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Photographer of the Week: Gelo Santos

Published

By Maan D’Asis Pamaran

As a doctor working in Dubai, Gelo Santos needs to be thorough and precise. This is the same discipline that he applies to his photographs.

  • Tulips In Bloom Amsterdam (Gelo Santos)

    Tulips In Bloom Amsterdam (Gelo Santos)

  • POSITANO AMALFI COAST ITALY (Gelo Santos)

    POSITANO AMALFI COAST ITALY (Gelo Santos)

  • Pink Flamingos Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary Dubai (Gelo Santos)

    Pink Flamingos Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary Dubai (Gelo Santos)

  • Perito Moreno Glacier Park Argengtina (Gelo Santos)

    Perito Moreno Glacier Park Argengtina (Gelo Santos)

  • Paris In Full Bloom (Gelo Santos)

    Paris In Full Bloom (Gelo Santos)

  • Old Town Prague Czech Republic (Gelo Santos)

    Old Town Prague Czech Republic (Gelo Santos)

  • Nativity Orthodox Church Riga Latvia (Gelo Santos)

    Nativity Orthodox Church Riga Latvia (Gelo Santos)

  • Nasir Ol Molk Mosque Shiraz Iran (Gelo Santos)

    Nasir Ol Molk Mosque Shiraz Iran (Gelo Santos)

  • Mount Mayon (Gelo Santos)

    Mount Mayon (Gelo Santos)

  • Machu Picchu Cuzco Peru (Gelo Santos)

    Machu Picchu Cuzco Peru (Gelo Santos)

  • Les Invalides Paris France (Gelo Santos)

    Les Invalides Paris France (Gelo Santos)

  • Lapland Finland (Gelo Santos)

    Lapland Finland (Gelo Santos)

  • Hungarian Parliament Budapest Hungary (Gelo Santos)

    Hungarian Parliament Budapest Hungary (Gelo Santos)

  • Hot Air Balloon Dubai Desert (Gelo Santos)

    Hot Air Balloon Dubai Desert (Gelo Santos)

  • Heydar Aliyev Center Baku Azerbaijan (Gelo Santos)

    Heydar Aliyev Center Baku Azerbaijan (Gelo Santos)

  • Hawa Mahal Jaipur Rajasthan India (Gelo Santos)

    Hawa Mahal Jaipur Rajasthan India (Gelo Santos)

  • Elephant Family Amboseli National Park Kenya (Gelo Santos)

    Elephant Family Amboseli National Park Kenya (Gelo Santos)

  • Dubai Metro (Gelo Santos)

    Dubai Metro (Gelo Santos)

  • Dubai Desert Safari (Gelo Santos)

    Dubai Desert Safari (Gelo Santos)

  • Cristo Redentor Rio De Janeiro Brasil (Gelo Santos)

    Cristo Redentor Rio De Janeiro Brasil (Gelo Santos)

  • Copenhagen Skyline Denmark (Gelo Santos)

    Copenhagen Skyline Denmark (Gelo Santos)

  • Cherry Blossoms Paris France (Gelo Santos)

    Cherry Blossoms Paris France (Gelo Santos)

  • Charles Bridge Prague Czechia (Gelo Santos)

    Charles Bridge Prague Czechia (Gelo Santos)

  • Carousel And Tour Eiffel (Gelo Santos)

    Carousel And Tour Eiffel (Gelo Santos)

  • Canal Grande Venezia Italia (Gelo Santos)

    Canal Grande Venezia Italia (Gelo Santos)

  • Burj Al Arab Dubai UAE (Gelo Santos)

    Burj Al Arab Dubai UAE (Gelo Santos)

  • Budpest Skyline Hungary (Gelo Santos)

    Budpest Skyline Hungary (Gelo Santos)

  • Blue Lagoon Comino Island Malta (Gelo Santos)

    Blue Lagoon Comino Island Malta (Gelo Santos)

  • Baby Giraffes Nairobi Kenya (Gelo Santos)

    Baby Giraffes Nairobi Kenya (Gelo Santos)

  • Amsterdam Skyline (Gelo Santos)

    Amsterdam Skyline (Gelo Santos)

    “I deal with medical and surgical cases to review in my daily work as a clinical advisor for Now Health International, an international insurance and TPA company, here in Dubai. We work on a global scale in a multi-diverse environment. I can say that focus, attention to details, strong commitment, and utmost dedication are common in my line of work and my hobby which is photography,” he shares.

    In his job as a medical practitioner, he has worked with private medical practice and taught in medical and nursing colleges, post-graduate review centers, and medical university in the Philippines for almost 10 years before he transferred to the UAE.

    As a photographer, he has published two travel photo books: #TravelMemories and People, Places, Memories, available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. He has also had his travel images printed on Lonely Planet Asia Magazine, London-based Suitcase Magazine, and Dubai-based Illustrado Magazine – which has also named him as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf for 2017. His blog www.docgelo.com, which he started back in 2007, was chosen as Best Expat Blog Awards from Ministry of Tourism Malaysia for 2012 and 2013.

    Through all these accolades, he views photography as therapy. “I consider photography as therapeutic as it is traveling for me. It doesn’t only ease homesickness but also stress and other problems in general. Taking photos allows me to immortalize a moment and document where I have been. It also provides me an outlet and a medium to express my creativity, and most importantly, it makes me happy.”

    He shares that he has been to 43 countries in five continents to date and he immensely enjoys taking his two cameras wherever he goes.

    He takes great pains to reach his vantage points, literally. Without a drone, he climbs church towers and colonnades, hikes on hills, goes up rooftop bars, skyscrapers, and observation decks, and takes chopper tours simply to view the horizon, rooftops, and skyline and create images of them. “There’s something being on top to view everything from above that gratifies me. Having a good photo of skyline gives me a good feeling after completing a climb of 300 to 500 steps!”

    The doctor lensman reveals, surprisingly, that he no technical knowledge on photography. “I keep my pictures raw as much as possible. I don’t know how to do Photoshop or highly advanced digital modification. I’m nothing against it and I just like my images with only little adjustments on saturation, contrast, and cropping. I want to keep my actual memories with them and I wanted my audience to see, feel the mood, and somehow experience through what they see what I’ve experienced in that moment when I took the shot.”

    Photography may be a simple passion that keeps him happy, but he says that he wants to have a bigger role on how he wields his lens. “I want to impart that it remains a powerful and effective medium for expression of freedom and creativity, hence we have to use it responsibly. Each photo tells our story and documents our memories. If we could use photography to indirectly inspire others to do the same or to do something positive, then our days will be happier and our world will be a bit better.”

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