By Maan D’Asis Pamaran
Interests can be nurtured at a young age, as in the case of photographer and blogger Alex de Vera Dizon. A journalism class in high school piqued his interest in photography, and his college professor at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila praised his ability in taking portraits, saying he’s able to bring out a certain spark in his subjects’ eyes.
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“My interest in it grew and I saved up to buy my first DSLR in 2011,” he shares.
A year after, some of the photos he posted on his website were noticed and got published in newspapers and magazines. “Some were international, others were corporate publications. What really gave me a thrill was when the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO – Malacañang) got in touch with me to ask permission to use my photo of our National Artist Ben ‘BenCab’ Cabrera.”
From time to time, he still takes portraits mostly of family and friends, including newborn babies – which started on the arrival of his first niece, Elaisha Monique. “Some moms saw my portraits of her and started commissioning me to do photo shoots of their babies as well. I enjoyed it so much that I even brought or made props to use on my shoots,” he laughs.
Alex, who has recently been promoted as manager for Investor Relations at SM Prime Holdings, Inc, also travels to different places in the country and abroad. He puts up his photos on his blog and on his social media as he goes on his travels, which are usually solo trips that he indulges in for his “me time.”
“I’m attracted to green – all shades of it, as well as structures – natural and unnatural. For landscape, finding symmetry in a natural environment is a real challenge for me, so every time I capture something that has symmetry and proportion, I find it worth keeping.”
Currently, the mood that he chooses for his photographs is something between calm and healing. “Sunsets are something I don’t miss whenever I go out to shoot – not only because of the stunning shades of color but for me, it also has a healing power. There’s a certain feeling when your camera captures the light and you know that you’ll process that moment perfectly. I am sure that it’s something that you will treasure forever.” He adds, “I’m thankful that the Philippines has a lot of beautiful spots to capture a memorable sunset photo, including my view from my office complex, which is located near the Manila Bay.”
For most of us, sunsets only signal the end of another workday. For Alex, the vermillion hues of the setting sun have a more poignant meaning. “It started on the last day of my father’s wake. He died in 2011, just a few months after I bought my DSLR. The sunset was so beautiful that afternoon. I was on my way back to the funeral homes that day, riding the LRT train. As it moved, the flickering sunlight captured my eyes. The whole duration I was on transit, I was staring blankly at that view, with my heart letting go of the pain of losing someone you really love.”
From then on, he says, every sunset reminds him of his late father, who was his critic and mentor when he was still alive. “I said to myself that whenever I’m feeling hurt, sad or just lonely, I’ll take a good picture of a sunset, and keep it as a souvenir of another journey in life.”