Underwater Movement » Manila Bulletin Lifestyle

Manila Bulletin Philippines

Breaking News from the Nation's leading newspaper

Tempo

Online Newspaper

Showbiz and Celebrity News

Sports News

World News
News Asia

Underwater Movement

Photographer of the Week: Noel Guevara

Published

By Maan D’Asis Pamaran

As Emmanuel “Noel” Guevara captures the beauty of the deep sea, he wants to leave an underlying message: “I specialize in conservation and wildlife photography, specifically shark, ray, and turtle conservation, single-use plastic, and climate change. It’s very hard to care for something you do not see and the case is usually ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ more so if it’s beneath the surface. As an underwater photographer, you get to bring the beauty—and fragility—of the underwater ecosystem closer to the hearts of many.”

  • Zebra Lionfish In Twin Rocks, Anilao (Noel Guevara)

    Zebra Lionfish In Twin Rocks, Anilao (Noel Guevara)

  • Wolf Snappers Feeding on Plankton (Noel Guevara)

    Wolf Snappers Feeding on Plankton (Noel Guevara)

  • Whale Shark with Giant Trevally Escorts, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Noel Guevara)

    Whale Shark with Giant Trevally Escorts, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Noel Guevara)

  • Thresher Shark, Monad Shoal, Malapascua (Noel Guevara)

    Thresher Shark, Monad Shoal, Malapascua (Noel Guevara)

  • South Atoll, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Noel Guevara)

    South Atoll, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Noel Guevara)

  • Sleeping Polar Bear, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada (Noel Guevara)

    Sleeping Polar Bear, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada (Noel Guevara)

  • Seaweed Farmers, Taytay, Palawan (Noel Guevara)

    Seaweed Farmers, Taytay, Palawan (Noel Guevara)

  • School Of Jacks And Diver, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Noel Guevara)

    School Of Jacks And Diver, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Noel Guevara)

  • Reef Scenic, Camiguin (Noel Guevara)

    Reef Scenic, Camiguin (Noel Guevara)

  • Ranger Checking On Coral Domes, Talacanen Island, Palawan (Noel Guevara)

    Ranger Checking On Coral Domes, Talacanen Island, Palawan (Noel Guevara)

  • Polar Bear Foraging For Seaweeds And Berries, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada (Noel Guevara)

    Polar Bear Foraging For Seaweeds And Berries, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada (Noel Guevara)

  • Polar Bear Close Up, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada (Noel Guevara)

    Polar Bear Close Up, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada (Noel Guevara)

  • Close Encounter (Noel Guevara)

    Close Encounter (Noel Guevara)

  • My Wife And A Reef Manta, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Noel Guevara)

    My Wife And A Reef Manta, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Noel Guevara)

  • Mating Mandarin Fish, Lighthouse, Malapscua (Noel Guevara)

    Mating Mandarin Fish, Lighthouse, Malapscua (Noel Guevara)

  • Marble Ray, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Noel Guevara)

    Marble Ray, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Noel Guevara)

  • Hawksbill Sea Turtle, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Noel Guevara)

    Hawksbill Sea Turtle, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Noel Guevara)

  • Crepuscule And Sweetlips (Noel Guevara)

    Crepuscule And Sweetlips (Noel Guevara)

  • Giant Clam Sanctuary, Taytay, Palawan (Noel Guevara)

    Giant Clam Sanctuary, Taytay, Palawan (Noel Guevara)

  • Crab In A Plastic Cup, Caban Cove, Verde Island Passage (Noel Guevara)

    Crab In A Plastic Cup, Caban Cove, Verde Island Passage (Noel Guevara)

  • Canadian Eskimo Husky, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada (Noel Guevara)

    Canadian Eskimo Husky, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada (Noel Guevara)

  • Brown Booby, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Noel Guevara)

    Brown Booby, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Noel Guevara)

  • Blackfin Barracudas, Apo Reef (Noel Guevara)

    Blackfin Barracudas, Apo Reef (Noel Guevara)

    His mission with each dive is to spread the word about how the way we live affects those are hidden from our view. “We don’t see where our plastic waste and carbon emissions go—I try to show the reality of that through my photos.”

    His work as a conservation photographer was inspired by a project with the WWF in 2014 when his production house Pelicola.tv was tapped to do a documentary on renewable energy in 2014. “I had to shoot underwater in Tubbataha.  I had myself certified and my love for the ocean began. I dabbled with underwater photography as a hobby until 2017, when I finally decided to switch from being a director to a conservation and wildlife photographer.

    Noel describes the value of clear, crisp, colorful images in getting a message across. “Photography allows me to convey complex messages and stir emotions with just one frame. Conservation photography requires covering complicated issues and perspectives involving wildlife and communities that affect or are affected by each other, and the ability to capture that in one fleeting moment is both a challenge and a reward. In a fast-paced, cluttered world where attention spans are shrinking, an engaging photo strikes a stronger chord than ever before.”

    An effective photograph starts dialogues and makes the viewer ask the important questions, Noel shares. “Mood plays a big role because that is how your stand on an issue is revealed. Unlike photojournalism where objectivity is central, conservation photography works within narrative contexts, and the photographer has to determine and identify with his or her stand.”

    As a freelance photographer, his work has been widely recognized for his conservation collaborations with NGOs such as WWF, Greenpeace, and Coral Triangle Initiative. “My photos have received recognition in the Sony World Photography Awards, DEEP Indonesia, One Eyeland Photography Awards, and IPA Philippines. But I base my successes and achievements on how much impact my photos have made. The best one would be the exposure that my ‘cup and crab’ photo has received. It went viral on social media and was printed on various broadsheets across the globe, some even putting it on their covers. It was also commended by National Geographic so that was a big victory for me.”

    Noel’s latest public project was an art print collection released last January called “Nanuk”—an ensemble of six monochromatic photos of the polar bear. His work and his advocacy are on full display on his Instagram account (@noelguevarraphoto) and website (www.noelguevara.com).

     

    “For me, the best thing about being a photographer is the ability to tell stories in static frames. I recognize the power of video, being a director for eight years, but there is nothing that arrests you like a photo that connects and engages you. My principles are quite simple: Do not interfere with wildlife, look for a story, and remember that the act of taking the photo is not about you, but about the subject or issue at hand.”

    Related Posts