JRP: Jason Tablante is a talented photographer who made tremendous progress from his first efforts behind the camera. We are pleased to have the opportunity to talk with Jason, and appreciate him spending some time with JRP Blog.
JRP: Where do you call home Jason?
Jason Tablante: Born and raised in the Philippines. I did get to travel here and there, and worked abroad as well, but Manila will always be my home.
JRP: How did you get started in photography? Is there any formal training in your background?
Jason Tablante: I never really saw myself as a photographer. I was actually into computer science early on as a kid, back in grade school and high school. I did notice though being drawn closer and closer to the arts as time went by. I had an inkling for graphic design, high school going to college, and eventually photography. I’m sort of like a frustrated artist. I did study painting back then, but I sort of lost it, and made the camera as my replacement for the paintbrush.
I didn’t have any formal training, except the geek in me, read the countless books about it. It was topped off when I finally got to apprentice for a local professional photographer specializing in products and architecture. I kind of liked that start since it was a technical approach to photography … the creative side I had to wrestle on my own.
JRP: What equipment would I find in your camera bag for a typical shoot?
Jason Tablante: My weapon of choice for the past 2-3 years is a Canon 1Ds-Mark 3. The usual lens lineup I have are the 17-40, 24-70 and 70-200. This is my usual setup which covers about 90% of all shooting requirements. I also have my trusty Sekonic Dualmaster light meter … just for anything … never leave for a shoot without a light meter.
JRP: What is it about fashion / glamour photography that motivates you?
Jason Tablante: It’s being able to produce your imagination. It’s that day-dreaming geek side of me that talks more often than not during fashion / glamour / concept shoots. When people appreciate your work, it’s icing on the cake.
JRP: Could you please describe your digital workflow and the software you use?
Jason Tablante: I’ve been constantly changing the way I process my shots. The latest iteration being, Adobe Lightroom, then Adobe Photoshop CS4. I don’t really have a steady workflow since the workflow changes depending on the target output I want to achieve. So each shoot comes out quite unique in appearance because I don’t have a steady workflow to begin with.
JRP: Are you involved with image printing?
Jason Tablante: No I’m not. I do have good friends who do them for me. I rarely print out my work unless it’s going to be for exhibit.
JRP: Could you break down one of your images and explain the lighting and any special concerns you had during the shoot?
Jason Tablante: This image is one of the first images I created for my exhibit last year called Pop Nostalgia. I took the liberty of including a shot of the lighting setup I used for this image.
I used a total of fourteen (14) lights on this shot. The liquid splashes posed to be biggest challenge, which took several attempts, and digital imaging on post production to make it comes out that way, but the material itself (the various takes done to get pieces of the splash right) was a challenge to light. It was flying liquid, guessing its’ would-be trajectory is one challenge, considering the talents’ positions and poses compounded it further.
JRP: Are you sensing any new directions being taken in fashion photography?
Jason Tablante: I’m not the type who would make bold forecasts on what’s going to happen next year, etc. I follow a bit more of a pragmatic approach to this. “The Decline of Fashion Photography” is a better way of describing how I feel towards the changes in fashion photography. It will always be an internal struggle with me about following the classics vs. exploring new styles. In my practice, I yo-yo back and forth.
JRP: What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?
Jason Tablante: Stop memorizing and start imagining.
JRP: What advice would you like to share?
Jason Tablante: Don’t take pictures, make images.
JRP: Thank you Jason for sharing your thoughts and images with us. It has been really a pleasure talking with you. We wish you continued success.
Jason Tablante: Thanks James. Great to be here.
JRP: To view more of Jason Tablante’s photography please follow these links: