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Roqué Marcelo Photography Retrospective
Part 2: Art With No Words
Continuing from last week and to celebrate my birthday month, each of August’s WPR issues will take a look back at my creative work. Please enjoy Part 2, in which I showcase some of my photography.
I sometimes wonder if we use too many words. The inclination and the pressure to fill the air with the sound of our voices feel inescapable, but silence is a dainty bird, fluttering where she will and minding her own business. Maybe we can learn a lot from her.
In the majestic realm of photography, words are not necessary, and as such, it is a discipline that I admire.
For the record, my photos are the result of trial and error. I use a digital camera which allows me to take as many photos as my battery and memory storage will accommodate. I have taken thousands of photos, and the gluttonous repetition that is inherent in such folly has likely taught me more than any classroom could. (To be fair, my digital photography professor in college actually taught me a lot, including the philosophy that you get better at taking photos by doing it as often as humanly possible.)
Photographs, as they exist apart from reality and real time, convey what is displayed and hide just as much. The photos that tend to intrigue me most combine this duality.
One example of this is a series of photos I took in the nighttime. Some years ago, I ventured out by myself around midnight through quiet urban streets. Looking back, this was probably a bad idea since folks (and various powers that be) tend to think less of someone with my skin color who lurks in dark places, but I thought nothing of it. I went out in search of gloom—instances of it that were pure and palpable but barren and desolate. I cannot tell you for sure if I was successful, but I understand that the pursuit is far more valuable than the outcome. Gloomy or otherwise, this is what I captured:
As an artist, I am, more often than not, prone to experimentation. I love the happy accidents when I thought I sort of knew what I was doing and the result came out better than I had hoped. Playing around with light and motion is super satisfying and fun.
You all, dear readers, may have noticed a miniature piano wandering around these parts. I love playing around with size and scale within my photos. It is a dynamic way to convey something grand on a zero budget.
Another favorite photography practice of mine is showcasing the art of others. If I can present someone else’s work in a unique (and hopefully flattering) manner, then a happy Asian I am.
My handsome cat Steinway has been a muse of mine for a while now. I have too many photos of him to choose from. For now, there is this:
Of course, he is always very good at letting me know when he would rather not. That’s my boy . . .
Photography is a fantastic way to present the world in the way that I distinctly see (or want to see) it. Words can only go so far, and of course, there can be too many of them.
Let the picture speak for itself, I say, and may its secrets go unnoticed and unspoken, tucked away in plain sight where they need not be seen.
This past week, I spent part of a leisurely afternoon by myself enjoying the cottage garden of a dear, close friend who is a talented gardener. This space is ripe with gorgeous blooms and will leave you spellbound. I love coming here whenever I get the chance. The colors and the richness that biodiversity gives us are truly extraordinary.
If there is a lovely garden nearby for you to visit, go over there and sit for a while. These summer blooms will not last forever. We must soak in their magic and gentle, soft music as much as we can. You will be both calmed and inspired as you quietly take it all in.
All Photos by Roqué Marcelo
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