The year 2012, I joined T.I.P. Voice – the official school and student publication of our institution. I was a photographer-journalist and now a graduating senior staff. Last month, our publication’s magazine, Vox Digest, was released. I am so happy that I was able to write something for this magazine. Since this will be the last before I graduate, why not make the most of it? So instead of taking a photo, I wrote an article about being a photographer-slash-student:
Remembering my history in photography, the first time that I have used a DSLR camera is when I was in High School when a friend of my brother lent me his camera. After that, the next time I used another is when I am already covering events as a photographer-journalist here in T.I.P. Voice. Apparently, I did not plan to pursue photography or journalism, but I guess this is where I am supposed to be. I have been working for this publication for 3 years now, turning 4 in a couple of months, and I must say that there are a lot of things that being a photographer and journalist have taught me – in life as a student and as an individual. So, join me as we look through the lens of photography and life.
Few parts of the camera and its functions to the photographer:
Lens: Narrow down your focus
A camera lens also known as photographic lens is a vital part of the camera. This is where photographs were being processed as an image. Camera lens works variously through the focal length, aperture, and other details.
As a student, we tend to multi-task at the expense of our academics and extracurricular activities that in the end, we find ourselves compromising the quality of our work and performance. Aside from being a student, I was involved in different organizations, plus my other commitments outside the school. Sometimes, I tend to compromise the excellence I want for my performance but thankfully, a friend of mine once reminded me to narrow down my focus and don’t spread myself too thinly. Like a lens that has a manual and automatic functions in focusing a particular subject, we, too, must know how to focus on what we are ought to do and never settle for blurred images or mediocre work.
Flash: Be the source of extra light
Although I don’t use the camera flash that much, I have learned that flash helps photographs appear to be artsy or just to lighten it up. Camera flash is very useful for low-light and dim situations.
Studying becomes “StuDYING,” as how we always spell it out often when the final term is fast approaching. We tend to be blinded with tons of projects, exams, and super deadly deadlines – too blinded to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That is why we need flash, not literally camera flash, but a source of light – a source of encouragement, a source of a jolt to our weary souls trying to escape and finish the low-light semester. In my case, I found it hard to find people in our classroom or groupmates to be the light that is why I let myself be that light; I let myself be the camera flash in our dreadful days – encouraging them, supporting them until we finished the semester altogether.
Aperture: Open yourself to opportunities
Aperture is one of the three pillars of photography. It is the opening of the lens diaphragm in which light passes through. Aperture is calibrated in f/stops and is written in numbers like 1.4, 1.8, 2.4, etc. Lower f/stops give more light because it represents higher aperture while higher f/stops give less light because it represents lower aperture. To make it simple, the higher the aperture, the more exposure to light it allows, and the lower the aperture, the less exposure to light it allows.
Same as to being a student, our growth depends on how open we are to opportunities and exposures. I have come up to a realization that learning is never reliant only to our professors and books alone, but as we explore deeper our programs and courses, we end up learning far more than we should. Being involved with different people and organization helped me to broaden my vision and understanding of my program; it also helped me enlarge my network and find different ways to learn and share my knowledge. The more we are open to exposures, the more knowledge we will get. The less we are open to opportunities, the less understanding we will have.
Set aside the functionality and technicality of cameras, one of the greatest things I have learned from being a photographer-journalist is the fact that you will meet a lot of people. Covering student events to executive events; from high school students up to celebrities and music icons, you will meet them and you will work with them. And working with them means you do your work professionally. Learning little good etiquette helped me a lot from talking to that frosh student up to the president of the school. Being professional is not owning your position, may you be the leader of the group or not, but it is about recognizing your position and using it fairly to do your job for the betterment of many people.
In taking pictures, we don’t usually get the best output that we want right away, maybe if you practiced well. But there are a lot of instances that it takes a lot of bad lighting or wrong angle in order to get the best one. All we need is patience and hard work. Maybe you have been taking that course for so many times and still failing it, maybe you have grown weary and tired waiting for the day you will finally see your name in that long official list of graduates, maybe you have been losing all the hopes you have when you’re just starting as a freshman, but take heart; patience and perseverance can go a long way. Work hard and you will certainly get the best shot of your graduation picture wearing a black toga.
Now that I’m nearly done in college, a few months later (by God’s grace) I will no longer be a photographer-journalist and a student. I might forget how to take photos using DSLR camera but I’m certain by the fact that what I have learned and gained now will be with me until I work in the industry. To focus on important things, be positive in everything, be open to new ideas, be patient, persistent, and be professional. As students, I hope that we will never stop aiming at what matters most – our studies. Be positive in spite of failing remarks. Never stop to learn more. Be patient in spite of how many years you have been staying in college. Lastly, work hard until you get your degree. Do not stop and strive hard.
Nothing feels greater than to know that I learned a lot not just in a classroom but also in an organization that I also treated as a family.
What can you share about your experience in your school’s organization?