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What’s On Your Mind Series 

Malaise. After 2 consecutive political exercises for Filipinos and Filipino-Americans, this seems to be the pervasive state of being for those who are on the opposite sides of the Pacific. We have leaders who are perceived, rightfully or wrongly, to lack compassion and a sense of humanity where human rights are trampled on and yet people are cheering them in the hope that the state of affairs will change for the better. For Edwin Loyola, a resident of the West, but whose heart if firmly grounded in the East, and whose images have always been apolitical, he now takes a jab at the current events and has LITERALLY put into images what's on (IN) his head!


Early this year of 2017, Loyola conceived of a project brought about by "the news, the social media, what he hears, and what he sees, and his perception of these events."  And as a photographer, visual language was his closest . He wanted to create a whole collection of 150 images that will show how he feels about daily life. He wants his thoughts to literally pop out of "his" head and convey them to the viewer. Much like the bubble thoughts in animations, except the words are literally "inside" his head.


But how does one create a whole image from a word? Loyola has put into action what Swiss-American photographer Robert Frank once said, "There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment. This kind of photography is realism. But realism is not enough - there has to be vision, and the two together can make a good photograph." 


With the use of words, Loyola tells the world his own perception of the of the current climes. Image wise, there is a pervasive gruesome quality to the photograph. They look like mutilated skulls that have been dismembered or the Grim Reaper sans his sickle. The undescernable textures can look like newspapers thrown over the corpse, very much like what they do in the Philippines in order for the public not to see the victim. And just like the newspapers that have been thrown over the corpse, bold words can be seen from the headlines. Initially, one would think these words are all adversarial, antagonistic even belligerent. Words like Anger, Shame, Death, Suicide, Agony, and so many others. All referrring to a negative state of being. But upon careful perusal of the 50 or so he has created so far, he has more inspiring thoughts to share. Freedom. Happiness. Justice. Hope. Life..."What's On My Mind," makes real to its viewers Loyola's desires and dreams for all his loved ones despite the times. 


Done much like a collage, these images go through a very rigorous digital process. Inspiration normally comes to Loyola on his drive home from work. Words flash before him on the freeway. Once home, he prints these words, puts them inside the glass skull then photography and digital manipulation takes place. The power of the image does not come only from its visual effects, but the words that are highlighted in the image. Some are guideposts to a productive, peaceful, positive life, while some are reminders and lessons, albeit painful ones, of how we are living our lives right now. It is the current state of our humanity, this is our realism today. But given the postive reminders, that is Loyola's vision for all, it is what Robert Frank calls a "good photograph." But yet again, he has 100 more to go! The insipation can swing either way. 


At this point this is our humanity. This is what we have subscribed to as a people.   - by Willy Marbella



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Edwin S. Loyola


Edwin S. Loyola is a highly-awarded and passionate photographer. His recent winning photograph of Harmony, a display of artfully fanned-out colored leaves won grand prize in the 6th GoPix Expose 2020 Fine Art & Open Category. He is also adjudged the 1st Prize Winner/Outstanding Achievement Awardee at the 13th International Color Awards 2020 that celebrate colored photography while being a platform for photographer exposure”


This year 2021, Edwin Loyola was recognized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), his 3rd “ANI NG DANGAL” for his international achievements that brought honour to the country. Quite a feat indeed, for a person who started shooting photographs using a borrowed Fuji 110 camera from a friend, hence, the start of his journey as a lensman. No, not just a lensman, but a multi awarded lensman. There seems to be no stopping yet, he continues reaping different recognitions and awards all over the world.

To him, he still has to shoot his masterpiece. 


His everyday ritual according to him is to practice, and he’s been doing it for 20 years now.  He acknowledges to have been inspired by the works of American landscape photographer and environmentalist, Ansel Adams and the Dutch painter, Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn. While he tries to blend the styles of both artists in his works, he manages to come out with a unique interpretation of his own. His advice to budding photographers: “Be original. Create your own trademark.”


Aside from being a Multi-Awarded Photographer and perhaps may not be known to many, Edwin also has a noble heart. In a visit to a Cancer Ward in Zamboanga General Hospital, a little boy caught his attention. The boy kept staring at him wherever he went with nary a word and his watch pierced his heart. His blank stare made him feel so inadequate to be of assistance that his first thought was to hold an exhibit and donate the proceeds to the boy’s family. Once back in Manila, he asked his fellow photographer friends to support his cause. The overwhelming response and encouraging messages came pouring, hence, the little boy was provided the necessary medical attention and was healed. This incident started his advocacy to help save kids with the Big C.

If you are interested to purchase his works,

you may connect with him through the details below:


All images shown at #PhotoCon21 , and on this website

are copyrighted by their creators and protected by Born in Film and PhotoNation International.

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