Q : We know you love to travel and you always want your camera with you. Tell us how it’s like to combine two things you enjoy doing.
R : Travel and photography combined is truly an adventure and at the same time a challenge for me. Yes, love ko po etong parehong gawin and it all started during my overseas work in Singapore way back 2007. Point-and-shoot na Kodak digital camera gamit ko pa noon, 4 megapixels pa lang yata 'yun. On weekends, I’ll just go to Chinatown, Little India, Bugis, Clark Quay and Sentosa and capture whatever subjects fascinate me. Pangtanggal lang ng inip at homesickness. Although it’s an exhilarating and learning experience, the major challenge here is how will you able to capture and share photos of a place, be it on landscape or architecture, people and culture, making it more inviting and appealing to your viewers so they could also feel and enjoy the beauty of the place too, as if kasama mo din silang nakikita 'yung ganda ng isang scenery with their own naked eyes. Bonus pa kapag may narinig ka na "wow, ang ganda naman ng places na napuntahan mo."
Q : And your latest trip took you to North America. Looks like you enjoyed shooting with your mobile phone. What was the main reason you took snaps mostly from your phone?
R : For this trip, I took most snapshots from my Samsung S7 Edge for my Instagram account. Madaliang shots, kaunting edit sa Snapseed and voila, pwede na i-upload agad. Aside sa nagkaroon ng markings na black sa corners ng image ng photos ko using my DSL, a problem with the lens whatsoever, it was also difficult to concentrate shooting when you are traveling with friends on a limited time frame. Good thing I have with me my Samsung phone and it turned out na lumabas na okay naman 'yung snapshots from the trip.
Q : Do you think the gap is closing in terms of image quality between full-fledged cameras and mobile phone cameras?
R : With hybrid technology rising among the camera specs of smartphones nowadays, I think mobile phone cameras are already bridging the gap closer to full-fledged cameras in terms of image quality and camera features.
Q : What, for you, makes shooting with a mobile phone camera so much enjoyable compared to DSLR or mirrorless?
R : Three words. Handy, lightweight and instant.
Q: Obviously, travel photography is your thing, but what other genre are you mostly inclined to?
R : Food photography and child photography and portraiture, I think. I love capturing the innocent smiles of children especially my kids and my nieces and nephews.
Q : And what other kind/field of photography do you want to try or always been curious about?
R : I have been curious with Street Photography. It amazed me seeing some street photos by my co-Focus members like Jay Salvador, Julius Calzo and Nympha Pagtalunan…Conveying mood and emotion in an ordinary street life is quite a difficult and tedious genre for me. I have also been curious with the long exposure photography of Jer Sandel. I'm amazed at the photos of my other Focus family. You are all awesome and talented in your own ways and I am proud being part of Focus.
Q : Of all the places you’ve visited, which one is your most favorite, and why? How about the one place that for you was the most picturesque?
R : Japan is my favorite place among all. Aside of course that my family is living there, people are generally nice, disciplined and well-mannered. Food was great and each place has a distinct appeal, be it in the mega cities of Tokyo or nearby prefectures. I would love to explore other places like Osaka, Kyoto, Hokkaido and Sapporo if given the chance to come back. For me, Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia is the most picturesque among all the places I visited in Asia. Noong napanood ko 'yung Tomb Raider ni Angelina Jolie, na-amaze ako sa mga temples sa movie, sabi ko sa sarili ko, "wow ang ganda", sana mapuntahan ko din 'yun one day. Fast forward, 'yung dating dream ko naging reality at nakita ko mismo 'yung temple and Ta Prohm the famous Tomb Raider Tree. Luckily, my shot of the Bayon Temple was featured in the first Focus anniversary exhibit in 2014.
Q : Please share your most favorite photo of all.
R : The night shot of the Tokyo Skytree is my favorite among all my photos. We were then going home to my sister’s house in Chiba. 'Yung kapatid ko nagsabi , "Ditse, kunan mo 'yun o." Perfect timing lang talaga na blue hour tapos lighted pa yung Tokyo Skytree I took the shot while inside the moving vehicle swerte lang na hindi blurry ung image. The shot was taken while we are travelling at the Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo. Na feature din yun sa Photo of the Week ng Focus.
Q : What does travel and photography have in common that you like.
R : Memories, for me, is the common denominator of travel and photography and I love every memory documented in each of my travels. It’s just like you capture every moment and have it with you forever.
Q : A dream destination that’s still in your bucket list.
R : Naku madami pa, there are a lot to mention. I have only been to few places so far but my wish list would be Europe, I would love to see the grandeur of fairytale-like European castles and chateau. I would love to see also Machu Picchu of Peru, the highly-diverse culture of Bhutan as well as the wildlife safari of South Africa, and madaming local travels, unang-una na 'yung Batanes. Libre lang naman mangarap, 'di ba?
Q : What's an advice that you can give to travelers and travel photographers?
R: For travelers, travel, create and collect memories while you still can. Life is short. Enjoy and wander. Remember the adage, “We travel not to escape life , but for life not to escape us”. There are so many budget airlines and cheap airfare just wait for the right timing. Schedule the assigned budget para 'di mabigat and may time pa kayo mag-ipon. Kumbaga andiyan na nakahain na sa'yo, schedule mo na lang ang kulang. I am not rich and most of my travels are from piso fare and other deals ng airlines. For travel photographers, hmmm…I’m still amateur in doing this and there are still a lot to learn. Siguro just enjoy and create memories of every place. Just bring the basics, don’t bring so many gear. Travel light and be wary of your surroundings.
Q : Your message to your Focus members and Focus followers?
R : Hi, Focus family! I miss shooting with you guys. I hope to catch up soon. Saludo ako sa skills and galing n'yo. Hindi man ako visible and active lately, I am always here to support you guys. God bless us all and more power to us!!! To Focus followers, thank you for your support. Rest assured that the group will continuously give clearer, sharper and bolder images to everyone.
More of Rochelle's favorite snaps from her North America trip
Now taking a breather after working for years in the shipping industry, Rochelle wants to focus on her family and expand her photography. Having sisters who are also camera junkies, photography runs in the blood. We could only imagine the photos she would come up with on her next adventure, or her next pursuit. For now, we'll keep an eye on her Instagram account, who knows, maybe her next target destination is coming soon. All we know is she has her sights on the land of the rising sun. :)
Every month, we have a feature on our members, our photography idols, and other photography issues we feel deserve a heads-up.