They say that I started drawing when I was three. It was not TV cartoons that influenced me to do so, it was komiks. Easy to digest and very, very pleasurable to see. During my childhood there were lots of them. As far as I can remember, it was that big, leather bound comic-type bible that introduced me in reading the word. The graphic visuals made me understand.
Before we saw Spidey on the big Screen, or Logan’s fury in 3d, we read and saw it on print. We imagine, then re-imagined it. It is an experience of creativity of a person to another person. It was wonderful then. It is wonderful now. My kids just finished reading the saga of Naruto as a manga and not as anime, following it for around nine years. No wonder the courses they are taking in college is all about creativity.
You see, comic books can teach us so many things. From drawing to literature appreciation. I like to pay a little homage to the Filipino Komik Masters. As my Architecture professor teaching “perspective” would say if our drawings failed: “Magbasa ka ng maraming komiks!” (read more comics!)
Let us see what we can learn from them in Shooting Street Photography.
Above strip is taken from Tony Velasquez’s “UNDERPASS” (1962), drawn by Nestor Redondo. Manila Street Photographers have their maiden voyage in Quiapo, I opted to start also here. Bustling with people, rich in stories to feed your mind.
1. Komiks are a Visual Feast. All the elements are there: lines, patterns, depth of field, texture, symmetry. Even if they are static in nature, they are dynamic in content. With an inherent power to draw the eye to vital focus points, you see what they want to tell.
2. Komiks are authentic. They stem from everyday experience. Even if the storyline is of Fantasy, the story-telling is human.
3. Komiks connect to the viewer. Even if we take out those dialogue balloons, people can still understand what they want to say or express. That is why even people who had difficulty on how to read and write enjoy looking at it. No wonder they are used for campaigns.
4. Komiks provide a unique Visual Perspective. Komik Artist started from scratch, saw it first in their mind, and presented it to the world using their own approach, the way they see it.
Again, if you want to improve your shots, and let your image do the talking, be inspired in reading, studying, absorbing the lessons of comics. If you want a more modern approach. check out manga, or even the latest comics. It is evolving. Comics is “picture writing”. And picture writing is natural to us. Kids do it all the time, even our cave ancestors did it. It is a simple yet effective way of communicating what we had seen and felt and importantly what we want to express.