Month: July 2014

Film Photography: A dying medium?


By Mylene M. Manogan

“How did the painter feel when the first camera came out? Was the painter threatened? Yes, but still painting persists at present, with its own set of cultural values attached to it. As far as the future of film photography is concerned, I see it that way.” –Io Jularbal, faculty member Department Language, Literature and the Arts (DLLA), UPB.

            Rumors began to spread in early 2012 that Kodak Company is reaching near bankruptcy. The suspension of production of color reversal films, closure of some of its photo studios, and the astonishing drop of company stocks were enough to validate the rumor. People were already calling this as the “death of film,” given that more and more are shifting to digital photography.

            Photography was introduced in the Cordilleras and became widespread during the time of the American missionaries. They missionaries occupied in documenting a “strange” land and people as much as wanting to gain control over it. During the 70s and 80s, Jularbal remembers that there was a multitude of photo studios in Baguio City. Was it because photography is widely lived by the community? No, he says. It is because Baguio City is the Summer Capital of the Philippines, and photography is a popular profession to those who can afford the cost of photographic equipment.

            Roland Rabang, faculty member in the DLLA and a practicing photojournalist, explains that the people of Baguio back saw film as expensive and usually a roll of 24 shots would stay in the camera for a long time, and used only during special occasions. 

“People did not waste film. You have to get your money’s worth for 36 shots,” Jularbal said. But in the today’s generation, 12 shots is for a minute use only.

            Until now, the debate over which medium—analog or digital—is better is ongoing. However, Rabang says that there is no better or inferior medium among the two. The output, or photos taken, are dependent not on the camera but on the skill of the photographer. Yet the difference is seen on the operation of each camera and the value of the shots taken.

            Some film photographers, frown upon the digital approach. As Jularbal puts it, “As a photographer based on film maybe I would, I would say what my father felt. Well, he felt that these were toys. They ruin the art, they ruin the craft, I have to understand they made things easy, but take note, photographers at that time became photographers not because they like photography but majority of them became photographers because of the exclusivity offered.”

            Kim Komenich, who took more than 20,000 pictures during the 1986 People Power Revolution and won a 1987 Pulitzer Prize winner for Spot News Photography, said in an article for “For a photographer, that’s the moment you’re looking for. It’s that split second. That’s the crescendo moment.” The deal with film photography is knowing the “decisive moment” where you have to be wise and wait patiently until the perfect action happens and then all you have to do is to press the shutter button. Every shot in a roll of film is precious and this is what makes a real photographer. “It’s what made photography in the first place. That moment of sitting there, waiting and waiting and waiting, just to capture that right moment with a single shot and not a multitude,” Jularbal explains.

            Ccompared to digital, film’s advantage is in authenticity and aesthetics. The negative provided by film is unique and cannot be plagiarized. Moreover, photographers who learned through film have a more creative perspective and output. They calculate everything before they take a shot. Mike Myers, in his article “The Future of Film,” asserts that digital users practice “lazy photography” or fix-it-later mentality since you can edit pictures now in the computer. Digital photography is not computer artistry, rather it is computer artistry, Myers says.

            Is digital the death of film? For Io Jularbal, who does film photography as a hobby, says that film will become more and more expensive until it will eventually die out. But for Roland Rabang, a photojournalist, believes the contrary. For him, film is still thriving and will live to the future.

            Last 2013, Lomography and Kodak Alaris vowed to keep the film industry alive, as opposed to the rumors that film manufacturers are on the verge of closing down. They have released a LomoChrome Purple XR 100-400, a film that revives the classic Kodak Aerochrome look. Lomography has also opened up its online film subscription page and they said in a press release that they are expanding their photo laboratories. Kodak, together with and other partners, released a documentary entitled “Long Live Film” last November 2013.


Note: I wrote this article for our class Journ 104: Newspaper Management.

Best and Worst: Advertising lessons learned from 20th FIFA World Cup

When it comes to advertising, brands tend to go with what is popular, trending, and new.

Last June 12, 2014, this year’s 20th FIFA World Cup kicked-off with Brazil as host for the famous event. A total of 31 teams and 64 matches are set to be played until July 13. From its day 1, the World Cup never failed to trend in social media sites worldwide.

With the wide attention given to the World Cup, surely advertisers are pouncing on this opportunity to boost their popularity. Given the accessibility of various platforms in which they can advertise – be it online, radio, television, and print – surely, consumers have seen and noted a lot from these ads. Here are some lessons learned from advertisement featuring the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

1. Rules are rules. Beats by Dr. Dre, Samsung Galaxy, and Volkwagen USA have released World Cup advertisements but news flash: they are not official world cup sponsors. They may have used actual matches, fans, reporters, players, etc., but nothing with the words “FIFA” and “World Cup.” What went wrong with these ads is that they crossing the intellectual property rights of the famous event. Of course, these all boils down to shares. Do extensive research before you release an ad, because instead of garnering sales you might end up paying for violations.

2. “They” are important. World Cup ads have three elements to juggle: the product, the event, and the consumers. From the three, where should you give the most weight on? The consumers. Take a look at McDonald’s Gol! advertisement. It features the product, relevant to football, but the last thing struck the most – random people playing the game. Advertisements need not feature World Cup fans going wild and football superstars straining to make a goal, McDonald’s playful use of ordinary people made the advertisement stand out.

3. Spark emotion. Emotion is what will drive your audience to remember your advertisement. Columbia’s James Rodriguez story of success through talent and dedication has earned a lot of admiration from people around the world. Use football superstars, football fans, and other key players to highlight the feel of the World Cup. Let consumers know your product through its message.

4. Like, comment, share. Social media is one of the best platforms in increasing the exposure of your product. Go for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Channel the content of your advertisement for each social media site. Also, be aware of the updates and other tricks in social media.  

Reference sites:

 Note: I wrote this article for a client at

A house or an apartment? What you need to know first before choosing a place to stay

Home Sweet Home: Choosing a place to stay

They say humans have three basic needs: food, clothing, and shelter. Food and clothing—they cost minimal, but shelter, that’s another story.

Of course, we all dream of buying and owning our own house where we would get settled till the rest of our lives. But granted that we weren’t born with millions in our bank account, that dream house would have to wait. Our options: rent, rent-to-own, or loan.

Chose to rent first

For a lot of people this is the first and most common option. Why? First is mobility. If your work demands you to be relocated often, then renting is the most practical option of the three. Also, if you plan to migrate abroad soon, then owning a house would prove useless. Moreover, renting will you give enough time to look for the “best” location, size, and price of the dream house you want. Renting is also to be considered when you are still single or still starting with your family, you don’t want to rush buying a house you won’t be able to maintain later on if financial crisis arises. Also, think about your income. Is it just enough to cover your rent, food, city services, etc.? Or is there still some left to save?

Invest for the future

If you think you are ready to get settled, then go for houses or units that are rent-to-own. This is a better idea if you have a family already or are contented with where you are. At least, you can sleep well knowing that after years of paying that house will be yours. But before choosing this option, think well of the long-time result. First, the state of the house after the lease. You might need to renovate or fix the house, which means more expense. Also, calculate whether the price of renting till you own it will be equivalent and worth-it if you would rather buy a new house. Lastly, paperwork. Just like buying a new house, be prepared for the paperwork. Secure the title, and change it from commercial to residential.

Living the dream

Buying a house needs a lot of decision-making. Even if you have the money, don’t rush buying a house you would regret after. Weigh your options first. Will you be staying in one place for most of your life? Then go ahead, as long as your job and your family will stay with you. Consider also all the expenses needed. Just because the advertisement says it’s 5 million then that’s it. Allot separate funds for taxes, paper work fees, and other dues. Think also about the size of your family and the house available for you to buy. If you’re planning to get a loan or pay for the house in installments, make sure you have enough income. Aside from that, determine whether the house would cost way more if you get a loan or pay in installments rather than buying it hands down. Buying a house means it is yours forever, and you get to do whatever with it. No danger of being driven out by your landlord.

Have decided already? Remember, a house is where you will build your home. Decide wisely.

Note: I wrote this article for a client in