Website Update: LAND

I have also added two pictures to the set LAND, and I'd like to comment them here.

 

Vertical and Horizon

When you drive along the Delta of river Ebro, you get used to the Horizon. Simply put, it is always there. After a while, you realize that only certain familiar references, like electric poles, help to determine the distance between places, and in which direction you are driving.

 

Skyline

Somewhere in the middle of continental Greece, there's this castle on a tiny island, that is connected by a bridge to the coast. The city was built with the stones available in that area, and therefore, the island and the houses have the exact same color. But when the sun goes down (behind the city, in this picture), you can see the skyline of the half-demolished fortress and, on the background, the coast and the hills.

Photo: POOL MERMAIDS

Mermaids. Fascinating creatures. Mermaids' habitats are water shores. They spend many hours a day interacting, in some way or another, with water. After a few swims, they usually enjoy sitting next to the water and refresh themselves. They spend time absent-mindedly playing with rims and softly splashing the surface, while other mermaids swim around.

They sometimes lay down and sunbathe.

Mermaids are really difficult to portrait. They usually refuse to pose. They actually hide, escape, or politely excuse themselves as soon as a camera is withdrawn from a bag.

I was recently very lucky, and had the chance to take a few shots before I got fired with the phrase "Papa...! Sempre ens estàs fent fotos!! Que pesat!!! " (catalan-to-english google translate, if not obvious enough).

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P.

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...

P.

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!

P.

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.

The Kid

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!

P.

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?

P.

Photo: LAX TOWER / THE BIRD

I once won the first price of a photo contest. Our Col.legi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya organized it first Digital Photography Contest for Architects sometime around year 2004. Subject: Architecture (really???!!!)

A short time before, around 2003, we travelled to L.A. to visit my friend Peclar.

When we arrived in the airport I was worn out, after a 14 hour flight from London, and a previous flight from Barcelona. Peclar was taking care of suitcases and car trunks. I looked up and there it was. The picture was there, waiting to be taken.

LAX Tower / The Bird

LAX Tower / The Bird

For those who have never visited L.A., there is a 3-legged-spider Calatrava-looking (though it was not designed by him) building, right on LAX International Airport, known as LAX Tower. Although many people believe it has some relationship with airplanes, it is actually a restaurant.

The picture is heavily based on composition and crop. The building structure is made of some kind of white concrete or enameled iron. The subtle contrast between the lit / unlit surface, and the blue California sky makes the picture look like its actually a watercolor painting.

The contest was sponsored by a really big Japanese hardware company. I as a first price, I got a laptop. I had gotten myself a laptop of the same brand (by coincidence) only three months before, so I sold it and I bought the first half of my "girlfriend".

My girlfriend, of whom my wife knows absolutely everything, is my beloved LEICA M6. She is more than a camera. She is (or I should say, was, since film labs have become a luxury I cannot afford) the closest I have had to a sixth finger on my right hand, or a third eye stuck on a piece of metal. She made me grow up photographically like nothing else in this world. For a long long time, I only used black and white film in it, and she made me learn how to see in black and white. Photographically, I am what/who I am, in a big percentage, because of her. It took me some six months to save the money for a Sumicron 35mm lens, and that's all I used and all I needed for a long long time.

We were a happy couple of three.

P.