Photo: S.S.L. (SUMER SOFA LAZINESS)

It takes some time. And patience... As soon as I pick my camera from my own lap she says " NO ". I then rise it to my eye, and she insists: " Papa, he dit NO ! " (Dad, I said NO!).

First shot. Hit! But her fan is covering most of her face (except her spying eye).

A few minutes later, second try. She has just folded her fan. In my mind, I view myself being faster at raising my camera and focusing than her opening her fan and covering her face again.

Fast synchronized (trained) movement: Camera - Eye - Focus - Click.

Focus check (playback) on the viewfinder... She raised her other hand....!!! How could she be that fast!?!? And fully synced with the shutter!!!

After a while of playful wrestling...

...she relaxes. The game is over. The weather is too hot here in summer for any unnecessary movement...

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She's mine!

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Video: DeChromaMe

My short Film DeChromaMe was showcased at Loop Film Fest 2011, at Fundación Francisco Godia (Barcelona).

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It is a visual experiment on color shifts producing contraction or expansion of space (a side-efect of Wassily Kandinsky's color theory, developed in his "Concerning the Spiritual in Art")

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/41661215]

Shot, Graded and Edited on an iPhone.

The exhibition was curated by Lorea Iglesias from Mobile ART. (Gracias Lore!!!)

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Video: TIMES SQUARE NYC

While in New York City, I had the chance to shoot a short film.

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It describes the crazyness of Times Square, as compared to the order-within-chaos of its sorroundings.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/41662977]

Music by Massive Attack.

Technicalities: my x100 was suffering from "sticky aperture" (know malfunction of the lens of this specific camera model), and Fujifilm would not guarantee that it would be repaired by the time I left to NY, so I had to take a "ill" camera with me. By coincidence I realised that unconsistent expositions would not have any effect on film mode, so I decided to shoot a movie. Other gear used: one eye (the left one), both hands and feet and torso (panning and shifting).

While in NYC, I also shot some pictures.

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Travel: DELIRIOUS NY

New York is the paradigm of The Metropolis. It doesn't matter how much time has passed since you last visited the city. It doesn't matter where you come from, what religion, color or sexual orientation. It doesn't matter what age you are. It doesn't matter if you are there for business or pleasure, or because you were born there. It is even indifferent to what mood you are in.

Either you love the place, or you hate it. Period.

If you hate it, just move along. The world is full of great places.

If (by mistake, by coincidence, by luck) you happen to love it, then you are done. You will wish you were a Newyorkian for the rest of your life.

I belong to the latter group. Period.

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Question: What is it? Is it the sound? Is it the smell? Is it the energy? Is it the complexity, the juxtaposition, the contradiction, the contrast? What ON EARTH makes this place so unique and fascinating? What is it???

Answer: I have no clue, but once it gets in you body, it moves in for good, and lives somewhere between your bone-marrow and your eye-sockets and your guts and your imagination. And it stays forever.

 

While in NYC, I also shot a short film.

 

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Photo: SELF

SELF as in my / your / him or her / one + self. This is the final conclusion, persistent in my mind, every time I take a walk at the sea front, in Costa Brava on cloudy days.

Relaxing and intense. Very relaxing. Very intense.

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These are the ingredients (from above and down):

  • Cloudy sky (overall gray; few isolated clouds are visible);
  • Horizon (immense, intense, hypnotic);
  • Rocks (washed out by centuries of waves; dark brown, like clay; really hard, but include cracks and caves; optimal for many kinds of life forms);
  • Every now and then, a handful of sand; seldom enough to produce a beach
  • Pinus Pinea, branches hanging over the water;
  • Costa Brava kind of Sea (which, I believe, is for some reason different from Costa del Sol's, Costa Dorada's and even Balearic's); it changes color whenever the sky does.
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    This is the effect it produces:

  • I find myself looking back at myself. But not literally. It behaves as a mirror, but uniquely, only to those things that are not visible.
  • I can suddenly see the noise of water and hear it's surface ripple and and touch the tides and smell the energy carried by millions of waves of past times.
  • Can you, too?

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    Photo: IN-BETWEEN LINES

    Whenever I travel to a new place, I enjoy practicing one of my favorite sports: taking long walks by myself, camera in hand, spending as much time as I will, just looking at people and places, observing habits and taking pictures, getting lost and finally (hopefully) finding my way around back to the base camp. I am good at reading maps, at understanding the logic of city layout; happily, so far I have always managed to find my way back to the base camp! Last year, while practicing that sport in Santiago de Chile I found myself in an office building with a charmingly tacky (or was it tackily charming?) inside open space.

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    In general, if you are good at reading in-between lines, you perceive more information than the obvious, visible to everyone. And that applies not only to words and their silences, but also to objects and their shapes, and also to spaces and their emptiness.

    Buildings are like people. They have a personality. But most of the time, buildings last longer, and therefore, with the perspective of time, some look now outdated.

    Reading in-between lines an old, outdated building tells you many things about the way people lived when the building was splendorous: their habits, their tastes...

    I sometimes play the game "let's pretend this picture was the opening frame of a movie" in my head. In my mind, I make up the characters, their personalities, the relationships between them, how they would act, how they would move. And immediately after, where the camera would be placed, how it would pan and shift...

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    Travel: TIBET

    In year 2007 I spent three weeks traveling around CHINA. After visiting noisy, polluted pre-olympic Beijing, and before flying to the over-crowded hyper-consumerist pre-earthquake Chengdu, I visited TIBET.

    It was one of the most intense experiences I have had in my entire life.

     Two Tibetan Nuns (The Jokhang)

    Two Tibetan Nuns (The Jokhang)

    The place, the people and their habits, the mood... even the altitude (Lhasa is 3.650m above the sea level)...! Either the place invades you, and you feel immersed and caught forever, for good, or you are out in the next 24 hours.

     Prayer Flags

    Prayer Flags

    The Tibetan temples are the the most photogenic I have ever been to, and number one, my favorite, the place I want to be in when I am not happy and I need colorfulness is The Jokhang. I must admit I almost cheated on my dearest Hagia Sophia (in Istanbul), which is my absolutely favorite place in the world, where I want to be when I need serenity. But that's a whole different story...

     The Jokhang Rooftop

    The Jokhang Rooftop

     Nuns

    Nuns

     Devotees

    Devotees

     Monk (Deprung Temple)

    Monk (Deprung Temple)

     Monk (Shigatse Temple)

    Monk (Shigatse Temple)

     Down the streets of Gyantse

    Down the streets of Gyantse

     Monk Apprentice

    Monk Apprentice

     Flee Market Salesman

    Flee Market Salesman

     Two Tibetan Girls

    Two Tibetan Girls

    My friend Elif was kind enough to showcase the pictures above at her company booth at Bread and Butter. Thanks Elif!

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    Travel: CHINA

    In year 2007 I spent three weeks traveling around CHINA. As usual (everybody would), I took my camera with me. But i didn't take any laptop, hard disk drive, or other digital device to download and backup the pictures. When I came back home and I could finally review all of them together, as a whole, I realized that China had affected and infected me: chaos, contradiction, disorder, randomness, dispersion (as opposed to concentration) are words that can be used to describe both the country and my pictures.

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    The Kid

    In two words: I failed.

    Don't ask me to describe the country (or my pictures); I can only talk about glimpses, highlights, scenes. My perception, my opinions, my view, are partial, segmented, faceted, torn, broken. It is like a dream lit by a stroboscopic light. There is no coherence.

    Only two conceptual statements remain in my mind:

    Hong-Kong has a horizon (past and future):

     Looking at the Distance

    Looking at the Distance

    Shanghai is about the relationship between the people and its spaces (as in Barcelona):

     Shanghai Street

    Shanghai Street

    One of those three weeks in China, I travelled to TIBET. Now that is a whole different place!

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    Inspiration

    INSPIRATION is a series of photos that I am planning to include under a specific word. One Motto / Topic / Subject / Concept relates all the pictures included; it might be Physical or Abstract. The series might be updated regularly, so please check back again soon.

    Chances are the series might be sold as Art in limited series, printed with the best processes and techniques available, signed by the Author and numbered.

    Please contact me for further details.

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    P.S.: little technical information will be given about the pictures, since they are meant only for your/my eyes and creative side of your/my brain; please contact me if you are curious about gear, technique or location.

    Photo: BARCELONA IS BLUE

    Barcelona is BLUE.

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    Barcelona is Blue because of the sea and because of the waves and the noise they make.

    It is Blue because of the sky and the sun and the clouds.

    It is Blue because there's a horizon, and there's sunlight.

    Barcelona is Blue because we are Mediterranean people. Or is it the other way around?

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    Barcelona is definitely BLUE.

    Or is it BLACK and WHITE?

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    Photo: BARCELONA IS BLACK AND WHITE

    Barcelona is BLACK and WHITE. It happens in Black and White. It was designed in Black and White. People live in Black and White, and many of its inhabitants know it. And they are happy about it, because it relates to its intensity.

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    Barcelona was founded more than 2.000 years ago. As many other cities that are as old, it works in layers. There is a pre-roman layer and there is a roman layer and a romanic, and there's also a gothic and a baroque. And then, of course, uniquely to our city, there's Gaudí and all the other modernist architects and garden designers and craftsmen and sculptors and painters. And then there's us.

    You know the cliche: old towns in Europe are full of contrasts. Barcelona is no exception.

    That applies to ancient buildings on narrow streets packed of old people, who have lived there for all their lives, a couple blocks away from new non-residential skyscrapers on really straight avenues.

    But it also applies to the shades and shadows created by the the sunlight enhancing the textures of different shapes and materials, often washed away by rain and time.

    Barcelona's old town (Ciutat Vella) is divided into three neighborhoods. One of them is El Borne, in which I lived for fifteen years, actually until a year ago. Living there is like living in a village, but more exciting culture-wise and much more aggressive safety-wise. My friends were at the same time amazed that I could live in such area, and astonished that I was happy to be there. Ok. Let me fair: The area is unsafe! Period. But it is so only for foreigners (that includes tourists and barcelonians from other neighborhoods). I used to joke with friends who belong to the latter: dangerous people live in my area and work in yours! Carrying a camera around your neck would attract a few eyes; carrying it hanging from your shoulder would attract even more (it's easier to pull). I use to wander around Ciutat Vella every weekend, and very often I would take a camera with me. For a certain period, I would even go out at night (around 2am or later) with my camera and pocket full of Black and White film, and look for contrasts to take pictures of, the one at the beginning of this post being one of them. I must admit that the camera of choice would usually be my Nikon F4, designed to take pictures, but so robustly built that could also be used to hammer nails on walls or as a nutcracker. Or to defend yourself from a blow and hit back (which, by the way, I never found myself doing).

    The following pictures were taken from my home. If you ever happen to be at a rooftop in Ciutat Vella, just look around and you will discover a multitude of worlds.

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    Barcelona is definitely in BLACK and WHITE.

    Or is it BLUE?

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