Striving for perfection

By Macel Feliciano


Clinton Aniversario

Clinton Aniversario is a sculptor and painter. He expresses himself not just through his sculptures and paintings, but also through his photos.

He pursued photography for the love of his heritage. As a Baguio native, his desire was to celebrate and showcase the breathtaking land of his birth, the culture, and the art of the Igorots.

He dabbles in multiple genres—landscape, street photography, wedding, interiors, corporate, and even aerial photography, at the behest of his numerous clients. His favorite subjects though are people in the villages especially their oldest members, whom he finds especially challenging to capture on camera. But the satisfaction of being able to convey their diverse and unique stories through his images is immense. He finds it truly worthwhile to showcase their distinctive way of life, their simple joys, their struggles, and their triumphs.

To help him express his vision more fully, he has gone oldschool, preferring to shoot with film. Going back to film doesn’t mean he favors black-and-white photography. He doesn’t shy away from color, judging which approach to put to use according to the lighting conditions. His shift back to film photography may seem surprising, when he moved from a point-and-shoot film camera to digital and on to aerial photography with a drone camera. These days, his more advanced cameras have taken a backseat,with his DSLR acting as backup to his film camera when he shoots his personal projects.

For Clinton, a solid knowledge of his equipment combined with God-given talent, skills honed from practising what he learned, and the proper timing are necessary to be able to produce a captivating photo.

It takes much effort to make his subjects open up and smile naturally for him. He tries to put them at ease by exchanging stories with them first to gain their trust. He then tries to express what is compelling and true in his subjects. He attempts to draw out the deeper meaning and lets the beauty of the simplicity of their lives shine through.

Clinton is the proud founder of the Baguio-Benguet Photographers, Hikers, Artists Club. The group was established in 2015, launching 11 photo exhibits for a cause in the Cordillera area. He credits their members for the success of their club. He is now hoping to launch a 12th exhibit and a photography festival.

He underwent a monthlong art residency with Korean photographers in South Korea where he learned new techniques. Recently, he met the members of the Foundation of Philippine Photographers Foundation (FPPF), and is now considering membership.

Included in his achievements is winning second place in the “Beautiful Baguio” photo contest in both the conventional and non-conventional categories. One of his photos was also recognized in South Korea, being sold as a postcard.

As a photographer, Clinton wants to create a photobook to share his uplifting images to the public. His ultimate goal is to build his own darkroom and establish a photo museum to showcase and preserve the Igorot culture.

Clinton gives these tips to new photographers: “The more you shoot, the more you learn. Share your knowledge and expertise with aspiring photographers. Do not think of yourself as better than others, even those with entry-level gear, for a compelling image does not depend on one’s equipment.”

He finds photography as a fulfilling endeavor especially when he takes the perfect shot. Capturing the beauty of nature through photography makes the journey worthwhile for him.

“I believe that photography is a continuous adventure and entails a non-stop striving for development. There will always be areas where you can improve on. I consider photography as a bestfriend who shares my ups and downs. The promise of the perfect image keeps me motivated when I’m out in nature.”