This online shoebox contains random pictures, notes, whatever. I've been a professional writer-photographer for so many years now. It's a damn good excuse to carry a camera around.

Posted By Lester V Ledesma

Children in Hacienda Santa Rosalia in Manapla, Negros Occidental, take the local ride home:


Bull Riders

Posted By Lester V Ledesma

Calle Rizal in Silay, Philippines (above) is just like Jalan Kampong Pantai in Melaka, Malaysia (below) :




They are both main streets in cities that were once centers of commerce in their respective countries. Today they are heritage districts, lockers of their nation's memories.


Silay is my late father's hometown, and it's history is entwined with that of my family's.


Posted By Lester V Ledesma

#6) Street Photography With Luis


September 15, Malaysia: Whenever I hold a camera I have a story and a theme, sometimes even a layout in my mind's eye. Call it a professional habit, something I have cultivated in my fourteen years as a travel photographer. So imagine the internal retooling when photojournalist Luis Liwanag joined me as a guest speaker in PhotoTreks: Malaysia. This veteran lensman was renown for his evocative street photography, a shoot-first-think-later style of shooting that captured fleeting moments in everyday life.


It was a method of madness that contrasted my own, and from the start it was clear there was much to learn. Where I would approach a situation thoughtfully, my counterpart would wade in with cameras blazing, sometimes inches away from his unsuspecting subjects. And when I would stop to "art direct" my quarry, he would hide in plain sight, snapping away to reveal an instant of whimsy, or joy, or intrigue. Later on I switched gears, and did as the man did. No stories or layouts, just a heightened sense of awareness for anything interesting ("kung anu-ano lang" was how he described it). Damn it was challenging. And fun. And liberating. There's a select handful of photographers whose work truly inspire me. This guy is one of them.

#5) The Long Lost Hometown


October 22, Philippines: It was just another fiesta in a career spent shooting fiestas for a living. But this visit was personal, and we had much, much more than photo-coverage in our heads.


We had come to Bacolod to shoot the annual Masskara Festival, and to reconnect with a city I used to visit as a child. This, you see, was my late father's hometown - a fact that was driven home (pardon the pun) by the numerous streets, buildings and grand old houses bearing my family's name. In another place we would have been strangers; here we were greeted by relatives I hadn't seen in years. And for five days we lived the Bacolodnon lifestyle (basically eat, party and drink lots of beer...) while I tried to shake the dust off my long-unused Ilonggo. Sure, we'd occasionally go out to shoot fiesta dancers on the street. But as my girlfriend Joanne said at one point: "para kang taga rito!" ("you're like a local here"). Going home was the real attraction here - the Masskara was just an excuse.

Posted By Lester V Ledesma
A vendor in Bacolod City steams his nuts by the roadside:


Posted By Lester V Ledesma
Fishermen in EB Magalona, Northern Negros, dry rows of salted fish under the noontime sun:


For a province known for its finger-licking sweet delicacies, this is a pleasant surprise!



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