Guest Photographer feature:
“Discover the Philippines through FungYu's Eyes.”
"The Philippines has 7,106 islands during high tide... and 7,107 during low tide."
Photography grabbed me while I was still in high school, having bought my first film SLR that time set the start of my journey in capturing images. But during the days of film, my eagerness slowly faded and after graduating from school with an engineering degree, sought a traditional job like most people; my camera a Casio RF-2, sadly sits on a shelve up to this day.
The age of the digital camera arrived; the ability of viewing your pictures instantly reignited my interest, but again, only briefly. Somehow being tied to an 8-5 job doesn't offer much time to explore your hidden passion.
Then it hit me! I saw my first 360 panorama sometime in 1998, 'photobubbles' they were called during those days and they immediately caught my attention.
Having the interest without the means translates to zero accomplishment; at least that was the way then. The equipment were expensive and you will need a license for every photobubble you captured and stitched, add to that the absence of a market in my country - resistance to technology I called it - dampened my enthusiasm. But from this moment on, I faithfully followed the trend on the Internet, read whatever news I can find, while at the same time looking for an opportunity to introduce the technology locally.
The turning point came, after over 10 years of working in IT finally bored the hell out of me; and after 4 years of my first encounter with 360VR, no one in the Philippines pick on it. 360VR was like waiting for me, prowling, and finally it pounced!
So I quit my day job, taken a consulting position instead to give me more time to study my options. IPIX was still at the top of the 360 food chain and I almost go into that direction if not for the accidental encountered of cubic QTVR. I still remember quite vividly in seeing those 360VRs of the Bahamas, the exquisite details of the images, the explosion of colors... they just toke my breath away!
Got a Nikon Coolpix 5400 from Singapore, the Manfrotto 303SPH came via airfreight from the USA, Realviz Stitcher bought online and I was finally on my way of shooting 360 panoramas.
Shooting is one thing, post-production and coding was another. Learning HTML was the most challenging for me; fortunately forums like QuickTime-VR and Panotools was there to assist - and they still do up to this day, tremendously at that.
Got my first commercial client after several months of practise, and henceforth, never look back.
Today, I shoot mostly for the local real estate developers, the tourism industry, and to a large extend, in support of advocacy projects. My work spans from culture, heritage, transportation, journalism, and human interest. I continually strive for 360VR to be accepted in mainstream journalism - putting the viewer at the center of the news.
For me, 360VR offered the freedom to express my creativity in a niche way, the empowerment I seek, and the ability to use this technology for economic development and influence my generation and beyond for the betterment of my countrymen.
» More about Fung can be found at: virtualjournals.net .