jinggo montenejo and basic photography

I love looking/watching at advertisements (whether in print or TV) with social relevance. Like this print advertisement of Pru Life U.K.  Once I saw this it pulled my heartstrings because it’s not just selling insurance.  It’s also a good reminder about compassion, respect, and love of family.

pru life uk adI never thought there will come a day that I will meet one day the man behind the photo. Because yesterday, I attended this one-day workshop on basic digital photography.

Actually, only two persons per office were requested to attend but upon the recommendation of my boss, and with the generosity of the department head organizing the activity, I was allowed to “sit in” only for the workshop. Saling-pusa kumbaga. Meaning, I am not included in the snack and lunch that would be served but I can listen to the lecturer. With a stroke of luck, since some participants were absent, that’s when I became an “official” participant.

Our lecturer was Mr. Jinggo Montenejo, a photographer for over 12 years. If I’m not mistaken and if I’m really listening well, he used to work in Silicon Valley and one of the photographers of The Associated Press. During his introduction, impressive achievements, good credentials were mentioned, he travelled the world, but what’s really wow about Mr. Montenejo was that he’s just a simple guy, always smiling, and possesses a good vibe. He looked like a former colleague of mine that’s why listening to him brought nostalgia and a pleasant, funny feeling.

How was the workshop? Given our company’s limitation, some of us did not have or weren’t provided with our own DSLR (I’m one of them). One participant even mistakenly brought a digicam. So it was a good idea that Mr. Montenejo provided us a very nice powerpoint presentation that’s not overwhelming to look at plus a handout of that presentation. I must say that the lecture can be technical to newbies like me and I admit I did not understand the workshop 100%. But when he showed us his works, those shots he took when he was not yet doing photography professionally, now that one I appreciated. And I must say, photography can be hard. It is both a science and an art. Plus mathematics, too, especially regarding that topic on shutter speed and M-A-S-P.  Takes a lot of patience and practice!

I take photos using my relic digicam given by my auntie. It doesn’t have superb features like the DSLR camera where you can achieve some impossible, fascinating shots which made some photographers rich. But with my digicam, I still can get creative with it. And it’s easy to carry.  Like what Mr. Montenejo said, what’s important is that you still get the picture.

Learning how to use the DSLR simply starts by reading the manual. Do not use a camera—no matter how expensive or high tech it is—if you’re not yet confident with it. Learn the basics first, I remember Mr. Montenejo saying.

Here is Mr. Jinggo Montenejo at work. That’s him up there.  It takes passion, sincerity and dedication for someone like him to do that, climbing wall just to take a decent shot!

climbing the wallSpeaking of climbing wall, Mr. Montenejo is a good writer, too. Here’s an article he wrote in his tumblr account.

Wall climbing

Back in 2011 (and several years prior), a Wednesday 2PM appointment meant running to a meeting with one of the largest networking companies in the world, typically a meeting at their offices along Tasman street in San Jose, CA. I’d finish up my lunch in my cushy office overlooking 101 with distant views of downtown San Jose and the SJ airport and drive over- it was a routine. I had thought that was the job I was going to keep, climb the ladder and never look back.

Somehow as the years went on, I began to struggle with the thought that that’s how my week was ALWAYS going to be like, sprinkled with occasional travels to our factories around Asia. It wasn’t bad at all. But something inside did not feel right. I couldn’t force myself to keep a job just for the financial security. I wasn’t being ungrateful and I know that people stayed at their jobs their whole lives precisely for this reason. But it just wasn’t for me. Thankful that I followed that adage about saving for a rainy day – I cashed out, left and eventually moved my family back to the home country.

I have since embarked on my own journey. These days you’ll find me climbing walls- not ladders, among other things. Definitely a lot of work and frustration and at times I get knocked down but since I love what I do, I get up and keep at it.

My family, supportive friends and clients have been a big part of this journey. And this journey would not have been possible without them. I don’t know where it’ll take me but I’m happy.

Here’s to climbing your own wall (ladder, mountain etc).

jinggomonenejo–Jinggo Montenejo


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