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Saturday, January 21, 2012

When some photographers are not getting the real picture during Sinulog

The Sinulog Grand Parade is a marvelous sight to behold. Full of color, fun and even beauty. Even after the Sinulog, the beautiful imagery remains because of the photographers who took pictures of the dancing contingents, their colorful costumes and the beauty and grace of their festival queens captured in the photos. Sinulog photo exhibits are must sees.

This Sinulog was well-participated and well-watched. People gathered in the streets which became a giant stage for the participating contingents, floats and higantes. Photographers, professional and amateur were plenty since they gained access inside the rope barrier by paying a registration fee.

I also gained access to the parade route like the photographers due to my Media ID card being part of online media. I was also in the center of it all. I was positioned in Fuente, live-tweeting the Sinulog events as they unfold and there was one thing that is very noticeable in this particular year's parade especially in Fuente....

Even as I stand in the streets with a good vantage point or good view of the contingents, I had difficulty seeing the dance performances. Much more, I cannot see the festival queen, the star of the contingent from different angles. Why? Because she was surrounded by some photographers who were already positioned in arm's length of her. Same with the other performers. Like bees colored red swarming to get honey, some undisciplined photographers were storming to where the dancers are and surrounded them like a human shield blocking my view, more so of people behind the rope barrier and the people assigned to keep the audience off the dancing contingents.

I asked myself, what were the expensive zoom lenses of the photographers for? How about the ordinary person who wants to view the parade? How about the tourists who were watching with the masses? How about if these people would want to take a picture too? Isn't the Sinulog for everyone to see as it happens  live in the streets?

I have great respect and admiration for photographers that I also wish to be one someday. I have also friends who are photobloggers or bloggers who are also into photography. I have also colleagues in the medical profession who love photography. I saw them myself. They were respecting the desire of the crowd to see the parade. They were not among these "red bees".

But other photographers were like hungry wild animals let loose. While live tweeting, I hear people in the background complaining about their view being blocked by these undisciplined photographers. I am sure public forums are also abuzz complaining about this. I am also writing about this to confirm what these people are complaining about because I also saw this behavior myself.

I asked a crowd control person and asked his opinion about the photographers that were blocking the nice street performances and he said it would have been best if an orientation was made among the registered photographers regarding where photographers should position themselves or what lens to use. He suggested that people should write the Sinulog Foundation and make the matter known to the organizers for a better Sinulog next year so as not to repeat the same mistake.

The Sinulog is supposed to be for everyone and it is not there just to provide good subjects for photographers. Selfishness should not reign among photographers.

Any suggestions to address this problem and improve next year's Sinulog?


  1. Doc,

    Try reading this..Thanks!

  2. Thanks for the link. I hope the suggestions to improve Sinulog will reach the organizers. It is good that blogs, forums are helping out in achieving this objective.

  3. welcome to the club Doc! I have harped about it even at last year's festival. here are some interesting bits I noted while roaming Imus road:

    - most people were cursing CANON, they were saying pila ba gyud gibayad sa kompanya ngadto ni Ballesteros hahaha!
    - some thugs attempted to throw empty plastic bottles at those red-shirted folks. good there were police and army officers in the area, so they dropped the idea

    as for my very own experience... there was one red-shirted girl who ran directly in front of my lowly point and shoot camera and stayed there as I took shots of a group (I was sitting on the roadside near DepEd). tapped her shoulder and asked if she was a pro, she said no and ran forward. I think she knew I was about to ask her if she's heard about common courtesy :)

    my hatest IS: they think having registered as a photography contestant also authorizes them to STAND TALL and IDLE in the middle of the road even when not shooting pics.

    hmm, maybe I should go find and organize those thugs along Imus? joke hehe!

    yeah I think they should be briefed or even restricted to some area along the parade route. behind a velvet rope if need be.



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