August 19, 2023

Celebrating World Photography Day with Joseph Cheng’s Visual Chronicles

Note: This post is part of the #WeArePiVOTAL Campaign which showcases the incredible individuals at PiVOT and their inspiring pursuits beyond the Clinical Research Industry. At PiVOT, we strongly believe in work-life balance, and we encourage our employees to pursue their passions outside of work.

Happy World Photography Day! 📷

As we celebrate this day, we’re reminded of how both photography and research have the ability to capture data and tell stories. Each photograph has a story to tell, much like the research we conduct at PiVOT CRO.

Today, we sat down with Joseph Cheng, our Business Development Head, and a passionate photographer. With an impressive 20 years of experience, Joseph has honed his skills and captured countless breathtaking moments through his lens. Joseph’s journey as a photographer began at a young age when he received his first camera as a gift. Little did he know that this simple act of generosity would ignite a lifelong passion for capturing the beauty of the world around him.

Over the years, Joseph has developed a unique style that seamlessly blends artistic vision with technical expertise. His ability to find beauty in the ordinary and transform it into extraordinary imagery is truly remarkable. Whether it’s symmetries, geometries, or a serene landscape, Joseph has an innate ability to capture the essence of his subjects.

As our Business Development Head, Joseph effortlessly blends his passion for photography with his work at PiVOT. With his trusty Sony Camera always in hand, Joseph captures every momentous occasion that takes place in our office. Joseph’s passion for photography is infectious, and we are grateful to have him on our team.

Q: What first sparked your interest in photography?
A: I was 13 years old when I got my hands on a 1.3 megapixel digital camera. The idea of preserving classroom memories in school at little to no cost compared to film was intriguing.

Q: How would you describe your photography style?
A: I grew up doing documentation and photojournalism. Thus: no edits, no post-processing, no digital filters, no Photoshop. Everything should be straight from the camera.

Q: What’s your favorite photography equipment?
A: Telephoto lenses that allow me to zoom into the action from afar.

Q: What are some of your favorite subjects to photograph?
A: Stuff that doesn’t complain about how they look since I don’t edit. Unfortunately, this tends to be nature/landscape, architecture, food/macro.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
A: Focus on developing your creative eye first rather than the gear.

Q: Can you share 5 of your favorite photos and tell the stories behind them?

This was done during a brownout and takes photography as “drawing with light” quite literally. Many people think this was a composite shot – that I did each letter and then stitched them together. Quite the contrary: it was a single take over 25 seconds. It took me many tries to get the letters out properly in the correct orientation/perspective. Why is the light not continuous? Well, I simply turned off the light at the end of the first letter and turned it on at the beginning of the next.

Final Lap
I was documenting a mass in high school when I decided to zoom in and try to pan the shot as they were walking to the altar. I submitted this to a student photo contest, but the judges thought it was photoshopped and disqualified it, so I had to appeal that it was actually straight from the camera. Needless to say, I won the contest with this.

Sometimes, you only need to look up. Taken in one of my favorite places – an airport, while waiting to board my Cebu Pacific flight back home. I’ve always been attracted to symmetries and the geometries here attract a very specific kind of mind, validated by two very mathy people I know who have this photo in print and framed.

CSA ACLE: Parkour
This was taken back in college when I would document events for the student organization. We had rented a space in the front parking lot of Palma Hall for the Alternative Classroom Learning Experience (ACLE) and had a session on parkour. I had my camera on a tripod with the telephoto lens on. The focus, the blur, the game face,… even the shirt! Eventually this came out in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Penthouse View
I was tasked to do photoshoots for a valentine’s day contest and one concept required a high floor / penthouse, so I went around scouting. This place wasn’t maintained that well, quite dirty, so we settled on a different location. Nonetheless, this view at this time of Manila Bay was absolutely amazing!

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