, but jokingly we also saythat ISPI is also an Ilonggo pun for ‘SP,’ the short term for street photography. We formed the group, just this January, and our aim is to foster and institute the art of street photography in Iloilo City.”

    “For a street photographer, it’s all about the experience. Street photography forces you to be there and be a part of the scene. I go to public events I wouldn’t normally go, just to have a good scene to photograph,” he says that photography is also a gift, a way for him to escape from the friction of the daily grind. His advice for budding lensmen, such as the ones in his street photography group is: “Use your talent for good.”

     

     



    Source: Manila Bulletin

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