Solamente in black and white photos PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 08 October 2012 10:13

This is one event that people of Zamboanga City and the 2012 Zamboanga Hermosa Festival visitors should not miss, “Solamente Zamboanga Exhibit”, at the Garden Orchid Hotel. It features black and white photos of New York-based Zamboangueňo Photographer Enrico “Toby” Tobias, great art works of international acclaimed artist Rameer Tawasil, and several of our best local artists.

Though it is the artistic eyes that distinct great photo shots, the advent of digital cameras and computer softwares have made it now more convenient to take more pictures, enhance and process them faster. But not for Toby who still prefers to take his pictures using “old” reliable Holga, Pentax, and Nikon manual cameras. These are what he calls his toy cameras as he has to put a roll of camera film first and slide the camera roller to get the next picture. He must get the right shot at the right angle and light background or else lose a good shoot at a fraction of a second. His enjoys and prefers raw and natural photo pictures that are developed in a dark room studio rather by computer printers.

In a world of ever changing images that never repeat themselves, Toby is able to capture and freeze a moment through his camera and make it his own. His moments bear a philosophy of life and living, nurtured by childhood hardships, a struggle to succeed, of plunging into the pits of wanton abandonment, and of becoming whole again.

In his photo album of moments in Asia’s Latin City and travels in other countries, Toby captures images that are seen from such a philosophy: that life is a journey of choices that defines change. He will show his interpretation of the best and worst of life’s experiences in his “Solamente” photos of people and places.  He flew back to his beloved Zamboanga, especially to participate in this year’s Zamboanga Hermosa Festival. This perspective makes the collection unique and rare.

He is a nurse by profession who specializes in Nurse Anaesthesia. He graduated from the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) in Zamboanga City and pursued special studies in Family Nursing at the Loyola University, New Orleans in 2005 and Masters Studies in Nurse Anaesthesia at the Louisiana State University, New Orleans in 2008.

His photography was first honed through the WMSU university student paper, The Digest, and the artistry was enhanced through his formal studies at the New Orleans School of Fine Arts (Photography) in 1997. His works have been published in Times Picayune, Atlanta Journal and Island Magazine; all are publications in the United States of America.  His first exhibit was at New Orleans School of Fine Arts in 1998. Born in Sta.Clara, Zamboanga del Sur, he is now based in Brooklyn, New York, USA.

While Toby fancies the digital age of photography, he is enamored with the traditional way of capturing photographs through manual cameras and does the curing and development of the photos himself. Films are processed in traditional way and printed on silver emollient with darkroom technique. For him, the art of photography is not only in capturing images but also involves the manual processing of the photographs.  The excitement and surprise of photography is in waiting what comes out of this process.

The “Solamente” (which means Solely or Only) was made possible through the efforts and full support of the Zamboanga City Government through Zamboanga City Tourism Officer Sarita Hernandez and with the artistic direction of Rameer Tawasil. All the sale proceeds of Toby’s pictures will go to a Zuellig Foundation that supports women who have difficulty in giving birth due to poverty.  The exhibit will run until the end of October 2012.

By Dante Corteza