A Succesful Photojournalism Workshop for the Outdoor Blogger


Taking good photos is a given when you are an outdoor enthusiast.  Even in the most awkward and most dangerous situation up there in wilds, taking good photos is every mountaineer’s dream. Why? Well, only photos can “tell” what your “words” couldn’t perfectly  describe. It’s impact on your story’s realism is grand and its effect, astounding. Ultimately, taking good photos is one sure way of documenting your “conquers” and taking a bad one (or not taking one), is a tragic understatement of your outdoor sojourns.

So when Avel Manansala (Bariles of Gensantos.com, convenor par excellence) invited me to a Photojournalism Workshop for Socksargen Bloggers, I instantly said yes. What’s even more interesting is the fact that Jojie Alcantara (famed Ang Dabawenya lifestyle blogger and photographer) will be the workshop lecturer and SocSarSKGen Bloggers will be having a Christmas party after! Well, I have always admired Jojies awesome photos. And uh, did I mention, she loves to travel too? Opportune moments for learning (such as this photojournalism workshop) don’t just pop up every time. I would be nuts if don’t grab this opportunity!

Armed with my legendary Powershot A20 (c 1996) point and shoot camera, a 16mb + 32mb CF card, and lots of gall to dive into photojournalism,  I went straight to The Farm in Koronadal City. I’m sure my digicam  isn’t the best for taking any pictures at all, but what the heck, I’ll learn somehow and if given a good budget later on, I’ll get a decent DSLR.

The Farm is located on Carpenter Hill just a few kilometers from the main city. I’ve never been to this place before but certainly, I was awed by its themic development. The place is several hectares wide of manicured lawns and trees themed with matching “villas” and convention places. The workshop will be held in the Japanese styled villa just a bit further and back from the entrance. The well cared bonsai trees surrounding the reminded me of a scene in Akiko Kurisawa‘s Seven Samurai movie. Splendid.

Kristan Franco‘s winning shot of the Japanese styled villa inside The Farm where the photojournalism workshop was held

I was one of the early participants (I’m not excited huh?) but the Gensan Bloggers came in right after me. After the participant and speaker introductions, Jojie started the workshop with her astounding photo presentation. She then progressed on to lecturing the basic do’s and don’ts in photojournalism. Her superb wit and humor made the the most basic photography composition style a very interesting topic to discuss. Rule of thirds, framing, balance, lighting, moments, subjects, landscapes, color composition were just some of those we learned that day. At the end of the workshop, we were tasked to shoot pictures inside the farm, taking in to consideration what we learned so far. At the end of the workshop, we will be picking our best 5 shots for critiquing of Jojie and the participants.

The Sox Bloggers listening intently on Jojie’s lecture (photo courtesy of Hector Minoza)
Kristan Franco with  Jojie Alcantara and Avel Manansala, receiving an award for his winning shot
We took photos of the food before we devoured it!

I definitely would have wanted a better cam, but I guess i’ll stick with composition first and practice what I have just learned. I looked for subjects and tried framing my pictures for the “best” composition  I can think of. The hardest part for me was really on catching up moments or “subjects”, shooting on a good angle, the proper subject lighting and then capturing this on a digicam. I have more terrible shots than good ones. But the idea of “composing” a picture made a great appeal on me. Some of my attempts at taking photos…

Santa’s reindeer..
Simbang gabi
Ilaw sa imburnal

We had our lunch and Christmas party while some of us where taking pictures around. We all had a good time of exchanging gifts, telling stories and looking at our photos. Our sponsors, like the Farm’s manager found time to share with us some insights into the place’s future development and Opera browser Campus reps showed us the advantages of this lightweight web browser. The food? I couldn’t say anything but great! I think I lost control of my diet that day! Overall, we the Sox bloggers enjoyed that day so much, thanks to the workshop organizers Bariles and Gensan Bloggers, and Orman of Ganda Ever So Much, Gilbert Tan of Know Read Know Write, Sheng, for  for making the workshop possible. This one even is yet another testament to a fruitful year for the SocSarSKGen blogging community.

Sox Bloggers with Jojie Alcantara, The Farm manager and Opera browser event sponsors!

Mind you, three of my shots where “mentioned” winner-able (for lack of better term or let say tourist-able) by Jojie Alcantara that day. So, uh well, that’s pretty fantastic for a 16mb CF card mam Jojie! Thank you!

About Bundok

I am Bundok. When I'm not mending bones for living, I go hike, travel and then rant about my outdoor adventures. I consider my life outdoors as a fitness essential. For more updates, consider subscribing to this blog and to my twitter and Facebook fan page


@PinoyApache, yup…there's always new stuff to learn and some gadgets to indulge. I'm not an Opera user yet, but sure I do lot's of "opera". The SocSarSKGen Bloggers are one dynamic and vibrant group- putting the region into the online map!

I envy this kind of workshop dox. By the way I use Opera as my main browser and am also a member of the Cebu Bloggers Society.

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