December 28, 2010
Early this school year I have planned on how I would approach the most famous and most dreaded requirement of our college the “Thesis”. I have planned to pick Sir Torres as my thesis advisor so as to get to know him because the two other thesis advisors for photography have already been my professor for my past semesters, respectably, Ma’am Nady and Sir Meo. They were very kind to me but out of curiosity and it is said that Sir Ken Torres is the most kind of them all, I chose to him. Unable to control my excitement and anxiety I arrived at 4am on the day of choosing thesis advisors (UST was very dark at those times, the only company I have were the roving security guards, bats, and mosquitoes). Eventually it paid off I was the first one to be allowed to go inside Beato Angelico, show off my portfolio, and write on Sir Torres class list. It was sweet.
I have planned to present three plausible thesis topic for my adviser to choose from, because that was how it goes according to my seniors. They were concert photography (to have an excuse to go to gigs, get drunk, and meet some nice people), kite aerial photography (where you get to watch your twenty six thousand peso DSLR dangle in the wind), and astrophotography (really amazing to see deep space photographs). But Sir Torres with his almost infinite kindness doesn’t do it that way. He just asked us what topics would we like to take on and think if it feasible. One of us wanted to remake and shoot some scenes from renowned movies, one wanted to feature street dance, one wanted to cover the life in the correctional, one wanted to interpret poems, etc. I thought to myself concert photography would be something I can do whenever I want to. Astrophotography, need much time, effort, and cash to pull off. Kite aerial photography is something new, have seen a video of someone actually doing it, cost efficient according to my research, has information on the internet on how to do it, and I could get a new camera if I break my current camera. Perfect. I hesitant but was able to raise my hand and say, “Sir yung kamera po papaliparin gamit yung saranggola tapos kukuha ng mga litrato” (Sir the camera would be sent off in a kite then take photos). Sir Torres reaction was disappointing.
He, not directly, approved the thesis topic that I propose except it would be an exhibit but a book on kite aerial photography. I planned to be able to contact the suppliers in until the date of submission of thesis topics to know if it would be feasible. It was not that easy many thought I was crazy. I was able to find a kite-maker here that makes kite similar to those already used by other kite aerial photographers or kappers as they are called, I also got to interview Mr. John Chua the authority in aerial photography here in the Philippines he said some nice things about aerial photography but was also doubtful about sending a dslr on a kite to the sky, the engineer whom I thought would be the one to make the camera rig for me declined (said it would be to expensive and that I should rather do aerial photography with remote-controlled helicopters, definitely not fun plus Mr. John Chua said the rc helicopter almost destroyed his Canon 5d markII),
With the engineer I have hoped to make the camera rig to me, I began to doubt myself. But I thought to myself if I won’t be able to to do this then I have no testicles and this would be the benchmark of my career to be the only (as far as my knowledge is concerned) Filipino kite aerial photographer in the Philippines that uses a dslr (it is said that there are others that use compact digital cameras). And I keep on saying to myself it would be one of the greatest thesis to touch our college and that it would be unprecedented in seven years. So I persisted and tried everything. With the grace of God I was able to reach a Dr. Jun Tripon ,who was according to him, done some kite aerial photography during the film days. Talking over the telephone was thrilling, because at last someone who thinks it is possible and best of it all he was willing to help. I went unto his dentistry clinic in makati and was able to make a battle plan on how to approach the war.