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

So where do I start? After my wifey's surprise Maldives treat and the Bangkok assignment in January, a few other things happened on the way to today:

There was the run to Phuket and Sukhothai where I covered King Ramkamhaeng's birthday, among other things:


Then it was off to Myanmar where I photographed Yangon and Inle:

Afterwards, I headed off with my PhotoTrekkers to Bhutan where we shot the Punakha Dromche:

Not bad for the first half of the year, I tell ya:

Then without further ado, I hied off to Kuala Lumpur to shoot Islamic architecture and hang with Hainanese old-timers:

A few weeks of rest followed, then I promptly boarded at plane to Hanoi, where I hopped aboard the night train to Sapa Valley:

... and then I found myself back in Myanmar - whopeee - for the year's second PhotoTrek!

Philippines next - this time to Coron and Calauit Island:

Which happened back-to-back with an excursion down south to meet the Manobo tribespeople of Butuan:

Afterwards I stayed home to spend the Singapore Jubilee weekend with my wife and daughter:

Needless to say I'm happy with how this year is going.

A little tired, but yes - very happy :)

Posted By Lester V Ledesma

Yup, that's the April 2013 issue of Smile Magazine, cover shot by yours truly:




Photographer: Lester Ledesma

Art Director: Anthony Gonzales

Model: Inna Gorelli

Stylist: Jof Sering

Make-up: Elaine Wong


Check out this lovely mag online at

Posted By Lester V Ledesma

The right amount of rain can put nostalgia into any scene:


KL Station


Kuala Lumpur Train Station

Canon EOS 7D + Loreo shift toy lens

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
My "PhotoTreks: Heart of Malaysia" photography tour ended successfully last week, with 7 participants doing a street photography-oriented coverage of Melaka and Kuala Lumpur:







It's been a real pleasure doing something you love - taking pictures - with like-minded company. Check out our shoot video here -

PhotoTreks: Heart of Malaysia from PhotoTreks on Vimeo.



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