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Fashion and Beauty

Veteran Photographer Alvin Lee Captures Scenes In New Light Beyond The Snapshot

EXISTENTIAL BLABBER - Kara Ortiga - The Philippine Star

Alvin Lee has been taking pictures for more than 40 years. His photographs throughout these four decades are shot in black and white — so that they focus better on the subject, he says. His work on convicts with tattoos and the smoky mountains, which he shot as a young man, became part of a CCP road show around Asia. He recalls his adventures as a young 20-year-old: an energetic photographer with the youthful verve to scour the streets and document everyday life. His mentor was legendary photojournalist Honesto Vitug, who shot portraits of Philippine Presidents from Emilio Aguinaldo to Corazon Aquino. Honesto also became his friend. 

But today, after having to relearn how to work the camera (due to the emergence of digital photography), he veers away from his social documentary and instead casts his lens in a new light. 

Having learned photography during a time when processing, printing and dark rooms were crucial in producing an image, Alvin believes a photograph that is not printed is only half done. He believes that photographs shared only on the internet are missing one important quality of the art. Photographs must be printed to complete the cycle, he says.

Lee’s solo show “Beyond the Snapshot” features the same subjects he has encountered in the past, but seen through a different eye. He also pays attention to the entire photographic journey — from capturing the image, to printing, to framing. He is a purist: only applying dodge and burn effects to his photographs, and working closely with a printer to produce the best results. 

 “Beyond the Snapshot” is currently on view until April 9 at The Crucible Gallery, which continues to support and celebrate the art of photography year by year, by exhibiting various lensmen and their innovative ways of capturing new light.

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For inquiries, please call Chari or Jun at 635-6061.

The Crucible is at the fourth floor of SM Megamall A, Mandaluyong City.

 

 

ALVIN LEE

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