Posted By Lester V Ledesma
Photoworld before the arrival of the internet photography forums was the ultimate hard-on for any photography enthusiast in Manila. That's because it brought everyone together - photo suppliers with consumers, camera manufacturers with buyers, photolabs with photographers. I remember spending hours at Glorietta browsing through the booths selling secondhand gear and photographic equipment. My most memorable buys were an EF 80-200mm f4.5-5.6 USM zoom (Php6,000) and a plastic two-reel developing tank (Php135, I think) which I still use today.

Zorki 
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I also remember gawking at the old master photographers whenever I spotted them - folks like John Chua, Edwin Tuyay and Wig Tysmans, they were the gods of their genres in the Philippine photography scene. Of course, you had to pay the Php2,500 registration fee if you wanted to hear them lecture at the AIM conference rooms.

But there was this one time, over ten years ago, when the unregistered me snuck into the lecture hall (sorry Mrs. Huang I just had to do it!!!) to sit-in on my then-favorite travel photographer's class. A few years later - in 2003 - I found myself standing at the Photoworld stage, giving the travel photography class.

Then I moved to SIngapore and that was the last Photoworld I ever attended :( Good thing by then the internet forums had already arrived. Ph-Photo (again, the old Ph-Photo) was the first virtual community of Filipino photographers, and it sort of democratized the way photographic knowledge was spread. No longer did you need to wait for January to up your learning curve - instead, there was this vast, free pool of education waiting to be googled, shared, emailed or blogged on the web.

Today, the learning, the networking and the shopping are all at one's fingertips. But there's still nothing like the "camera"-derie of photographers being in the same place at the same time, celebrating their passion for the camera craft.

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Check out the Photoworld Manila website to learn more about this year's convention.

Ph-Photo can be accessed at the Yahoogroups site.

 
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