Viewers across the country know him for getting too close with nature’s most menacing creatures like snakes and crocs. But Alejandro “Kim” Atienza, or Kuya Kim as he is most affectionately called, also prefers to look at wildlife through a viewfinder.
The former voice dubber now weatherman, broadcast journalist, program host, popular trivia buff and new Canon ImageNation endorser also takes pride in being an avid photographer even as a young boy.
Kim recalls how he grew up in an environment surrounded by photographers. “I have always been interested in photography. My dad was a photographer, and his friends, when I was young, were all photographers.”
In college, he took up film and audio-visual communications. “I like images. I wanted to become a filmmaker,” he said. He took a liking to still photography, taking up a number of units on the subject. “That was my first real exposure to ‘hardcore’ photography.”
Kim recalled that his photography became dormant after graduating from college, but the dawn of digital cameras during the 90s revived his interest. “My first digital camera was a Canon EOS 350D,” he said.
Today Kim carries an EOS 5D Mark II with an EF 50-millimeter lens. But he said his most versatile camera is his 1D Mark II with an EF 24-70 mm lens. “Because of my job I get to travel a lot. I’ve been taking a lot of wildlife pictures.”
Kim said he is happy about the images his cameras produce. “I’m happier with my Canon lenses, especially the prime ones,” he said. “Compared to other brands, the L lens truly has a feel of luxury.”
Looking back, Kim said he never shifted to any other camera brand since his days in film photography. “My very first camera was a Canon AE-1, including my lenses,” he said.
Asked why, Kim said the brand has always been part of his youth and education. “It has always been my aspirational camera.”
“Being an endorser of Canon is a bonus,” Kim said. “I was looking at an ImageNation brochure, and it has all the guys I admire: John Chua, Romy Ocon, Mark Floro—these are [some of] the best photographers in the land. I’m honored to be part of this campaign.”