Google Dennis Rito | Blog: 2009

23 December 2009

Thank you!

To all of you who had been following this blog for quite sometime now, thank you very much! Will be off to Antique Province for the Christmas and New Year. Will be back on the 3rd day of January 2010.

Felt a bit sad though that I have to postpone my trip to Albay province for next year to photograph some portraits (and Mayon Volcano which now is very active!).


16 December 2009

It took me a little while to decide between a custom-made and a template-based website. But due to budget constraints, I eventually decided to have a template-based website instead.

Indeed, my workshop with Peter Bialobrzeski and Espen Eichoeffer had been instrumental in helping me find my own 'voice'. I must admit that I was influenced by German photography and all the more I am being drawn to the conceptual approach.

I'll continue to challenge myself and work on several projects I am planning to pursue. Feel free to visit my website. Enjoy!

15 December 2009

Dulce Pinzon

From her series 'Superheroes' which objective is to 'pay homage to these brave and determined men and women that somehow manage, without the help of any supernatural power, to withstand extreme conditions of labor in order to help their families and communities survive and prosper.'

“Superheroes” features Mexican immigrant in New York in a satirical documentary style featuring ordinary men and women in their work environment donning superhero garb, thus raising questions of both our definition of heroism and our ignorance of and indifference to the workforce that fuels our ever-consuming economy.

Dulce Pinzon's work seem to have a semblance with Marc Lathuillière's (which work 'France Face Lost' will be shown in an exhibit next year here in the Philippines).

06 December 2009

Stella Kalaw: Cubao Series

I admire Stella's soft-lit and quiet interiors. Her images are quite inviting too. The chiaroscuro of light in some of her images (above) reminds me of the work of Flemish painters particularly Jan van Eyck.

Art Statement for Cubao Series...

I saw my grandparents once since migrating to America years ago. It was right after I graduated from school in California. My heart ached as I sat next to Lola (grandmother). I held her hand. She had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease and diabetes for years. Before I left, she was still vibrant and it was difficult to see her in this condition. Then Lolo (grandfather) came out from the dining room. I stood up and greeted him with a mano- (I took his hand and pressed it to my forehead). I don't know if he recognized me but I asked how he was doing. All he could mutter was "Ha?" He was hard of hearing. My Lola died in 2002 and my Lolo passed away a week after I took these photographs. Even when I was a child, I hardly knew them despite having spent many birthdays, holidays and vacations together. My memories are few but visiting Cubao resurfaced many that I had forgotten."

View the Cubao Series here.

Visit Stella's blog here.

20 November 2009

On post processing

'Avedon's instructions to his printer' via - Monoscope

I can very well remember when someone posted a comment in one of my photo asking if the vignettes were done in-camera (and not in Photoshop). I replied that, no it's not done in-camera. And the guy posted in reply "Oh, I thought it was done in-camera"

I have nothing against post processing except that, like any other things, it must be done moderately and in a tasteful manner. Lest it'll turn out as a digital art and not a photograph.

17 November 2009

'Last One Out, Please Turn On The Light'

© Richard Nicholson

This project, shot on 4"x5" film, documents London's remaining professional darkrooms. It is based on my nostalgia for a dying craft (there are no young printers). It is in these rooms that printers have worked their magic, distilling the works of photographers such as David Bailey, Anton Corbijn and Nick Knight into a recognisable 'look'.

From: 'Last One Out, Please Turn On The Light'

11 November 2009

Warning: Facebook and MySpace Strip Photo Copyright Data

Some social media sites are less than helpful than others at letting photographers maintain control of their intellectual property, according to a new report. Photographers who take the time to label their photos with copyright metadata may find it's all for nothing, since Facebook and MySpace erase it anyway.

A report published this week by the American Society of Media Photographers examines the terms of service (TOS) for Facebook, Photobucket, Flickr, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter.

None of these social media sites claim ownership of user-submitted images, and all of their TOS agreements have been scrutinized before. But the ASMP report finds fresh reasons for concern.

Continue Reading here.

Related link:
Best Practice Recommendations for Social Networking Sites

Found via: The Click

10 November 2009

Case Study Homes by Peter Bialobrzeski

Described as "one of the most significant movements in post-World War II architecture" , the Case Study House Program "included the building and design of 36 experimental modern prototypes single-family homes in Southern California." The Program's announcement stated that it was "important that the best material available be used in the best possible way in order to arrive at a 'good' solution of each problem, which in the over-all program will be general enough to be of practical assistance to the average American in search of a home in which he can afford to live." Case Study House No. 22, "L.A.'s original dream home", was made famous by photographer Julius Shulman. The houses in Peter Bialobrzeski's Case Study Homes are also "good solutions", affordable to live in, but they lack the cool and glamour of Case Study House No. 22.

Continue reading 'Review: Case Study Homes by Peter Bialobrzeski' over at Conscientious

I don't like Photography

I see fine art photography as hemmed in by three ‘P’s: painting, poverty, and Pentax. From its inception, photography established itself as art by trying to move into the space abandoned by painting.

Continue reading "I don't like Photography"

Found via Hippolyte Bayard on Facebook.

Fine Art Photographers

Importantly, though, these fine art photographers also have a mission and a sense of purpose based on craft, ingenuity and often a desire to experiment. Their work and the techniques they use to achieve their goals are often different from photojournalists'. I saw photos reproduced in traditional silver prints, chromogenic prints, large-scale inkjet prints, electron microscopy, gum bichromate-cyanotype prints. Their passion for what they do is every bit as strong as that of photojournalists. They, too, look for images they can freeze in time, but they do it differently. What they shoot is not necessarily of the moment. They spend time, sometimes hours, often days, searching for an image, unlike the immediacy that a photojournalist lives by when he or she is on the front lines, a battleground, a car crash, a fire or what is seemingly benign, a news conference or a sit-down interview.

Continue reading "Fine Art Photographers" by Ron Steinman (Digital Journalist)

Via: The Click

06 November 2009

Rare Color Photographs from Farm Security Administration (FSA)

Photo by Jack Delano. Sharecroppers chop cotton on rented land near White Plains, Greene County, Georgia, 1941

I was surprised to see these 14 rare color photographs from the FSA published by PDN recently since most of the photographs I have seen in photography books and even in online archives are in black and white. It was interesting to note that these photographs were shot during the American great depression era, sometime between 1930s-40s.

It seem to me that some of these photographs have a contemporary feel in them and it seem hard to make a connection that these photographs were from a bygone era except for some visible signs (i.e. clothing/ hair style, etc). Some even argue that these photos were Photoshopped! You be the judge. Head on to PDN and don't forget to scroll down on the comments section for an interesting historical discourse.

Related links:
Farm Security Administration
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection

05 November 2009

As it is: A Collective Portrait

As it is, the collective output from Espen Eichhöfer workshop is now online. Espen Eichhöfer was invited by Goethe Institut – Manila last September, to conduct a photography workshop on portrait photography at Silverlens Gallery as its contribution to its regional project, City Scapes. Goethe Institut focused on the Philippines as it was the only country in the Southeast Asian region that enthusiastically responded to the first workshop.

My grateful appreciation to Goethe-Manila, Silverlens Gallery, Espen Eichoefer, Henry Bateman for helping me in crafting my artist statement, my co-workshoppers, my friends who had helped in linking me up to possible subjects and most specially to various individuals who had willingly participated in my project. Thank you so much!

20 October 2009

Day Four

Dayfour is a magazine of personal work, mainly by photographers. Like any magazine, it has a variety of contributors, runs collections of (visual) articles, and is printed and published periodically. Some people call it a book, because, well, it looks like a book. In fact it is produced more like an album: issues are put out once a year, each one built around a theme. Dayfour magazine is printed digitally in a very small, numbered, limited edition (we don't have much money). It is produced annually so we can put lots of thought into each issue (and carry on with the day job). The worldwide publishing industry does a great deal of damage to the environment, and so dayfour makes a virtue of being small and an effort to be beautiful.

15 October 2009

Online Symposium: Seeking Justice - Social Activism through Journalism & Documentary Practice

The Centre for Documentary Practice invites you to logon and join the world’s first online journalism and documentary conference on October 15th 2009, starting 12:01am (GMT).

Speakers include Paul Fusco, Ed Kashi, Jodi Bieber, Marcus Bleasdale, Shahidul Alam, Gary Knight, Robin Hammond, Adam Ferguson, Travis Beard, Michael Coyne, Masaru Goto, Jack Picone, Megan Lewis, and more to be confirmed.

On October 15th we will connect an international community of documentary practitioners and journalists for one day, to share stories, to stimulate discussion and debate about our discipline, and to inspire each other to continue the fight for justice.

Register now for this free online conference.

05 October 2009


Neither of us was spared from Ketsana's wrath last September 25 (Saturday). I was in Gil Puyat Avenue for a meeting with a supplier when I received an SMS from my sister asking me to go home and help them salvage our belongings. It was also supposedly the last day of our workshop with Espen Eichhoefer at Silverlens. I managed to take the MRT up to Cubao. On my way, I saw cars and buses sank in flood waters near Camp Crame, with some men still swimming near the Camp perimeter fence. What made worse was when I reached Cubao - I can't find a jeep and Farmers also is closed so there's no way for me to pass through to LRT Line 2 which will take me to J.Ruiz Station (the nearest station from where we live). With that, I decided to walk in flooded streets up until Partas Bus Terminal. Still, no jeep was in sight. I was gripped with fear as I failed to advise them (my wife and sister) to switch off the main fuse box. Feeling frustrated to go home, I managed to hitch on a motorbike (thanks to that kind-hearted man who was also rushing to be with his wife). Drenched in rain while clutching some prints (which was meant to be shown at the workshop), I reached the street corner which leads to our house - only to find that the street is flooded in 3-4 meter-deep floodwaters. I was feeling helpless as I am thinking what is happening to them. The creek nearby had its water spilled towards the street leading to the apartment building and the current was so strong it's impossible for me to get in. I stood by as the water level goes deeper.

Many of the older people are telling me that those flood is the most worst kind they had experienced in their lifetime (they were born and raised in the Barangay where I live). A little later, my brother in-law arrived, who walked from SM Megamall all the way to our place. We spent the night on the street walking to and fro waiting for the water to subside. Finally we managed to get in at 3am the following day, in a chilling chest-deep flood waters. We also found out through the marking on the wall that only 1-foot remained before the flood waters hit our ceiling. My wife and my sister was able to salvage my camera bag, books and a lot of other equipments (but not my film cameras). They told me that the water was quick so they weren't able to salvage all our personal documents, ref, books and some clothes. I am sincerely grateful too to our neighbors who helped out my wife and my sister.

Ad Board

An unknown bystander scans the various ads posted in a university bulletin board that is seemingly has a life of its own. This image was photographed in a commercial center inside University of the Philippines - Diliman.

This image was also featured in Black Snapper Magazine.

19 September 2009


I was at the frame shop this morning and while waiting for the job to finish, I decide to hang around outside. At the back of my mind was the thought of the hanging deadline for the workshop. As if searching for a character for a movie, I scanned the multitude of faces – people from all walks of life - passing outside the shop. I almost catched the character I wanted but quickly slipped out of my sight. I waited. Then the same man, wearing long hair, a lot of tattoo and several studs on his face, came back. With a slight hesitation, I followed him and before he can make a turn on the other street, I hurriedly introduced myself and explained about my project. I was told to follow him on his shop and I obliged. He turned out to be a tattoo artist and has a shop near the area. We exchanged numbers and parted ways. I’ll be photographing him tonight.

17 September 2009

Espen Eichhoefer: Family and Photographs

Kjell Und Vinai, 2003

The Silverlens Gallery and Goethe Institut invite you to an Artist Talk and Slideshow by visiting editorial photographer Espen Eichhoefer. Here in the Philippines on a grant from the Goethe Institut, Eichhoefer has been conducting a workshop on Portraiture in Silverlens Gallery. A workshop that received an overwhelming number of applicants.His talk will focus on photography of family. "Private family pictures always produce positive images, confirming that these people belong together", he says. "But what of the possibilities of different stories to contend?", he questions.

The talk is open to the public. RSVP required at 816-0044 (Leonore).

09 September 2009

Workshop with Espen Eichhoefer

Last September 3 was the first day of our (portraiture) workshop with Espen Eichhofer held at Silverlens Gallery. I am grateful indeed that I am one among the nine participants who was accepted in the said workshop. Isa Lorenzo, Creative Director at Silverlens shared that there were 70+ who applied online however, workshop sponsor Goethe Manila set a limit and chose only nine.

After Espen shared some of his work and his way of working, each of us were given 10 minutes to do the same. On my part, I presented an initial edit of a personal work (serial portraits) which I started last June of this year. Since its a workshop on portraiture, it seems practical for me to continue on my serial portraits and have it finished as my output for the workshop.

My project was slowly taking shape now and I hope to finish everything on or before September 23rd.

24 July 2009

Black Snapper Magazine

The Black Snapper is a project created by designer Frank Kloos and documentary photographer Diederik Meijer, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The Black Snapper aims to create an online community that will inspire photography professionals and photography enthusiasts worldwide.

Hope to see an eclectic mix of photography from 'unrepresented' regions of the world like the Southeast Asia.

You may sign-up for updates/ newsletter here.

21 July 2009

The fight back begins here...

British Journal of Photography has launched a campaign to counter the rising paranoia that targets every photographer who shoot images in public places.

We are calling all photographers, amateur or professional, to join our protest by taking part in a visual campaign, designed to raise awareness about increasing restrictions on shooting in tFhe public realm, which together with abuse of police powers and increasing hostility from the public at large, is impacting on photographers every day, in the UK and abroad.

The 'Not A Crime' campaign has already got the backing of two of Britain's leading photographers, Stuart Franklin and Chris Steele-Perkins of Magnum Photos. We invite you to join them by posting a self-portrait of yourself together with a sheet of white card with the phrases 'Not a crime' or 'I am not a terrorist' (in your first language) to Details on how to do so can be found at

Read more here.

17 July 2009

A Camera as Big as a Truck!

© Shaun Irving

Shawn Irving shoot photographs inside his camera: an old postal delivery truck converted to a fixed-focal-length camera with a singlet (two large lenses, one convex, one concave) lens. The shutter is a sheet of metal that slides between the two lenses to block out the light. The truck is called Peanut, perhaps the modern version of The Mammoth.

Read more via Lens & Wired.

Shaun's work can be viewed via Cameratruck.

16 July 2009

World Press Photo 2009 Exhibition | Manila


The Podium
Sat 01 Aug 09 - Exhibition open for public
Mon 03 Aug 09 - 18:30 h. Official opening
Sat 08 Aug 09 - Last day of exhibition

The Block, SM North Edsa
Sun 09 Aug 09 - Exhibition open for public
Mon 10 Aug 09 - Official opening
Wed 19 Aug 09 - Last day of exhibition

Mall of Asia
Thu 20 Aug 09 - Exhibition open for public
Thu 20 Aug 09 - 18:30 h. Official opening
Sun 23 Aug 09 - Last day of exhibition


Monday - Thursday : 10:00-21:00
Friday - Sunday : 10:00-22:00

Exhibition is being organized by Ateneo de Manila University Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo and supported by SM Malls/ SM Prime Holdings, and Unilever Philippines.

You may also view the 2009 winners' gallery via WPP Website.

07 July 2009

Photolucida's Critical Mass 2009

L to R: Andy Freeberg, Céline Clanet, and Priya Kambli

Critical Mass 2009 is now open for registration!

Critical Mass is a program about exposure and community. The idea is simple- photographers (from anywhere) submit a 10 image portfolio for $75. This work then gets pre-screened by a committee of approximately 20-25 great jurors and from there, 175 top Finalists are determined. These top finalists then pay an additional submission fee and their work goes on to a jury of approximately 200 of the world's best curators, editors, and professionals who have agreed to view and vote on these finalists. From these votes, two or three photographers receive book awards and once the monographs are published, everyone who enters and reviews will receive copies of the books.

Registration is up until July 22nd!

Read more on Photolucida for details,

04 July 2009

Flickr & Twitter Integration

Flickr now lets you Tweet out any photos directly from the site (via Flickr2Twitter), and works for both photos you've upoaded and other photos you find on the Flickr Site.

Found via TechCrunch.

'Staged' Photojournalism Wins Prize

"We pushed the clichés to the limit. We thought the whole thing was so hackneyed that it could never win ... We wanted to call into question the inner-workings of the attitude of the kind of media which portrays human distress with complacency and voyeurism" - Guillaume Chauvin and Remi Hubert, art students at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs of Strasbourg who recently won Grand Prix du Photoreportage Etudiant- source

View photo reportage via Paris Match.

More discussions via Lightstalkers

Related links:
British Journal of Photography
French Photo Hoax
Le Figaro (French)
Fake Photojournalism wins prize

01 July 2009

Only in the Philippines

Sorry for quite a long hiatus. Here are some photographs I took during the recent feast of the City of San Juan (this happens yearly though) where even I wasn't able to escape a bucket-full of water :).

22 June 2009

Blind Boys is a relatively new online 'space to see South Asian Photography in a new light.' Photographers from Southeast Asia are encouraged to submit their picture stories, click here for details.

27 May 2009

On Self-replicating Pictures

Why do people photograph something that doesn't interest them? What is the point of making a name for yourself from something that holds no interest to you, of doing something just because some German or American or Japanese or British obsessive did it first but in a better way? What's the point of that? People should photograph what intrigues them, what fascinates them, what is personal to them...

Found via Colin Pantall's blog

Stephen Mayes, Director of VII and World Press Photo Secretary for six years, shares some insights in his keynote address in this year's World Press Photo which I think is very much relevant of today's photography practice (not just photojournalism). Audio recording of said address can also be listened to via Lens Culture.

Related links:
World Press Photo: 470,214 Pictures Later
World Press Photo 09 by Paul Lowe

Social Media Matters for Photographers

I still don't have a website of my own which is why I rely heavily in Social Networking Sites to promote my work, get to know other photographers' work, solicit feedback & comments, collaborate with other photographers, 'meet' new friends etc. Obviously, these are the reasons why I have signed-up in a couple of sites including - Facebook, Multiply, Flickr, Lightstalkers, Plaxo, Lnkedin, Friendster (which I seldom use now because of Facebook), and in micro blogging sites as well - Twitter, Plurk, etc.

Jim Goldstein shares some interesting insights here.

Where We’re From

Where We’re From is a project focusing on where it is that the selected photographers have grown up, lived, or are currently living. The project allows viewers an inside look at places that the artists have felt at home; letting people take a closer look at the lives of the photographers through their images and words.

Lots of interesting images here.

25 May 2009

Kagyat: A Photo Exhibit (HK)

One of my work titled 'Video Gamers' (shown above) was included in a group photo exhibit called 'Kagyat' which will be shown in The Peak Galleria, The Peak, Hongkong. 'Kagyat' is being organized by Philippine Arts and Cultural Society (Hong Kong) as part of the 4th Philippine Arts Festival (Hong Kong) 2009. Show will open on June 6 up until June 30, 2009.

Among the participating photographers are:

Edwin Bacasmas
Bien Bautista
George Cabig, Jr.
Neil Daza
Angelo De Silva
Francis Galbones
Alberto Garcia
Luis Liwanag
Aldrin Monsod
Dante Peralta
Dennis Rito
Mario Rivera
Edgar Tapan
Donald Tapan
George Tapan
Harvey Tapan
Edwin Tuyay
Chito Vecina
Veejay Villafranca

Should you be in HK, please do drop by!

08 May 2009

5th PopDev Media Awards

The Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) announces the Call for Entries to the 5th PopDev Media Awards.

The contest is open to all print, broadcast, online, photo, and citizen journalists nationwide. Entries must deal with population and human development issues such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), public health (especially reproductive health), reproductive health policy and governance, economic growth and poverty, climate change, housing and urban development, sustainable development, environment, education, gender, maternal health, adolescent reproductive health, family planning, food security, reproductive rights, migration, and population ageing.

For the Photojournalism category, awards will be given for Best Single Photo and Best Photo Essay.

Citations will also be given for blog (text) and photo blogs (single photo and photo essay) in recognition of the significant contribution of citizen journalists in the informed discussion of population and human development issues. Entries from professional journalists may be considered as long as these were posted in their personal blogs.

Entries should have been published, aired, or posted between August 16, 2008 and August 15, 2009 in a publication or network that has been in existence for at least one year, or in a blog site that has been created at least since January 1, 2008. Deadline for submission of entries is on August 31, 2009.

Interested parties may send as many entries in a chosen category. Winners will receive a cash prize, trophy, certificate, and a chance to go into a study trip to a PLCPD project area in the Philippines.

Complete details here and here.

04 May 2009

Pacquiao phenomenon

I am always amazed whenever Manny Pacquiao had a fight on the ring - the world stops, quite literally, especially for many Filipinos including this family who managed to watch the fight at The Arena, San Juan.

On the eve of Manny Pacquiao's bout with Ricky Hatton, I was able to watch the Pacquiao-Hatton 24/7 in GMA7 which gave me a gist of the fight the following day. In the documentary, it appears that Hatton lacks sparring training while Manny has been doing that aside from the routine training he undergoes. With that, I had an inkling Pacquiao might win against Hatton. And contrary to what Hatton's boastful coatch Floyd Mayweather, Sr. had predicted, Pacquiao won against Hatton by TKO. Indeed, boxing is a language of the fist that's best delivered on the ring!

29 April 2009

Simon says

Should a budding photographer photo assist? Intern? Have a day job and shoot on his or her own? Work at a newspaper in any capacity? Try to freelance? Align himself or herself with a wire service?

“All of the above,” answers Simon, as there is no one formula for survival. But what Simon stresses as essential is to always work on a personal project, learn from criticism, never give up the copyright to photographs and be persistent. “There is a fine line between persistence and a restraining order.”
- Steve Simon (via PDN)

28 April 2009


I find a lot of galleries, news agencies, publishers, photographers and even friends using Twitter. The service is quite useful in promoting a blog (or a new blog post), product or services, etc.

Just in case you have one, feel free to add me.

Here's also a resource page on the use of Twitter (courtesy of Charo Nuguid).

14 April 2009

Tingguian Wedding

I was very fortunate to have been invited by a good friend Philian Weygan to document a Tingguian Marriage Rite in Manabo, Abra last March 28th. Marriage are traditionally called a 'Boda', though a local assigned to me by Tingguian elders as my guide argued that since the couple had already been married in the U.S., the rite then is called 'Patan-aw' not a Boda.

Here are some of the photographs I shot...

Published also via:

07 April 2009

Peter Bialobrzeski: Case Study Homes

I can very well remember when Peter allowed us to preview some of these series he photographed in Baseco, a shanty town near the Port of Manila, during the workshop. What strikes me was that, while it appears simplistic, Peter portrayed conflicting contrasts - beautiful photography versus life's harsh reality.

Peter Bialobrzeski shot the Case Study Homes series at the Baseco compound (“Bataan Shipyard Corporation Compound”), a squatter camp located at the mouth of the River Pasig near the Port of Manila, in February 2008. This neighborhood, 300 ha of unsafe, unstable subsoil of a former dump site, is home to an estimated 70,000 people. Around 45 per cent of the more than 11 million inhabitants of Greater Manila currently live in such squatter camps and slums. The pictures of this photographic investigation follow a strict composition. The self-made shacks of old slats and posts, covers, roofing cardboard, corrugated metal and all kinds of cloth fill out each picture in its entirety, like in a portrait. In many cases the photographer chose a slanted front view, displaying both the front and one side wall of the house. Pure front perspectives are rare, as are two or more buildings in one picture. The soft natural light of the clouded sky makes for even lighting, without stark light and shadow contrasts. Pictures showing people beside the buildings are the exception (as in one case, where a smiling resident sits in the doorframe of his shack, pointing out the small size of the building; but even he can be made out only at second sight).

Bialobrzeski’s approach with the Case Study Homes reminds one of the photographic series of Bernd and Hilla Becher, who created the paradigmatic works on the typology of “Nomadic architecture”, especially industrial buildings. Bialobrzeski, however, counters the Bechers’ demonstratively objective position in several ways: The topic itself – the shack built from gathered materials – defies the rule of the series or type. These buildings bear an anarchical, piratic, improvised appearance. Beyond walls and roofs, there are no laws governing the composition of a typical Baseco house. Every builder-inhabitant finds his or her own solutions for their abodes by use of what only looks like rubbish. The kind of pile dwelling typically found in Asia does seem to play a certain role, though.

What is more, Peter Bialobrzeski here as in all of his previous series uses color photography. From a Westerner’s perspective the makeshift dwellings with their colorful tarpaulins and converted advertising billboards turn into works of art, they are collages of color and diversity. Despite this artistic staging it remains very clear, however, that the pictures document a lot of people’s real living circumstances. Viewers of Bialobrzeski’s earlier series have experienced this before; the artful and multicolored compositions of Asian megacities in the Neontigers (2000-2002) series, for instance, were highly attractive on a visual level, while the reality of life depicted in them alienated many a viewer. Case Study Homes in this sense complements not only the Neontigers series, but also Lost in Transition (2004-2005) and the nostalgic Heimat series (2002-2005).

Read more here.

To view Peter's complete series, click here.

Peter Bialobrzeski's Case Study Home is part of 'Case Studies ' (with Oliver Boberg) currently on exhibit at LA Galerie, Lothar Albrecht, Domstrasse 6, 60311 Frankfurt, Germany. Exhibition is until the 23 May 2009.

24 March 2009

Jazz Singer

Skarlet Romero, Jazz Singer, Ten02 Bar 20 March 2009

19 March 2009

On TOC's

I have observed that there are lots of photographers (including me!) who don't have their own sites hosted under their own domain name. Many still prefer to utilize 'free' sites (photo-sharing, blogs & social networking sites) which means that their work is being hosted for free and subject themselves (and their work) into terms unknown to them sometimes.

Of course, nothing beats having your own site/ blog hosted under your domain but if this is unavoidable, it is advisable to read first the terms of use (also known as copyright policy or TOC) before uploading photographs or creative work into any 'free 'sites:

Blog/ Photoblog

Photo Sharing Sites

Online Portfolio

Social Networking Sites

It is good that photographers are now aware of their rights and have remained vigilant on the issue such as the case of Facebook and Google Chrome.

06 March 2009

Net 25 TRIBE's Earth & Art Exhibit

Some of my photographs (3) is included in the Net 25 Earth & Art Exhibit on SM North Activity Center. The event will be on 10 March 2009 from 10AM-9PM. Should you have time, please drop by and say hi.

To know more about the event, please click here.

03 March 2009

Creative Economies, Asia-Europe Emerging Photographers' Forum

The theme of the Asia-Europe Emerging Photographers’ Forum 2009 is centered on the topic of “Creative Economies”. Twenty emerging photographers will portray indirect and alternative economic outlooks (gift economies, social cooperation, sustainable economies etc.) in Asia and Europe. Through these narratives the photographer’s will open different spaces of imagination, metaphors, fictions, reality and advantages within the context of the current economic crisis. How can creative photography impact the perception of shifting economies in the globalised world and in which ways can social cooperation and creativity meet in the space of indeterminate economic capacity? The emerging photographers will exchange their photographic narratives from Asia and Europe conceptualizing documentary and digital photographic formats. To promote future visions and to overcome global financial instability at the local level this process will show the diverse range of possibilities of the medium of photography.

The Format of the Forum will consists in two phases: the first, interactive collaboration will be taking place through an online exchange between the participants and the resource persons, and the second phase will consists of an intensive week in Kuala Lumpur, where photography collaborations will be complemented with dialogues focused on the exploration and experimentation of artistic photography in the context and manifestation of the creative economies with Peter Bialobrzeski, Photographer, Professor for Photography, University of the Arts, Bremen, (Germany), Shahidul Alam (Bangladesh), director of “Chobi Mela” - International Festival of Photography, Alex Moh (Malaysia) initiator of the Kuala Lumpur International Biennale, Yee I- Lann (Malaysia) multimedia artist and many more.

Continue reading here.

PDNs 30 (2009)

Found via PDN.

These days, the role of photographers in our culture seems to shift constantly thanks to a never-ending stream of technological, conceptual and economic influences. Additionally, the hurdles to creating and distributing photographic images continue to disappear, inviting some worthy new voices into the conversation, but also creating a din that makes it increasingly difficult for talented photographers to be heard (and to build sustainable careers).

View Gallery here.

25 February 2009


I've been pigeon-holed on my photography for quite sometime and early this year, I've been thinking of doing a personal project - a simple project that can be done during my spare time or when my wife don't bug me to go home early after work.

So after much thought and a week of initial research, I decided to shoot photographs last night. I am still exploring how the work would unfold.

Sorry folks, just can't post photos yet.

18 February 2009

Vignettes' word-frequency cloud

Here's a word-frequency cloud from Wordl based on this blog's URL. Wordl can generate 'word cloud' from either text or RSS feed you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. Try it for yourself!

13 February 2009

Copyright is for Losers

Got an interesting post by Rupert Gray (Swan Turton Solicitors) over at ShahidulNews...

... Banksy’s schizophrenic approach to copyright symbolises the conflict, the tension, between the desire for artists to find their way into the minds of all people, and the need for those artists (and their agents) to maintain a monopoly in order to earn a living. This question, how society produces and distributes its information, literature and art, goes to the very core of freedom. It is an international issue - who gets to say what, to whom? Who has access to it, who gets paid? The answers determine political outcomes. They determine wealth. They determine the extent to which an individual is able to play a central role in altering his or her own life. All this is governed by the law of intellectual property.

... Policy makers and their advisors regarded the ownership of intellectual property as they did motor cars: you owned it exclusively, and when you lent it to somebody else - or granted a licence if it is was copyright - it was on strict terms. The thinking was that the more it was protected the more artist & writers would produce their works.

Thus, Rupert Gray concludes:

It is now critically important to ensure that your name is tagged to every one of your images on the web. Your paternity right is now more valuable than your copyright. It is the key to the management of your reputation as a photographer, and it is that reputation which will generate your income; by the same token, and equally important, tagging your name will prevent it becoming an orphan work.

Secondly technology. Not my field, to say the least of it, but programmes (on subscription) are now available to trace your image wherever it appears or is accessed on the web. They use advanced identification and algorithms to identify your images by the composition of its pixels, so its appearance on the internet sends an instant notification to the owner of the copyright. In theory you can then ask for a fee, but the real point is that it works the other way round: publishers can use it to identify copyright holders, and will need to if they are to take advantage of the orphan works legislation.

Thirdly new business models are arriving on the scene. On-line agencies aren’t just stock agencies; some of them commission work and actively engage with publishers. As the number of bricks & mortar agencies (and publishers) dwindle, undercut by fast-moving & shrewd on-line players with minimal overheads, the market-place is changing. In change there is opportunity. And more the point, it does not matter whether you are here in Dalhmundi Bangladesh or in London’s Covent Garden. The only thing that matters is the quality of your image and the content – and accuracy – of your text.

Continue reading here.

Found via Shahidul News

20 January 2009

Conversation with DPP

I, including other participating photographers from the Philippines in the Mapping Invisible Cities Project was interviewed last month for a magazine feature. Hereunder is our conversation:

Digital Photographer Philippines: Tell us about your chosen subject for the workshop. Why did you pick it? Why did you think it was important to include in the Mapping Invisible Cities Project?

Dennis Rito: I chose one of the ubiquitous pink overpass along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) as my subject. Because I think, along with the throng of commuters walking on it and the rush hour traffic below, this serves as a visual representation of one's experience and ironies of living in a city particularly in Urban Manila. How I approached this project was a departure from my 'traditional' way of looking at things as I turned my subject into a visual metaphor. Thus, I consider 'Organized Chaos' as my first conceptual work.

Honestly, I don't know what to expect during the first stage of the workshop and neither am I expecting that Goethe-Institut have plans for the output. It was made apparent towards the end of the workshop when Peter announced about Goethe's plan of having our work included among the works of other participating photographers from Bangkok, Hanoi, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore. With that, I am grateful to Goethe Institut, Peter Bialobrzeski and all the people behind the Mapping Invisible Cities Project.

It is important to be included in the Project since I see my work as my own contribution to photographic investigation 'of the unseen and unnoticed ordinariness hidden in our cities'.

DPP: What was your approach, how did you go from concept to the final images?

DSR: As my usual approach in doing a project, I did a little research and explored several ideas based on the given theme (but mindful not to replicate what my co-participant in the workshop does). As I go along, it became more evident what 'story' I want to pursue.

I also made it a point to be aware of the end result I wanted to achieve - what I want to communicate, and tried to work towards that end. Initially, I thought of showing the effects of urbanization and began photographing informal settlers living under a bridge near the old Paco railway station. I have befriended some of the settlers in the area and photographed the place at least on two separate occasions. But limited time and access (from my workplace) to the area proved to be a challenge. So I decided to drop the idea and think of another subject which is more accessible.

I realized there are another bridge/ walkway near my place of work that is more accessible almost any time of the day. Thus my original subject was replaced by another - one of the pink walkway along EDSA. I love the contrast between commuters, vendors selling various wares and the vehicular traffic underneath. I was drawn to this contrasting elements and tried to capture it in a way that would best communicate my own experience of living in a city particularly Urban Manila - where you strive to find order amidst the chaos of city life. The blurring of some elements (people & cars) moving across the space was my deliberate intent to suggest motion, and add a feeling of being dizzy.

DPP: Tell us about the process of refining your vision/your work with Peter's guidance.

DSR: Every time we meet for the workshop, Peter asked how our work progresses and encouraged everyone to talk about his/ her work. Discussions revolved around the images presented. It is also during these sessions where he helps refine our vision through peer to peer critiquing and cross-referenced to other known photographer's work of the past.

As the workshop came to an end, then came final editing. It is during the editing process where each of us are asked to present the tight edit of our work. Based on our story, Peter would give advice which images to dispose and retain, which comes first as the opening and ending, then work on the in-betweens to complete the visual narrative. Thereby refining what I/we want to say.

DPP: Did you feel you had freedom to pursue your own vision in the workshop?

DSR: Absolutely! Peter gave me the freedom to pursue my own vision through his constructive criticism. I particularly like Peters' style of teaching since it's not so much of a teacher-student mode. Rather, Peter acts as a facilitator and clarifies what we want to 'say' by being critical of our work.

As the workshop and the project progresses, each is given time to express their thoughts on the visual language of a particular photo thereby creating a leveling off among the participants and allow us to learn from each other.

DPP: What was the most valuable lesson you learned in the workshop?

DSR: I learned a lot from Peter in terms of the thought process that goes into doing a project. It was, by far, the most information-packed photo workshop I've ever attended to date which is why I always look forward to attending the workshop then. But most of all, the most valuable lesson I learned from Peter was that it's important to be critical of your own work and always make a point in the project you pursue. Most importantly (if I may borrow Peter's words), 'do not attempt to only show what it looks like, but try to communicate what it might feel like. You have to really 'smell' the images.'.

Excerpts of the interview appear on Digital Photographer Philippines Issue No. 23 'Urban Expression: The Ultimate guide for shooting the Metro.' Thanks to Dariel & Cathy Quiogue, Senior Writers at Digital Photographer Philippines.

13 January 2009

Are you willing to shoot for us for free?

A staff (no, I won't name names) of a local magazine publisher sent me an sms yesterday:

Hi Dennis. This is xxxx from 100 Magazine. We got your message at Multiply (a social networking site where I sent privately my expression of interest to contribute photographs). We have a feature on F&B of xxxxx Hotel and we'd like to get you as our photographer for this. Are you willing to shoot for us for free? :) Thanks!

No, this wasn't the first time I got a similar offer. Prior to this, a regional (Asian) travel magazine contacted and asked me the same. And I wonder why they want the work done for FREE? Aren't they making profit from their publishing venture? What about the writers and editors, are they also not being paid?

Instead of feeling repulsive, I inquired further and asked a couple of questions. I wanted to know what do I gain in working for free. I was told that they provide bylines (along with the writer) and that they also provide a complimentary copy. Lastly, I inquired if I'll have the copyright to my work, both published and unpublished (assuming that I've done the work for free). I was informed that copyright of published photos belong to the magazine publishers and that copyright of unpublished photos will be mine. What?!

Obviously, it's unfair and I can see a double jeopardy - they want the job done without spending any centavo and wanted to have the copyright of published photos?! I said that I am willing to negotiate on the usage rights but not the copyright. I am aware that when I give them my copyright, it's the end of the road for me. I cannot even sell them as stock images later thus no profit shall be made whatsoever.

A day have passed and I got a reply via SMS the following day. The staff said that the publication understands my concern and that maybe they may get me for a different assignment. Now, I don't think that solves the problem.

Edwin Tuyay, a veteran photojournalist and Reggie Fernando were also kind enough to offer some insights too (thank you very much!). Edwin said this practice has kept him from shooting for local magazines. Now, I wonder how many magazine publishers in the Philippines are doing this kind of unfair practice? Is this the 'standard practice' in shooting for the local glossies?

Do you have any similar experience with (local) magazine publishers?

01 January 2009

Happy New Year!

I haven't posted any since my last post. Sorry for that. Spent my holidays with my family back home in Albay (Bicol) and got back to Manila in time for the New Year. Here's a photograph I snapped last night at the rooftop of the neighborhood where I live. New Year celebration in the Philippines won't be complete without firecrackers and blasted fingers.