The Manny Pacquiao Story

I admit it, I was never a boxing fan, to be honest I didn’t know much about it until this recent project was dumped onto our hard drives 2 weeks ago.

Mike Young (photographer) traveled to the town of Bagiuo along with Chuck Culpepper (sports reporter).  They spent a fascinating week up in the mountains accompanying Manny while he trained in high altitude for his upcoming fight next month.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away our multimedia team at The National had no clue that Mike was going to come back with countless photos and great behind-the-scenes footage (from a flipcam of course) of Manny’s daily training sessions.

Mike arrived, captioned all his incredible photos and dropped all his footage off. Eek. Not sure what’s worse, too little footage or too much good footage. In this case, most of the content was so great, including Chuck’s copy. We spent days going through colorful images of the gorgeous mountain town, Manny’s funny..yet serious entourage and of course Pacman.

The result was the launch of our Manny Pacquiao page on our site. It took a good 2 weeks of hard work from all the multimedia producers, to the photo, managing, online and sports editors to the IT development team upstairs at ADM (Abu Dhabi Media).

Whether you’re a boxing fan or not, I hope you find this interesting:




A Little History of the World

I get insanely inspired everytime I walk into Kinokuniya at Dubai Mall, I spend hours in there, clumsily carrying a handful of books that I manage to pick up, walking through various rows, flipping through pages, reading book reviews and analyzing book covers.

As always, I end up with a pile of books I never get down to reading.  I was recently handed E.H Gombrich’s A Little History of the World. The author sounded vaguely familiar, I find out of course he wrote the bible of art history books “The Story of Art”, over 700 pages or so of an art history textbook that I was forced to become best friends with when studying for my AP exams in high school.

Anyway, Gombrich wanted history to be more accessible to children, and thought that if history was explained to a child in simple terms, they would be able to grasp historical events quite easily. He took it upon himself to write this book in six weeks, he would spend his day researching  historical chunks in the library, then spend his nights writing the corresponding chapters.

I’m about halfway through the book, and can I just say I am LOVING it. This book is colorful, informative, and most importantly fairytale-like.  Gombrich writes as if he’s reading a bedtime story to a child.

Something I learnt about whilst reading today was the origins of the Oracle of Delphi. As a child, I was pretty familiar with the story of the Oracle of Delphi, throughout my childhood she appeared in films, cartoons, video games, you name it. Historically, the Delphi temple was in a volcanic region, and in this temple there was a small fissure in the ground where vapour would rise, if anyone inhaled it clouded their minds and made them say silly things which seemed like they were drunk. The Greeks thought god was speaking to them that way and put a priestess to sit over that small fissure while other priests sat there deciphering her babble.

how hilarious is that.

anyway, I highly recommend this book for anyone who’s looking back to getting on the reading train again, it’s totally great.

And so she says…

Blogging is a very scary territory to me. As super cheesy as it sounds, I really do express myself visually, through photographs or film. Despite the crap that is out there, the internet just seems to be filled with some REALLY great writers who truly know what they are blogging about.  I plan to take this as it comes, whether its blogging about a new camera, a film, a cause or a website. I don’t plan to make it on a specific topic, if it happens then great. so be it.

I’m not really sure what led me to video journalism in the first place. The realization that this is what I wanted to do didn’t happen because of a specific life-altering film, or a specific incident in my life. The path that led me here was very gradual. Beginning in high school, my first few shoots with a professional camera were just terrible. I didn’t understand how a camera worked. I was incredibly nervous shooting out in the streets of London, that people would be offended of me taking photos of them. I guess that’s how we all start out though. I did enjoy working in a darkroom very much, Discman on, nostalgic scent of photo chemicals, sinking into this pseudo-meditative state of film developing, printing, dodging and burning.

College was just a progressive continuation of that, I experimented with film, journalism, photojournalism, art history and anthropology. My teachers were my greatest inspirations. I watched countless documentaries from all over the world. and then I watched some more. 3 years later, I ended up here.

I love what I do.

I hope you enjoy what I have on here. It’s a far cry from my first film in film school, or my first photograph with a manual SLR.  Please feel free to comment, to give direction, to give new ideas or constructive criticism. I’m all ears.