Photographer of the Week: Richard Allan “Ricci” Angeles
By Maan D’Asis Pamaran
Images have the power to invoke strong emotions, they also have the power to keep the spirit still. Richard Allan “Ricci” Angeles specializes in the latter, with his breathtaking landscape photos that inspire a sense of calmness as one weathers through the rough seas of life.
His initial entry into photography, via a Nikon D3100, had the purpose of capturing simple moments of his family and career life. But an invitation to go on a photo shoot with a very good friend has changed his perspective on the art.
“Steve Tuzon asked me to travel with him and do landscape photography,” shared Ricci. “When I got home, I immediately checked my images on my laptop to view them. I found them too plain and simple compared to the work that my friend posted on his social media. His was really good, and it got me thinking that there was more to learn about photography because we were at the same spot but we had different outputs.”
He was inspired by this incident and took all the opportunities to learn about landscape, events, and portrait photography. “I still struggled with it, until Steve introduced me to his friend Raymond T. Cruz who became my mentor and closest friend as well. He enlightened me, ignited my passion and pushed me to the limit. I’m so grateful and thankful to these two friends who were a part of my photography beginnings.”
From there, he developed his own style, which is also a trademark of his videography work on commercials and films. “Most of my photographs are digital and created in calm situations, either black-and-white photos or colored photos. I really love isolating my subjects and building my impression artistically. Most of my images have the water element present, for it is articulate, clever and introspective, self-contained and self-sufficient all at once.” His entry to Long Exposure Photography Magazine (LEMAG) was included in its March 2020 Edition on Wonderful Waterfalls.
His most memorable photography experience was also connected to water. Ricci recounts, “We went on a tour in Taiwan in November 2019. There, I saw a shipwreck and moved closer to compose my shot. After taking a photograph, eight big black wild dogs attacked me. I was forced to run into the water that was at chest level and I stayed for about 40 minutes, with rain and water surges that came toward me like a giant wave. I was in a very bad situation, where I could either drowned or be bitten by the dogs. I could only utter a prayer for my safety.” Thankfully, a friend found him minutes later. The waves calmed down and the wild dogs were gone.
Along with his affinity to water, Ricci makes it a mission to soften negative emotions. “With my work, I want to soothe stress, frustrations, and anxiety.” To accomplish this, he taps into his own consciousness in the moment, saying, “Your camera can capture the details, but only your heart can see deeper and feel the scene. Effective photographers can take great photographs in the most ordinary of places.”