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Photographer of the Week: Rommel Lugada

Updated

By Maan D’Asis Pamaran

As a full-time designer, Rommel Brul Lugada incorporates art into his life. Not only does he work to create concepts for his clients, he uses his camera as a tool toward expressing his own ideas.

“Most of my works are based on different parameters which should benefit the majority. Photography gives me the freedom to express my inner self like an artist, with no market or other commercial consideration except my vision. Initially interested in studying painting, photography became my passion not just to keep the fire of creativity burning during my free time, but to stoke that zeal for aesthetic expression and an extension of medium for research and practice in visual communication design.” He travels to different places for his work and he seizes them as opportunities to grow in his photography journey.

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    A part-time senior lecturer at the School of Design and Arts, De La Salle-College of St. Benilde, Rommel has a wide field of interests for his subjects, which range from fine art, abstract, still life, black and white, nature, and macro. He explains his affinity for each as thus: “Fine art is an obvious choice since I am an artist/designer by work and by life. Abstract allows me to look at any subject matter to explore and conceptualize in my own artistic interpretation and aesthetic sense. Black and white removes the color to allow myself and my viewer to focus of the design elements. Macro lets me show the details of the unseen or enhance their details.

    His combination of innate artistic talent and drive to continue learning the craft has garnered recognition both here and overseas. Among his achievements are winning gold in the International Design Awards USA (2019), first place in the International Photography Awards USA (2017)-Micro/Non-Pro, “Fine Art Photographer of the Year” in 2017 and 2018, and the “Advertising Photographer of the Year 2018” with multiple-gold in the International Photography Awards – Philippines in 2017 and in the non-pro category in 2018. He was also a bronze winner in Fine Art Portfolio in Moscow International Foto Awards 2017 and Tokyo International Foto Awards 2018 and third place winner – Honor of Distinction in Still Life at the 14th Black and White Spider Awards.

    For him, though, his most significant body of work is a nod to the diverse natural beauty of the country. “The Fine Art of the Nature Lover Boy is a collection of my works from 2014 to 2019 using Philippine tropical plants as the subject matter. It summarizes my interest in photography from fine art, abstract, still life, nature, and macro. It also encapsulates my aesthetic style as photographer/designer/artist. My work with tropical plants pays tribute to the beauty of nature that can be found in my own environment, and my way of promoting what can be seen in the Philippines.”

    As a photographer, he likes to keep it real.“I always love natural light, no arrangement, no artificial elements. There is no arrangement of light and that is the challenging part because I need to wait for the right time and execute from my own vision. I love colors and black and white but there are many times that I favor to compose in black and white because I love abstract and my intent is to focus more on the elements.”

    Photography is another of form of art, he says.“The medium is the camera and the artist is the photographer. Photoshop and other editing software are essential tools but don’t rely too much on them. The lensman’s work becomes art if it is based on what he saw using his eyes and camera and not what he can show by utilizing and manipulating through computers and editing software. For me, the best thing about being a photographer is the freedom to express my ideas wherever I go by using a camera, whether it is a camera phone or a DSLR. As a designer/photographer, my basic principle is to create images that tell a story—by telling or showing what I saw and not what my viewers want to see.”

     

     

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