Ta­ble for One

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - LIFESTYLE -

Bikes lean­ing against a wall. Mir­rors on a ceil­ing. Rail lines in­ter­sect­ing.

They may seem like the type of things you would pass by, but pho­tog­ra­pher Ys­abel Cacho sees some­thing more to it. “I like watch­ing peo­ple and things in­ter­act with each other, and I’m par­tic­u­larly drawn how this hap­pens or­gan­i­cally,” she says.

A copy­writer by trade, Ys­abel has al­ways been drawn to pho­tog­ra­phy, mount­ing a solo show in 2018 fea­tur­ing her trav­els around the world within a span of four years. For her lat­est ex­hibit en­ti­tled Ta­ble for One, Ys­abel set aside her dig­i­tal cam­era to make way for her Canon AE-1, a film cam­era, de­pend­ing only on the rolls of film in her pocket, and on her eye to find beauty in the every­day and. “With dig­i­tal, you have un­lim­ited space to take all the shots you want, and can al­ter it later on,” she says of the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two forms. “With film, you’re lim­ited only to a cer­tain num­ber of frames. You have to stop and think about what you want to take, be­cause you only have one shot or two to get it right.”

Upon turn­ing 25, Ys­abel made it her goal to take up a new skill, and to visit places she had never been to pre­vi­ously. She en­rolled her­self in classes at the In­ter­na­tional Cen­ter of Pho­tog­ra­phy in New York City, and bought her­self a film cam­era and plane tick­ets to Den­mark and Switzer­land. “When I first got my cam­era, I was in­tim­i­dated,” she re­calls. “I made ev­ery mis­take pos­si­ble, in­clud­ing ex­pos­ing the film!”

By the time she got to Europe, she was much more com­fort­able and care­ful with ev­ery photo she took. “I al­ways had a voice in my head, ask­ing if I wanted to shoot a par­tic­u­lar scene.” She chose Den­mark and Switzer­land be­cause they of­fered a change of pace from her base in New York City. “In the quiet mo­ments, I found lit­tle bits that in­spired me. I didn’t set out to find the most pho­to­genic scenes; I just showed up ev­ery­where with my­cam­era.”

And in these day-to-day ad­ven­tures, she found her sub­jects. Held in _Gallery at A-Space Green­belt, Ta­ble for One show­cased her pho­to­graphs of sim­ple mo­ments in cafes, parks, and cas­tles. “I’m nat­u­rally drawn to shapes and fram­ing,” she says when asked about what draws her eye. “I also pay at­ten­tion to light­ing, be­cause I al­ways de­pend on nat­u­ral light.” In the days lead­ing up to a win­ter in Copen­hagen and Lucerne, nat­u­ral light was hard to come by, so Ys­abel had only a few hours ev­ery day to get to know the city she was in, and cap­ture stand­out mo­ments.

“My Ride in Copen­hagen” was taken while she was leav­ing the li­brary, and fea­tures bikes lean­ing against a wall of gi­ant win­dows, framed with dead vines. “Look­ing Up in Copen­hagen” was also a chance-hap­pen­ing, as she found her­self hav­ing lunch in a café rid­dled with knick knacks, and no­ticed the three mir­rors on the ceil­ing. While leav­ing the trans­porta­tion mu­seum in Switzer­land, she was in­trigued by a lone bench over­look­ing the foggy lake, fea­tured in “Bench in Lucerne.”

The ti­tle of her ex­hibit, Ta­ble for One, started out as a play on words to con­note her solo trav­els. How­ever, as she started pre­par­ing for her show, she re­al­ized that it was also a nod to her con­fi­dence as a pho­tog­ra­pher. “I feel like with my film cam­era, I be­came more of an in­de­pen­dent thinker. So at first, the ti­tle was just a play on solo travel, but it also be­came about how I re­lied on my­self to shoot what I saw.”

So what’s next for this up and com­ing name in the pho­tog­ra­phy scene? “I feel like all my past ex­hibits have been about my trav­els to dif­fer­ent places, but now, I want to bring it closer to home,” she says. “For my next project, I’d love to find a way to com­bine film pho­tog­ra­phy with my writ­ing, and with Manila.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about the artist and to view her port­fo­lio, visit http://www.ys­abel­ca­cho.com.

My Ride in Copen­hagen (Taken with a 35mm film cam­era)

Artist Ys­abel Cacho in her ex­hibit

Look­ing Up in Copen­hagen (Taken with a 35mm film cam­era)

MyRide in Copen­hagen (Taken with a35mm­film cam­era)

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