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

Taoist priest chanting 7th month prayers. Singapore.

Taoist Priest
 


 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma

It's been a very interesting week. Started it on Sunday trading water bombs with Burmese folks celebrating Thingyan at a local Singapore temple:

 

Thingyan1


Thingyan2

... and while they were basking in the spirit of their water festival, Filipinos a world away marked the start of Holy Week 2014.

 

The climax of this occasion was, of course, today. This morning I photographed penitents in Manila:

 

Hweek1

Then later this afternoon I covered one of the many Via Crucis processions throughout the city:

Hweek2

But of course, it's only Friday. There are still two more days to go in this wet, hot, holy week :)

 


 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma

Something I've never seen in 11 years of living in Singapore: an old-school Buddhist monk, complete with staff, gourd flask and orange robe. I reckon he's not local. You just can't find his kind of monk in these parts anymore...

 

shaolinlolo


 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma

2) Back to Burma

 August 8, 2013: This land burned itself into my memory five years ago, when I first came here as a media guest. Myanmar was a heady blend of culture and beauty, the likes of which I had never seen. It was exotic and isolated, and in many ways untainted. Quite simply, I fell in love with this place.

02


It took me some time, but I finally made it back. With my pregnant wife in tow, I eagerly got reacquainted with “The Golden Land”.  Myanmar was just as I remembered it – hot and dusty, and brimming with character. At the capital Yangon, we explored the same gilded temples, bustling streets and crumbling colonial buildings I had photographed before. We fed pigeons for good karma at Sule Paya, and greeted sundown at the Shwedagon Pagoda. A few days later in nearby Bago, we shot long lines of Buddhist monks and visited more temples. And we feasted on mohinga, khao hswe and laphet htoke.

 While admittedly we couldn’t go too far and wide (the old-school infrastructure wasn’t the best for babymooning), this whiff of supremely picturesque Burma was intoxicating enough for me. This was but a fleeting trip compared to my epic journey in ’08.

 But dammit I missed this place - and I was just happy (so very happy) to be back :)

And I will be back again – oh, yes I will be – when my PhotoTreks photography tour goes to Myanmar this September. Visit the PhotoTreks website for more details!




1) Why I Became A Photographer



June 17, 2013: Nimalung, Central Bhutan. The colors bewildered. The sights overwhelmed. Not in a long while have I been this fired up about taking pictures. The balconies were packed with people. Monks in their scarlet robes mingled with country folks clad in native attire. Policemen in ceremonial dress watched by the sidelines. All eyes were on the courtyard below, where masked dancers were commemorating the annual tsechu, a four-day festival held in honor of the Buddhist saint, Padmasambhava.


01


My senses felt overloaded. There were simply too many things to cover. Panic threatened to set in. Amidst the humming dung chen horns, the spinning prayer wheels, the swirling dancers and the singing women, I struggled to keep my composure. “Remember your training. Think objectively. Shoot for a story”, I reminded myself. Eventually I found my rhythm and things fell into place. The story unfolded. Backstage and onstage, in the stands and at the village outside, my cameras documented this amazing display of Bhutanese culture.

Rarely do they come together, but on this day they were all here. The exotic, the picturesque, and the mind-blowing. The joy of discovery. To capture these all – that is why I became a photographer.

 


... and that is why I still am :) Can't wait to see what happens this year!


 
Posted By Lester V Ledesma

Singaporeans regard Tanjung Pinang, the capital of Bintan Island, as the gritty city that they need to get through on the way to a squeaky-clean beach resort. They're missing a lot.

 

 

 

TP04

 

Located two hours away by ferry, this city once hosted the Malay empire's seat of government, before the Dutch and the British arrived to dismember it.


TP05

Traditional culture remains strong; Locals at Penyengat Island (off the coast) indulge in a game of sepak takraw in front of the ancient Raya Mosque.

 

TP06

 

Sunset at Jalan Merdeka, where the seaside promenade becomes host to a bustling night food market.


TP07

 

Early morning finds rowboats ferrying folks from the nearby kampung air  - water villages on stilts - to shore.


TP08

A familiar scene anywhere: a kids runs after resident pigeons, this time at a local Buddhist temple serving the city's large Chinese population.

 

Just a two-hour ferry ride from Singapore, Tanjung Pinang is an easy getaway from the sterile, hectic Lion City.


 


 
Google

User Profile
Lester V Led...
lledesma@sky...
Singapore

 
Category
 
Recent Entries
 
Archives
 
Visitors

You have 1739139 hits.