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.
MURA is a tiny village an hour drive away from home, and a century away in time! I am amazed to see what people went through in the past times, to be able to survive.
Thank you Alex and Clara (and Paula and Ian), for a wonderful weekend!
...and yes, just in case you wonder, I miss the sea and the beach and walking naked-footed all around!
Sigh! Cannot wait until next summer...!
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 They actually hide, escape, or politely excuse themselves as soon as a camera is withdrawn from a bag.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...
While in New York City, I had the chance to shoot a short film.
It describes the crazyness of Times Square, as compared to the order-within-chaos of its sorroundings.
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.
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...