a happy camper

Circus Freaks

Posted in Uncategorized by Sonny Thakur on April 18, 2009

I haven’t really been active as of late, I have nothing and noone else to blame but myself.

First off, I visited my cousin JJ’s exhibit at the fanciest looking art school this side of the Philippines. It lacked cohesion but JJ’s got heart, so thats a plus. JJ looks sharp and relaxed in this photo but he was trembling and rushing around to defend a thesis AND attend to guests at the exhibit at the same time. I blame the exhibit leader for picking such a shitty time for him to exhibit.

With huge glass panes like these, it’s hard not to go portrait crazy with all the nice available light. The clouds were a nice scrim that day. I only had one “model” with me though.

Jade. Frustrated artist. She wanted to get some papers for a scholarship in the art school. She doodles like there’s no tomorrow sometimes. Talent waiting to be discovered, now if only she weren’t  too lazy.

Student to Camera ratio in the school is easily 1:1. I stopped by a couple galleries in the school and it really is making me think twice about getting a scholarship here. The faculty seems to be lackluster as well. I hate to judge a school this way, but the faculty dictates what the students learn, and if I can learn these things through friends and mentors, I don’t think I’ll need a school like this.

Marton and I visited Bonifacio High Street again. Didn’t see much really, just…

Dogs sniffing each other. A growing trend, novelty dogs, is taking the Philippines by storm. This is where people come together to walk their dogs and show them off. They even have pet sections in restaurants here, which is a new thing for the local dining scene.

Overly riced up piece of – Ford Focus.

A Joey Alvero, on a commissioned shoot. If my memory serves me well, it was a fashion show with fancy food and fancy looking people.

I also visited a couple more exhibits, and got some more scans of the previous one.

Caroline was photographed by Sara Black for a Dove campaign. I’m very proud of her, but felt kind of disappointed that her photos didn’t make the show floor even if they were in the book.

HCB would be disappointed. I missed the decisive moment. Just before this frame, the old man in the middle of the photograph was so amazed to see a certain portrait that his jaw almost dropped to the floor. Could be the age though. Yes, call me mean again people, its a blog for pete’s sake, get with the times.

The lady (in focus) was such a diva.

What this guy looks like: Looks like he just stepped off a provincial bus looking for something in the wrong place.

What this guy probably is: Some rich and/or influential art/advertising person. Is a weird uncle. Meets more women than you probably will. Sleeps with none. Speaks 15 languages, only 2 really exist.

Thank you for the book Sara, and Congrats!

Some frames from flow03

Now some of you might be wondering why i entitled this entry Circus Freaks… well here goes.

Every Holy Week, smaller towns in the Philippines play host to Good Friday reenactments, which include but are not limited to carrying crosses, flagellation, crucifixion, you name it. This practice, from what I hear, used to be quite revered and taken very seriously. When I got to witness it, it seemed more of like a circus freak show or a carnival. Guess it didn’t help much that I shot with a couple of friends including travel photojournalist extraordinaire, Lester Ledesma (seen in a couple photos wearing a manly pink)

Graven images being dressed and adorend with flowers before the procession. I believe the images are different portrayals of Christ.

After the initial procession I found a huge crowd carrying a black Jesus and noticed a familiar face. Lester was caught in the same crowd being tossed around like a joint at a frat party. Im sure he got some amazing photographs, unlike the ones I got when the idol approached the church.

The group carrying the image of the Black Jesus almost looked like a snake as they inched their way with synchronized steps. The men in the front of the pack served as human braces and trusses, supporting the weight of the massive load.

Lester Ledesma at work. Shooting with two Bessa’s and a Sony Pro-sumer camera. This guy has heart, arriving from Singapore only hours before this shoot, terribly lacking sleep, only to arrive back in Manila to stay up another night documenting more Holy Week events for the numerous glossies he contributes to.

With that, I’d like to greet everyone a belated Happy Easter.

Be Well.

Cheers from 35.5C toasty as heck Manila.