Hi, I’m Brian Dys — a photographer from the inside looking out · a composer entangled in electronic music · a UX designer · a spouse, a parent, & everything in between.
It has been a while since I took a walk outside to the public market of Cavite City. All I had was my 50mm lens (Canon EF Lens 50mm f1.8 II). Compared to the 18-55mm lens (Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 II), this is less versatile because I am the one who has to move to or away from the subject. I even nearly got hit by a pedicab because I got too far from the pavement while composing a shot.
People just went on minding their business as if wanting to be captured candidly. There were less pesky street kids who hang around wherever I went. I think the marketplace is already used to seeing me there occasionally (except for a DVD store owner who became commotive upon seeing the camera).
I waited for certain people and vehicles to pass by a scene before taking the shot. Most of the time, I positioned myself on the other side of the street from where the subjects were.
It was Sunday so most of the establishments were closed. Situated on the right is Dr. Yu’s clinic. I remember when I was about to die due to a dog bite, my father had me checked up here before letting me say my last prayer. The diagnosis was vertigo.
Nobody wants to buy this lot. I have seen this ad for the longest time.
Nothing changes on this part of Cavite City. The business central was busy as always. This is where pedicab drivers hangout while waiting for passengers.
They like to be on the spotlight. Sometimes they will push someone to be the subject then laugh at him while being photographed. Nevertheless, nobody (almost) hated my guts for poking the camera on their faces.
What you will see on the sidewalk, on every corner, are jewelry repair booths, watch repair booths, and umbrella and shoe repairers. Commonly, there is 999 on their mini-workshop. Maybe triple 9 is good luck for business establishments. Or have they already sold their souls to the devil?
Aside from the chunk of jeepneys parading Cavite City, the baby bus or mini-bus is one of the reliable means of transportation we have to reach beyond the outskirts of the city. It seems like a hybrid of a bus and a jeep. Busney does not sound good.
Aida’s is an old school beauty parlor. Nowadays, it is just a venue for pedicure and manicure services. This is one of my personal attractions in Cavite City public market because of its preserved 80s look. It came to being old-fashioned because of their belief that renovating the place will lose its luck. Almost fifty percent of the photographs were taken here.
It was already dark outside. It was a good thing to have f1.8 of aperture in my lens. The low-light condition was more bearable. While walking past Aida’s, I noticed that Central Barbershop was converted to some tiangge. It was an old-fashioned barbershop. There is a feeling of loss every time I see old establishments shut down for good. Unique Barbershop, though not as old as Central, sports a Fully Air Conditioned No Brownout sign.
Model: Canon EOS 350D Digital
Lens: Canon EF Lens 50mm f1.8 II
From the original camera files, I edited the photographs using Adobe Photoshop CS2 in these following steps:
- Background Layer converted to Layer 0
- Straighten using photographic horizontal / vertical references (this is optional)
- Canvas Resize to 460 x 306
- Image Resize (equivalent to image cropping)
- Crop – Cropped Area: Delete
- Auto Contrast
- Shadow / Highlight (default settings)
- Fade 50%
- Unsharp Mask (default settings)
- Fade 50%
- Neat Image – Preset: Remove Only Half of Noise
- Auto Contrast
- Save As JPEG – Quality: 12, Format Options: Baseline ("Standard")
After these, I edited the JPEGs using Adobe Lightroom Public Beta 3 in these following steps:
- Develop Module – Linear Contrast Preset
- Develop Module – Lens Vignetting – Amount: -75, Midpoint: 25
- Export – File Format: JPEG, Quality: 100, Resolution: 72
Bakit ang mga pinsan ko, pinapayagan ng nanay nila na maligo sa ulan, ako, hindi.
Dumungaw na lang ako sa bintana habang pinapanood ko silang naglalaro sa bakuran namin habang malamig ang buhos ng ulan.
Tinabihan ako ng nanay ko at kinumusta. Malungkot na mukha lang ang isinagot ko sa kanya.
Kumukulog, kumikidlat. Hinatak ako ng nanay ko para yumuko sa ilalim ng mesa. Nakita ko ang dila ng kidlat na bumungad sa bintana na kanina kong kinaroroonan.
Tag-ulan. Tag-hirap kami. Nasanay ako na taun-taon ay ibinibili ako ng mga magulang ko ng bagong sapatos para sa pasukan. Ngunit noong darating na pasukan ay lumang sapatos ko pa rin ang aking gagamitin. Nakanganga na nga at gusto akong belatan.
Isang umagang malakas ang buhos ng ulan. Kumuha si mama ng dalawang plastik na supot at isinuot sa paa ko pagkatapos ng medyas. Nilagyan ng goma para hindi maalis. Isinuot ang sapatos. Para daw hindi mabasa ang medyas ko sa basa ng ulan. Nakangangang sapatos, lululon ng tubig-baha.
Okei lang sa akin. Kahit pala para akong pulubi noon, wala akong pakialam sa mga kaklase ko noong grade 1.
A Stormy Sky Documentaries is a collection of images — moving & unmoving — from Manila, Philippines. Words, like cupped palms, mold pictures into stories. Curated by Brian Dys Sahagun — manipulator and garbage collector. Proud pinoy.
I saw a white butterfly resting against a white Virgin Mary glass. They were illuminated by white light. You were the sudden image I saw that Saturday evening.
Originally published in Happy Obituary 2006.
“Nay, pabili nga ng Virgin Red.”
“O, isang Virgin daw o.”
Hindi ko na makumpara ang pinagkaiba ng isang seksi mula sa isang birhen. Basta uhaw ako.
Originally published in Happy Obituary 2005.