My interest in photography began when I was still in my teens but back then I can’t afford to buy my own camera and having photography as a hobby was very expensive in the 90’s. Coming from a poor family, we only had one camera and it was only my father who took photos of the family during special occasion. I would think that my passion for photography got rekindled when I got myself an iPhone 4S to take some photos of places I go to around Metro Manila that I would post on my blog, Retrato Manila (www.retratomanila.com) and my Facebook page with the sole purpose of updating my friends that had migrated to other countries. I got good reviews with the photos and they would tell that I should take it to the next level and so I got myself my first DSLR, a Canon EOS 600D with the EF-S 18-135mm kit lens.

I pretty much shoot everything that catch my attention and usually it has to do with how the light falls upon it. I would categorize my photography as travel photography, as from one of Canon’s Ambassador of Light, Per-Andre Hoffmann description of what travel photography is, as it encompasses landscape, portrait, and street photography.

My current favorite gear is the one I recently purchased, Canon 5D Mark III mated with either the Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM lens or the Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II USM. Other stuff you would find in my bag are my back-up cameras, the Canon EOS 70D and 600D with the 18-135mm kit lens and Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II and my Canon Speedlites, the 430EX II and the 600EX-RT.

I have been using Canon since the time I bought my first DSLR camera and haven’t used any other brands. It has been four years since I bought my EOS 600D with the 18-135mm kit lens and so far, it has yet to fail me. I don’t plan selling it either as that camera had people started noticing and appreciating my shots as a freelance photographer.

I would always remember the first time I visited Caramoan and went island-hopping, this was when the Survivor USA was being shot in one of the islands and we were not allowed to set foot on it. The second day of our trip, luckily for us there was no shooting going on and were able to stay on the island and shoot some photos of the set.

My current interest revolves around the world of photography as I still have much to learn, that is why I see to it to attend all the workshops that Canon Image Academy holds for photographers like me. What is great about it is that photographers that I looked up to are the ones conducting these workshops.

I guess if I had not taken that gamble of getting serious about my photography, I would still be working full-time as a web designer.

What I can impart with this experience on winning the photo contest to others who are having second thoughts about their photography and if their shots are worthy, just submit it and you might get surprised just like I did. It is one avenue that helps you grow as a photographer.

Winning Canon’s Going Places Photo Contest came as a surprise as this was my first time to join a photo contest and in fact I had no intention of joining a photo contest. The fact that my entry won the grand prize, a Canon EOS M10, makes it sweeter as now I have a camera that I can carry with me everywhere I go.

My winning entry for Canon ImageNation Travel Photo Contest 2016

My entry, The Cottage Man, was taken during my trip to Caramoan in Camarines Sur, Bicol, April of this year. The subject caught my attention due to his very welcoming and friendly character, and at his age of 73 he still is fit to do such a physically-demanding work.