Tuesday, September 27, 2022

World-class Pitik: The Art of Photography featuring Mr. Jophel Botero Ybiosa

We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.”
                                                                             -Ralph Hattersley

People nowadays really are into exploring and having fun with some cool kinds of stuff that are existing; these could be any interesting things found on the internet, any kinds of events, different varieties of food, and even memorable occasions in someone’s life. Of course, nothing is way more amazing than taking some photographs of it. Photography is one of, if not the main hobbies of those who really value uniqueness and beauty in their surroundings – and for us living in the Information Age, it’s the way we capture life.

Defining Photography

The Greek words photos which means light, and graphos which means to draw, combined to form the English term photography, which literally translates as drawing with light. Photography is the act of capturing a picture, or a photograph, on a light-sensitive medium, or, in the case of digital photography, through a digital electronic or magnetic memory. The majority of pictures are taken with a camera, which concentrates an object's visible wavelengths using a lens when the light is reflected or emitted from it. Even light waves like UV, infrared, and radio that are undetectable to the human eye may be captured on camera if you use some correct tools.

Some of the best Photographers of all time

There is so much more to photography than just clicking a button. A great photograph is one that has an enduring impact on those who see it. Some of the most accomplished photographers in history, such as Elliott Erwitt, Steve McCurry, Paul Nicklen, Don McCullin, and Platon have devoted their lives to learning and mastering the craft. With their love for photography, as well as their extraordinary work ethic and perfect discipline, they created some of the most stunning photos that you will ever see. Listed below are some of their best works in the field of photography.

Jophel Botero Ybiosa: A Filipino World-class Photographer

Many people in this world are seriously fascinated by the beauty and elegance of photography, and for Mr. Jophel Botero Ybiosa, a 36 - year old world-class Photographer and an 11-time NCCA Ani ng Dangal Awardee, it’s always beyond fascination. He was the first photographer who introduced the use of a side mirror as a subject’s reflection and for a more creative style of his composition. Some of his best photos with the same style mentioned above, have been recognized and won countless awards such as the Grand Prize in the ASEAN - Korea Multimedia Competition that happened in South Korea, Earth Charter International Photo Contest in Costa Rica, Sony Creativity Photo Contest, and many more.

Early life as an aspiring Photographer

Mr. Ybiosa fell in love with photography back when he was a secondary school student. He had a passion for reading books, magazines, and newspapers, but pictures were the very first things that really captured his attention. Aside from looking through some printed publications, another thing that gave him inspiration was the photo exhibits that he had attended before. From these moments, he started to try capturing images from everywhere. When he went to college, he eventually became a member of the Sinag Photography Club of PUP - College of Communication as well as the Federation of Philippine Photographers’ Foundation (FPPF). At first, everything didn’t go according to plan since he had no camera to work with. He struggled in his first days until everyone, including some veteran photographers and his friends, started to guide him and lent him some pieces of equipment for working.

With his desire to master the art of photography, he persevered to capture different scenes and some meaningful subjects; he also hit all of those photography books and even attended every seminar and workshop that Federation of Philippine Photographers’ Foundation (FPPF), Philippine Center for Creative Imaging and Cosmopoint International Institute of Technology (CIIT) had offered. His formal photography training happened in Bangkok, Thailand through a scholarship that was granted by SEAMEO-SPAFA. Right after his training in the said country, he underwent a Master Class that featured Sir Joe Craig in Missouri, U.S.A.

After going through a photography training program and a master class in two different countries, Mr. Ybiosa started to join some local and international photo competitions that he believed, made him a better photographer. With the results, aesthetics, and even the critics’ comments that he’s received throughout his career, he went from being a student to a master of this craft.

Photography as an Inspiration and Passion

Mr. Ybiosa was greatly influenced and inspired by some of the best and veteran photographers in this generation, such as Steve McCurry and Jimmy Nelson. His master class mentor in Missouri, Sir Joe Craig also has significance in his career.

As for his passion, he then realized that photography really is the one when he started to travel and work around the world as a Philippine representative and took home a lot of awards and honors for the country. His love and passion go deeper and deeper every time he gives inspiration to all young and aspiring Filipino photographers.

Impact of Photography on his Life

Aside from being his passion, and profession, photography also has importance when it comes to his personal life. He said in our interview that photography is more than just his happy pill. It also bridged him to great experiences and to achieving success in his life. Because of photography, he got the ability to inspire others, especially those who are just starting out. This art also brought him to his current profession as a Master Photographer of Princess Cruise Lines and Special Lecturer of Polytechnic University of the Philippines, when I got the chance to sit in his class as his student.

“Photography plays a big role in our community. As an art form, it serves as a reflection of our stories and unforgetable memories. It is also an important instrument in showing and spreading our culture and identity, sharing history and awakening social awareness towards positive change.”

                                                                                                     - Mr. Jophel Botero Ybiosa (translated into English)

Historic Awards and Honors

Because of his passion for the craft, Mr. Ybiosa went to win a lot of achievements throughout his illustrious career as a photographer. Some of his notable awards and honors are Winner of the 15th Annual International Colour Awards - Honorable Mention in Photojournalism, 1st Place winner of the Street Action Photography Competition 2022 in the U.K, 1st Place winner of the Globinar Photo Contest, Bagong Bayani Awardee for Culture in the Arts, Topnotch Filipino Artist and Professional Leadership Awardee, Asia-Pacific Luminarea Awards and Best in Class Award-Master Photographer International Image Challenge.

He also broke some Philippine photography records that no one in history has ever done. Some of Mr. Jophel Botero Ybiosa’s historic achievements are the following: He’s the first Filipino to win a Gold Award in New York Photo Fair, the first Filipino to win a 1st Prize in Chromatic Photography Awards, first Filipino to win Events Photographer of the Year and included in the Best of Show Exhibition of Moscow International Foto Awards (MIFA), first Filipino to win 1st Prize in the Photographic Angle International Photography Competition, one of the first Filipino Gold Medalists in the World Art Camp Olympiad, first Filipino to win a Grand Prize in ASEAN-Korea Multimedia Competition, two-time Best Photograph in Global Festival Photography Competition (Indonesia) and an eleven-time NCCA Ani ng Dangal Awardee. 

Mr. Jophel Ybiosa is also the Founder and Executive Director of the award-winning art and advocacy group - the Team Juan Makasining (2017 Asia-Pacific Excellence Awardee for Outstanding Arts and Advocacy Organization), and served as a Captain of the Philippine Team to World Photographic Cup, he is also a Special Lecturer at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. Recently, he was appointed as a member of the New York Photography Awards Grand Jury, and right now, he's working as a Master Photographer and Platinum Artist of the Princess Cruises Lines.

Advice to young and aspiring Filipino Photographers

“Trust in your own abilities, continue to ignite and share the passion for art. The test that will be experienced is also a source of inspiration to succeed in life. Lack of money or simplicity of equipment is not an obstacle because the beauty of the photo still depends on the photographer's vision. Love and spread the art and culture that is our own. I believe that it is possible for our country to become a 'Powerhouse' with the number of talented Filipinos in the field of art and this will be a big help for our creative industry.”

                                                                                                       - Mr. Jophel Botero Ybiosa (translated into English)

Some of Mr. Jophel Botero Ybiosa’s Best Photos

If you wish to find out more about Mr. Jophel Botero Ybiosa and his stunning works, follow him on Facebook via Jophel Botero Ybiosa / https://www.facebook.com/jophel.ybiosa

Written by: Jan Audrey Francisco

Jan Audrey Francisco is a Digital Marketing intern at PS Media Enterprise. He is a 4th-year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

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