Seizing the Moment » Manila Bulletin Lifestyle



By Arlene Donaire

‘An effective photograph for me is one that is able to communicate to the viewers—it tells a story by its emotion, composition, and lighting. To achieve this, one must keep on practicing because there is so much to learn.’ – Boyet Mesuga

At the monthly meetings of the PhotoWorld Cup of the Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation (PWC-FPPF) in Intramuros, he sits quietly with the huddled shooters that regularly attend to represent their clubs in the highly competitive nationwide inter-club monthly contests. Soft-spoken with a pleasant demeanor and natural humility,Boyet Mesuga is a multi-awarded FPPF alumnus and member of the Manila Avid Photographers Club and has talent that can speak volumes for his photographic and artistic skills.

  • Balanced (Parañaque) (Boyet Mesuga)

  • Silip(Panagbenga Festival) (Boyet Mesuga)

  • Here and There (Feast of the Black Nazarene, Manila) (Boyet Mesuga)

  • Half-Half (Baguio City) (Boyet Mesuga)

  • Flow Lights (Makati) (Boyet Mesuga)

  • Calm (Subic) (Boyet Mesuga)

  • Baluarte (Luna, La Union) (Boyet Mesuga)

  • Panagbenga Festival (Baguio) (Boyet Mesuga)

  • Sunset (Balete, Batangas) (Boyet Mesuga)

  • Stolen (Masbate) (Boyet Mesuga)

  • Parallel (Makati) (Boyet Mesuga)

  • Pangangailangan at Kagustuhan (Traslacion, Manila) (Boyet Mesuga)

  • Kamay ni Apo (Boyet Mesuga)

Originally from Camarines Sur and the oldest of the six children of parents Soledad and Jose, Boyet completed a bachelor’s degree intelecommunications technology management from the University of Makati.He is currently working as a web programmer for a local entertainment company. He has been able to effectively fuse his acquired knowledge in the graphics field with the creative aspect of his photography. His images have simple yet eye-catching visual stories—clean and fluid composition, harmonious color palettes, and smart use of light to accentuate his well-chosen subjects. These are qualities that demonstrate a very good understanding of how photography can be complemented with technology.

Boyet recounts how he started and grew in his passion for photography:“I began shooting in 2012 with a camera I borrowed from a cousin. I didn’t know yet how to use the camera features, so I just shot in auto mode. Because inspiration struck me quickly, I bought my first camera after that and decided to enroll in 2013 in the basic and advanced workshops of the FPPF. “

By 2015, Boyet had joined the Manila Avid Photographers Club to further improve his skills. He is grateful for having found this community whose members generously impart their own knowledge and had helped him to grow. The club members, like him, are active in joining photo contests such asthe PWC, Neutral Ground Reborn (NGR), and the International Photography Awards (IPA). Within thisconducive environment, he has been encouraged to compete regularly in contests, where he seems to have a knack for consistently choosing the right images. Winning in these contests has given him a great sense of fulfillment, which he says is enough reward.

His most memorable recognition so far is winning two major awards in the 2017 IPA-NGR Competition—the Deeper Perspective Photographer Award for his moving image titled “Traslacion” and Architecture Photographer of the Year for his photo “Parallel.” He also garnered 47 citations for his other photo entries—13 golds, 10 silvers, six bronzes, and 18 honorable mentions. He had been joining the IPA-Philippines contest since 2015, reaping citations annually but 2017 is his “winningest” year. Within his own club, Boyet has consistently been in the top two-ranked members; first in fact, on his newbie year in 2015. Other significant awards included his wins in the FPPF thematic contests on the environment and Intramuros history.

Photography for him is an expression of what he sees and feels. He is partial to shooting in low-lighting conditions, whether early morning or late afternoon, and lets his subject determine if he shoots in black and white and color. He explains his approach: “An effective photograph for me is one that is able to communicate to the viewers—it tells a story by its emotion, composition, and lighting. To achieve this, one must keep on practicing because there is so much to learn.”

His favorite photographers, whose works are sources of lessons for him are Rommel Bundalian, for street, travel, and corporate; Darwin Gernale, for his well-composed street scenes; and Francis Nollan, who creates extraordinary images out of simple scenes through effective use of lights and shadows.

Because Boyet is focused more on the story conveyed in a photo, he finds his subjects everywhere and would shoot anythingfrom landscapes and nature to people, still life, and street. He appreciates that because of photography, he is able to recognize and capture the beauty of God’s creations and document people’s life wherever or whenever he sees them.

His ultimate goal as an artist is to create out-of-the-box photosand be able to share and inspire others.In the meantime, Boyet “seizes the moment” in each day as he continues honing himself in the field. Someday when he can save up the resources for another camera, he would like to explore film photography and practice travel photography as a profession.

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