We are very lucky to have a garden. It is a small one, but it is right in the middle of the City. C'mon, are you complaining? No, I am not. It is only that it is not such a big garden. An there's our home on one end, and my photo studio on the other (my photo studio cannot be in out basement 'cause our home is actually in our basement!). And my office is only one floor up! Will it be big enough for her? We will still need to take her out, but being busy people as we all are at home, will she be ok? I wish I could skip a few hours of work a day, and go out with her. Wait a minute! I CAN skip a few hours a day; I am self-employed; I have my own office, and my own photo studio; I work as many hours a week as I wish... that's why I AM NOT DOING IT! I end up working as many hours a week as possible... how many hours in a week? I work all of them!!! Wait. Let's do it! I need to get myself out of my home-studio-office for a walk every now and then.
I have also added two pictures to the set LAND, and I'd like to comment them here.
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.
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.
I just updated my (brand new) website with a few new pictures that I'd like give a short explanation about.
Oh! And this is the first blog post on my new Blog!
I took this picture in Los Angeles a few years ago. I have been thinking of going through the pictures I took on trip I took on the (my) rise of digital photography.
I once stayed in a hotel, in Madrid, one block away from this building. As an apartment building, it has become an icon of a certain period of spanish architecture. And turns out it is located on the crossroad of the first traffic light you'll find as you enter Madrid from the airport. So everybody sees it, but few people look at it! During my stay in that hotel, I took a little walk around so I could observe all of it façades: no need to say the building offers more than "best points of views".
Hong Kong offers a really big number of different facets. One street is the most nice, neat, hype. You turn around the corner and it's a whole new world. And, in certain areas of town, nobody seems to buy façade paint whereas on other nearby areas, people seem to go crazy about it!!!
Milan is not a place in which you enjoy being out on the street, mainly because of the weather. On the other hand, turns out that it has many many interesting interior spaces and places, that are usually occupied and open to the public during the some of the numerous events that take place in the city (like fashion shows and furniture fairs).
On the technical side, the three first pictures are digital shots, while the last one is B&W film.
On the personal side, I have no problem with mixing film and digital. And that is probably because I am getting comfortable enough with my new ultra-simplistic post-processing workflow. Happy!
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).
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...
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.
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.
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.
These are the ingredients (from above and down):
This is the effect it produces:
Can you, too?
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.
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...
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.
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.
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...
My friend Elif was kind enough to showcase the pictures above at her company booth at Bread and Butter. Thanks Elif!
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.
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):
Shanghai is about the relationship between the people and its spaces (as in Barcelona):
One of those three weeks in China, I travelled to TIBET. Now that is a whole different place!