22 August, 2007

Interview with my Flickr friend Antonio (Doctony)

wooing the sunset

1. How did you first get interested in photography? And are you self taught?

I remember I have always been interested in taking pictures since I have been in high school. I was in the Photography Club then, and took black and white photos, which I developed myself in the school darkroom. In college, I was fortunate of being able to travel a lot, and I have taken pictures of my travels around the world ever since. With the advent of digital photography, my passion for photography has reached its peak, as it has been easier to get immediate satisfaction by seeing your photos right away. Later on, I have learned the techniques of the digital darkroom and have been hooked ever since.

2. Do you have a favorite walk around lens? If so, what is it?

The ones that I use when I travel are basically 3 lenses: an ultra wide lens (Canon EF-S 10-22) to take photos of landscapes, a macro lens (105f2.8VR Micro Nikkor) and a 10x zoom lens. The 18-200VR Nikkor lens is best when I need to take just one lens with me.

3. What equipment and software do you use?

I have a Canon 30D and a Nikon D80. Both I find very good cameras. When I shoot in raw, I convert them with the Digital Photo Professional of Canon and Adobe Lightroom. For further processing, I use the Adobe Photoshop CS2, and for HDR shots, Photomatix is the best.

4. Which one item of equipment is the most important for you?

You mean aside from cameras and lenses? I have a flash, a light diffuser and a tripod. I find these essential equipment to complete my photography set-up.

5. How do you decide on locations and subjects?

When I travel, I usually just walk around and take the subway. I usually find a lot interesting places while walking around cities. Of course, I try and go to the popular tourist attractions when I am in a foreign place. At home, I just take nature shots in my garden, around my places of work and at local nature spots. We have a lot of beautiful nature in the Philippine and I have not been to all of them yet!

6. What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

I love taking travel photos, nature mostly, but I also like to take photos of architectural structures, temples and monuments. I also like to take flower macros, as you probably notice, of which the gerbera is my favorite! I also love the sunset and because I live across the Manila Bay, that is a favorite subject of mine as well!

7. What continues to inspire you as a photographic artist?

Learning from the wonderful works of other people in Flickr and other internet sites and through photography magazines continues to be my inspiration in photography. It is amazing how many genres there are, it is countless!

8. What is the one thing that you have not captured on camera you feel you need to express?

I am always fascinated by photojournalism and street photography. Right now, I always capture something beautiful and happy, but I would like to try and make more meaningful photos by showing the other side of the world, like wars, tragedies, poverty and the like.

9. What other artists have influenced your work?

Oh, there are so may to mention, I will not even try. Suffice it to say, that a lot of my contacts in Flickr have definitely influenced my work one way or another, but I try to give my own trademark in all my photos.

10. What other talents do you possess besides photography? And is there another area of talent you would like to explore?

I sing! Ahahaha! I used to be a member of a choir in college, and it was with this singing group that I was able to go to different parts of the world.

I am also a physician by profession. I specialize in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology and I head the Medical Intensive Care Unit of the Philippine General Hospital, the premier state hospital of the Philippines.

I love to cook!!! I cook Filipino, Chinese, American, Italian and Spanish dishes.

One thing I like to try? Hmmm…let me see. Maybe I want to try scuba diving and take underwater photography! That will be a blast!

11. Have you met other flick rites in person, and how was the experience?

So far, I have only met people here in Manila. I belong to a photography club here and there are some who are also Flickr members. I have not met up with someone from another country yet.

12. Any words of advice for those who would like to dig deeper into photography?
My advice is to just keep on shooting! Now that we have digital photography, there is no need to think of the cost of film and film developing. You can easily delete photos that you do not like.

Another advice is to learn what your camera can do. Get a DSLR and learn the works of basic photography, apertures, shutter speeds and manual settings. Try not to use Automatic settings all the time and you will be surprised at the different things that you can do with your DSLR.

Thirdly, try to learn how to enhance your photos with software. Most of the time you will have nice photos, but they can become spectacular with a little post processing.

13. Of all the photos you've taken, what is your favorite and why?

My favorite is my first gerbera and the sunset photo. This is the first of what is now called the “Doc Tony classic”.

Here is the link to that photo:
wooing the sunset

14. If you could change anything on flickr, what would it be?

I will change the Explore to show photos based on quality and popularity. Remove the computer program and have real people choose photos based on their merits. In Betterphoto.com, for example, editors choose their picks from all photos submitted.

Another suggestion will be for a Flickrwide contest on the different genres of photography. This can be done on a monthly basis, and have a Photographer of the Year Award at the end of the year.

Third suggestion will be to be able to change the look of your Flickr page with different themes. That would be cool!

These are the photos that Doctony want to show us in this interview:

white on white

skinny dipping

each passing day

Thanks to Antonio (Doctony) for his kindness and for sharing with us his photographic background.

angie_real aka angela Lobefaro


i_am_bishop said...

Loved the interview. Thanks.

christine said...

Great interview. I'm a new fan of Doctony, found his site via his brother's blog. :)