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Photographer of the Week: Kirkamon Cabello

Updated

By Maan D’Asis Pamaran

An avid mountaineer, it was his nature hikes along the trails that led to his love for photography. Kirkamon Alarin Cabello took his digital camera with him to document his adventures. As he moved to work overseas, particularly in Africa’s Congo region as a layout artist for a mining company, he became more enamoured with nature, particularly the vast forest areas in his workplace.

He bought his first DSLR in 2011 and watched tutorials on YouTube, browsed Internet sites, and read magazines about the art of photography. Then, he says, something magical happened out in the woods.

  • YELLOW BREASTED FRUIT DOVE (Kirkamon Cabello)

    YELLOW BREASTED FRUIT DOVE (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • YELLOW- BILLED KITE (Kirkamon Cabello)

    YELLOW- BILLED KITE (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • VIOLET-BACKED STARLING (Kirkamon Cabello)

    VIOLET-BACKED STARLING (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • VERREAUX'S EAGLE OWL (Kirkamon Cabello)

    VERREAUX'S EAGLE OWL (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • SOUTHERN SILVERY KINGFISHER (Kirkamon Cabello)

    SOUTHERN SILVERY KINGFISHER (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • SCHALOW'S TURACO  (Kirkamon Cabello)

    SCHALOW'S TURACO (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • SANDERLING (Kirkamon Cabello)

    SANDERLING (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • RUFOUS PARADISE FLYCATCHER (Kirkamon Cabello)

    RUFOUS PARADISE FLYCATCHER (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • RETZ'S HELMET SHRIKE (Kirkamon Cabello)

    RETZ'S HELMET SHRIKE (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • RED-CHEEKED CORDON BLUE (Kirkamon Cabello)

    RED-CHEEKED CORDON BLUE (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • PIN-TAILED WHYDAH (Kirkamon Cabello)

    PIN-TAILED WHYDAH (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • PACIFIC SWALLOW (Kirkamon Cabello)

    PACIFIC SWALLOW (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • MIOMBO ROCK THRUSH (Kirkamon Cabello)

    MIOMBO ROCK THRUSH (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • LITTLE BEE EATER (Kirkamon Cabello)

    LITTLE BEE EATER (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • LILAC-BREASTED ROLLER (Kirkamon Cabello)

    LILAC-BREASTED ROLLER (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • JAPANESE PARADISE FLYCATCHER (Kirkamon Cabello)

    JAPANESE PARADISE FLYCATCHER (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • JAMESON'S FIREFINCH (Kirkamon Cabello)

    JAMESON'S FIREFINCH (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • HOLUB'S GOLDEN WEAVER  (Kirkamon Cabello)

    HOLUB'S GOLDEN WEAVER (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • GREY HEADED KINGFISHER (Kirkamon Cabello)

    GREY HEADED KINGFISHER (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • COMMON WAXBILL (Kirkamon Cabello)

    COMMON WAXBILL (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • CHINSPOT BATIS (Kirkamon Cabello)

    CHINSPOT BATIS (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • CARIBBEAN FLAMINGO (Kirkamon Cabello)

    CARIBBEAN FLAMINGO (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK (Kirkamon Cabello)

    BLACK-BACKED PUFFBACK (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • BLACK-NAPED MONARCH (Kirkamon Cabello)

    BLACK-NAPED MONARCH (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • BENNETT'S WOODPECKER (Kirkamon Cabello)

    BENNETT'S WOODPECKER (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • BEDFORD'S PARADISE FLYCATCHER (Kirkamon Cabello)

    BEDFORD'S PARADISE FLYCATCHER (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • AFRICAN HOOPOE (Kirkamon Cabello)

    AFRICAN HOOPOE (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • GUAIABERO PARROT (Kirkamon Cabello)

    GUAIABERO PARROT (Kirkamon Cabello)

  • FEMALE VIOLET-BACKED STARLING (Kirkamon Cabelo)

    FEMALE VIOLET-BACKED STARLING (Kirkamon Cabelo)

    “One time, I was roaming around and was mesmerized by a little bird that was so colorful that I started taking pictures of it. Ever since my encounter with the Bee Eater bird that is endemic to the region, I became fascinated with the colorful and unique birds that were in my area. This got me excited about roaming around our site, hoping for another bird sighting. This was the start of my bird photography journey,” he shares.

    Soon, Kirk found himself investing in another telephoto lens so he could take better pictures, which he started sharing with his colleagues. “This got them interested, too, and soon we formed a group of birders in our slice of paradise.”

    Aside from his exposure to the art of photography, he says that his hobby has helped him ease the loneliness of living far away from his family. “In a way, it was therapy for me. During weekends, we roamed around our mining site to search for a good shot. Because of this, I also became quite knowledgeable about the bird’s natural behaviors and their habitats.

    The photos of his fine-feathered friends have captured the imagination of many, and he has been recognized by National Geographic for his YourShot entries “Chameleon” in 2015 and “Bedfords Paradise Flycatcher” just this year. He is a member of the Wild Birds Photographers of the Philippines (WBPP), and it is through the group that he has met many great birders.

    “I am humbled as one of my shots had been recognized as second placer for the Best King Fisher contest in September 2018 for the Fun Theme Challenge. It is truly an honor as well to be recognized as the first placer for the recently concluded 1st Haring Ibon Photography Contest held in November.” He is thankful to the group’s officers for welcoming him even though he is based abroad, and thanks his wife Danilyn Joy for her constant support.

    For him, photography is about having a sense of connection, to the environment and to the audience. “It is having a thousand words printed in one photograph. A photo depicts a story; a deep story that allows you to be in motion, being in an active state and being connected to something.”

    Bird photography requires patience, he cautions. “You don’t just click and click. You have to wait for the right moment and have perfect timing. I would describe my photos as ‘in-motion.’ My subjects are moving, and with their vibrant colors, they are very pleasing to the eye. In this genre, you have to be keen in every detail, especially since you are dealing with such a carefree subject. You need to develop your sense of patience and flexibility to wait for that ‘one perfect shot.’ Bird photography is never a walk-in-the park visual representation; it entails sense of willingness that pushes you to become better than you were before.”

     

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