PAGCOR holds final judging of entries for its 1st National Photography Competition

Thursday | July 11, 2013 | 4:15 PM

PAGCOR holds final judging of entries for its 1st National Photography Competition
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr. inspects one of the 1st PAGCOR National Photography Competition entries under People Category.

AFTER having short-listed 48 entries from over 5,500 photos submitted by both amateur and professional photographers all over the country, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) conducted the final judging of its first-ever nationwide photography contest last July 5, 2013 at the Airport Casino Filipino in Paranaque City.

Some of the country’s most respected and award-winning photographers and design directors formed the panel of judges that selected the 12 grand winners of the 1st PAGCOR National Photography Competition.

Heading the panel was PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr. who said that picking the best photos from the 48 grand finalists was challenging. “The entries that made it to the grand finals showcased the beauty, fun, tradition and way of life in the Philippines. Filipinos are among the world’s most creative photographers. This competition displayed their indisputable ingenuity,” he said.

Naguiat added that using the government’s tourism slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines” as theme for the contest enabled many Filipino photography enthusiasts to “immortalize our country in all its splendour and unique character.”

“We saw a lot of images that made us wonder where those photos were taken. That only goes to show that there are really still a lot of undiscovered natural wonders in our country,” the PAGCOR Chief noted.

Premier photographer Wig Tysmans for his part said the entries of the 48 grand finalists exceeded the judges’ expectations. “I’m so happy with the entries that we took a look at. The theme ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ is really what the country is about and we’re really pushing for that.”

PAGCOR holds final judging of entries for its 1st National Photography Competition
The panel of judges go around the exhibit area where all 48 grand finalists of the 1st PAGCOR Photography Competition are put on display.

Tysmans cited that as a photographer, what he particularly looked for in the entries were photos with irresistible impact especially since the winning entries will be featured in PAGCOR’s 2014 Calendar. “To be exceptional, a photo has to move you. It has to tell a story. It may be a mundane item but when you look at it, it grows on you. As judges, we asked ourselves, are we going to get tired of looking at these photos after 15 or 30 days? These are the photos that are hard to produce. The winning photos have these qualities,” Tysmans explained.

Paulo Alcazaren, one of the country’s renowned landscape architects and National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Gawad Alab ng Haraya Awardee, shared that most of the entries convey overpowering stories.

“A photo is exceptional if you are drawn into it visually and you feel there’s a story behind the image. You are intrigued aside from being attracted. Unless a photo does that, it’s just an ordinary photograph. All winners have these qualities. All are visually compelling,” Alcazaren said.

Meantime, the country’s premier fashion photographer Raymund Isaac said he was impressed with the turn-out of PAGCOR’s 1st Photography Competition. “For a first time project, the shortlisted images are impressive. We could use competitions like these to show the different images of the Philippines,” he said.

Isaac shared that he scored the entries of the grand finalists based on the uniqueness of their concept. “What stood out for me were images with a different presentation. Something na hindi ko pa nakikita. Rivers, sunset and nature are often the favourite subjects of many people. But if you can present them in a way that appeals to the emotion, it becomes a very good photograph. It will stand the test of time. That’s why I never teach photography based on applications. I base it on human experience,” he added.

Another juror, Simeon Ventura, Jr. who is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay magazine shared that an exceptional photo should be able to elicit emotion such as the desire to travel, trying a new cuisine or simply reminiscing good memories.

He noted that photography is about “capturing the character of something. When you look at the photo, you should be able to see something new every day. In advertising, we call it unique selling proposition.” Ventura also advised budding photographers not to concentrate on their camera equipment. “When you are in a location, feel the place and be open. Your passion and curiosity are the most important,” he added.

All 48 photos of the grand finalists of the 1st PAGCOR National Photography Competition are now being exhibited at the Airport Casino Filipino. The formal announcement of winners will be on July 16, 2013.

Twelve grand winners (three per category – People, Nature, Structures/Historical Landmarks, and Customs and Traditions) will each receive P75,000. The 36 non-winning entries will also get a consolation prize of P20,000 each.

Apart from the major prizes, PAGCOR will also be giving special awards such as the “Most Liked” photos and the “Employee’s Choice” which will be selected by PAGCOR employees.

Go back