Mike Sandejas: Using filmmaking for community building

From its YouTube intro:

“After experiencing burnout during his film career, Mike Sandejas’ lost passion for filmmaking was revived when he started working pro-bono on a local television show made in the small city in Bataan, Philippines. Starring local teens singing about their real lives, Mike put his own career on hold and focused on making the dreams of others come true.”


Waters of Amsterdam

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I took these photographs as part of our assignment to capture horizontal lines in waterscapes, which I did by using a lot of bridge railings as frames. Featured are the Amsterdam canals that the city is known for.

Social media research

Photo credit: Nieman Journalism Lab

John Wihbey, managing editor of Journalist Resource, came up with a list of 10 academic papers on social media published in 2012, which I think is worth sharing.

The list, though, according to Wihbey, “is meant to be useful, not definitive. Missing from this list is a lot of great scholarship, including analysis of bullying in a networked world, as well as much more on how social media is changing the way we participate in politics.”

The 10 papers, as listed on the Nieman Journalism Lab:

Please click here to read more about the listing.

Finding the perfect shot

Eiffel Tower 1

This is my attempt at telling a story through pictures …

A visit to Paris would definitely not be complete without the Eiffel Tower in one’s itinerary. On our first day in the city, my friends and I went there for yet another photo shoot. It was early evening and the place was teeming with tourists taking pictures. Having the camera frame all for ourselves proved to be really difficult, as passersby kept on appearing in our photos.

On our way back to the hotel, we saw this side street that still gives a nice view of the well-lit tower.  We took out my friend’s SLR camera and tripod once again, waited until no more vehicles were passing, and hurriedly took the following photos:

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

My comment: I think these photographs would not be able to tell a clear story on their own without the explanation I provided. Or would the post’s title, or an improvement of it, suffice?

Mobile photography


I was reading this article about the rise of mobile photography in 2012 and was suprised to know that this cover photo of Time magazine’s issue on hurricane Sandy was taken with just an iPhone.

Ben Lowy, the photographer behind this photo and a number of other iPhone snapshots that made him this year’s recipient of the International Center of Photography’s prestigious Infinity Award for Photojournalism, seems to address my surprise when he was quoted in the article as saying:

“Most people from, say, Oklahoma … don’t really have a connection to something like Libya. Just like most people didn’t have a connection to what was happening during Sandy. And when you show someone pictures from Afghanistan or Iraq, and you say that you took them with a 35 millimeter [camera] … there’s no real kinship there. But if you say ‘Well, actually what I used to take these pictures is the same tool you have in your pocket, that you photographed your cat with, or your kids or your brunch,’ then, all of a sudden, there’s a real connection!”

I’ve had my share of these so-called smartphones but I’m still one of those who haven’t really made extensive use of these gadgets’ photo (or video) feature. I don’t know the reason why, but when traveling, for example, I would still make it a point that I have my digital camera with me. (Could it be that I still have this notion that a phone is just for calling and texting?)

I have used a phone cam, of course. And reading the abovementioned article, in fact, gave me an idea to post some photos I’ve taken with my Sony Xperia S. Looking at them now, I think they are not as bad as I’d always thought they were — especially the first one, which I’d consider as one of the better photographs I’ve posted here so far.

Autum in Amsterdam 1

I took this photo last autumn, on my way to the wet market

Spring time

This is a shot of the Queen’s Palace in Amsterdam in spring


Our first snowfall this winter. I took it at around 7 a.m. while waiting for the bus

Schiphol Airport

Taken while waiting for the train at Schiphol Airport

Full moon

And when I lost my house keys and couldn’t get into my apartment

Wouldn’t it be nice if mobile photography is added to our lessons?

Full monty


The sky was unusually clear today, so I thought of going out to take more pictures for this series of photographs I’m doing. Where to go to was a no-brainer, for a public park is just a stone’s throw away from my apartment here in Amsterdam. The challenge was how to capture nature showing rythm when everything seems to be in a torpid state this time of year.

Fortunately, seeing the tree above on my way to the park gave me an inkling of what to focus on for this photo shoot: trees going full monty as their way of syncing with the changing season. I did just that and was pleasantly surprised with these results:

Tree 2

Tree 3

Tree 4

Tree 6

Tree 5

Tree 7

I also took pictures of trees in Paris and I’m thinking of using them as examples of photos showing texture or pattern.

Still life


This is my second series of photographs, this time for the theme still life with complementary colors.  These pictures were also taken in Paris: the first three, at the Carrousel du Louvre Shopping Center; and the last one, at a chicken fastfood. Please click images to enlarge.