About the sentence “One picture says more than a thousand words”…

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The idea of writing something about that sentence came just after having found, when searching inside my not so well organized files, the photo you can see at the end of this post.

All along these many years shooting photos, or drawing, or painting, I’ve never decided myself to talk much about. Just let people look at them, keeping my silence and accumulating work, the most of it never showed.

But now I started to feel different.

Finding that image I really felt, even if you can like it in a first approach, that it would be totally different if I explained the circumstances and the project behind.

It was at this precise moment that, again, “the sentence” came to my mind, as also the one about “the decisive moment” from Cartier Bresson. I let that for another occasion.

What I want to transmit today, illustrated by this photo, is the idea that we should never be “fundamentalist” about nothing, that there are no absolute truth, that all rules should be disobeyed one day for achieving something where the rules does not make sense, that finally, our minds and our feelings should be our masters, after learning and listening from all the possible sides of knowledge.

Coming back to the today’s picture.

I produced this image for a project, that I never really finished, about dogs for blind people, in the specialized training school Associação Beira Aguieira de Apoio ao Deficiente Visual, in Mortágua – Portugal.

It was not a commission, just one more project I decided , and, I love dogs.

Now, some years passed, looking again to the images stored in my computer and seeing this one I felt, that, if I had to choose one as the “iconic” to represent the project, it would be that one.

Why? – Just because it’s “out of focus”!…

Being out of focus the image transmits, probably, what someone approaching blindness still sees before the total darkness.

Simple.

But, if I had not give this explanation, probably you would have see the photo with different interpretations and less emotive power. Now I focused you on it and the circumstances.

Sometimes we really need to talk about what we produced, other times not. Keep the silence.

No definitive rules!…

PS – After searching a bit in the Internet I discovered that the original sentence is from CONFUCIO!…Geting old!…

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From my photo-diaries! What about the relation between Paris, Krishna’s and…a pair of Spanish boots?…

2013 is on the road for a while now and I could not find my time until today to write even a short new post.

That’s life, that’s this crazy dimension called Time that does not stop, even if photographers have the illusion to have done it for a moment.

But I still want that blog alive and, so,  let’s go for another photo-story.

That one came to me when opening old boxes from my beginning times, and made me smile with the memories about how they “happened”.

It was the 70’s and, as I told you before, I went to Paris for the explained reasons and specially focused in study photography.

I was the only foreign student in my school, speaking a very poor French, with no friends yet, passing the most of my weekends alone, walking around in the city to familiarize with, and my camera as my companion.

I was usually dressed in blue jeans, a leather old jacket and…a pair of Spanish black boots, that I loved.

Well, a sort of informal uniform, completed by the camera on my shoulder. My “style”!…

Remains from that time my addiction to a Lewis pair of jeans.

The contact with the photos shown today confirmed me also the conviction that my photo-work, as for probably the most of photographers, is above all a big diary containing our lives in small pieces inside each photo, goods and bad ones.

During those weekends, alone, I was always looking for something new to visit, discover and that could be interesting for shooting. Also testing myself with manners to how approach people or being introduced somewhere. Difficult thing, a battle to win inside yourself, specially being shy and a lonely guy as I was.

Some days before, in the subway,  Krishna’s people were distributing leaflets to publicize and invite to their cult. I got one.

The next Saturday I decided to go there and ask permission to make some photos.  I had to discuss a moment with the “strange personage” that was the public relations of the place, but I could get the authorisation to enter and use my camera.

I can’t remember no more the kind of story I invented to convince him. Some years latter, working in cinema I had the chance to have an “excellent teacher” about how to enter in places and make photos that looks impossible to approach.

One other day I will talk about that and my best friend from ever “this teacher”!…

So, authorized to go inside of the “temple” the only condition was that…my Spanish boots should remain outside of the “temple space”, in fact a small apartment, somewhere Avenue de la Grande Armée.

I spent four or five hours with them inside this space trying to make myself the most invisible as possible.

I could assist to all the preparations for the ceremonies and the evolution all along those hours, passing from the silence and calm to a progressive growing of chants, prays and drum’s sound until a climax where I was sometimes involved in such a manner that I was obliged to control me for not forget the controls of my camera. I was there as a “reporter” after all.

As I did not knew almost nothing about them everything was a discover to register.

The thing became really spectacular when the chants, prays and drums got louder and louder in such a small place.

For the first time in my life I could feel the power of music, and specially the power of the sound of percussion instruments, making you the effect of a sort of hypnosis drug that almost stops your normal thinking.

With no autofocus cameras yet, people dancing and singing all around, from children to old people, I was trying my best to control light, focus and frame.

I still can remember that, in the middle of all that convulsive ambience, and from time to time, I thought about if my “Spanish boots” were still there waiting for me when coming outside or simply have been stolen!…

And that because, the mix of people inside was so different, with some looking very kind and peaceful, when others had faces like guys that could have been released recently from some prison.

At the end everything passed with no problems at all and I even could have lunch with them, eating an absolutely “terrible” vegetarian meal that I took with always a smile in my face, as if I was in one “gourmet Parisian restaurant”.

And…finally, going outside, my beautiful Spanish boots were still waiting for me, ready for some more miles of walk in Paris streets.

It was really good to be again in those streets, breath a bit of fresh air, to ear the “possible” silence of Paris avenues.

Of course, arriving to my small room, lab corner installed, I started immediately to develop the films, anxious about to see what was inside.

Black and white film as almost always at that time, on my “trusty” KODAK TRI – X pushed to 1600 ISO.

Surprise! Some photos were not so bad and just a few out of focus.

I think I felt happy that evening dreaming that, maybe, I could become a photographer one day.

 

Those are simple scans from the paper prints made at that time, with all the defects of a “printer beginner”… A lot still to learn about the magic of interpret a photo when printing.

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Find your Balance – Make 2013 a Masterpiece in your life

Lot’s of projects for posts still remains only “as projects”!

The year 2012 passed too slowly sometimes, but now, ending, is simply running too fast. Nothing that I can do against that!…

Time, that “dimension” that always obsessed me, keeps moving on.

Anyway, and fighting a little more with it, I told to myself that I was not finishing the year without one more post, even short, in my Blog.

Finally just a small message to your New Year. To mine too.

A short story also, as usual, to explain the context of the photos below, to explain the “why” of the message.

The title for it just came into my mind during this crazy photo session.

The photos I show here is a very small approach of the session we did, two nights ago, me, my son Pedro, great photographer and director, and a good friend of him, now mine also, Pedro Moreno (Pato), designer, publicity director, and painter.

More then 500 photos, a great dinner, hours of talk about what life means and can give you, crazy stories, some bottles of wine, good wine, lots of laugh and fun, bed finally, at seven in the morning.

I really love these guys.

And, as the result, I let you my message for your 2013 resumed in three photos.

The “Balance”, you easily understand where I got the idea through the orange level tool.

The “Masterpiece”, is just because trying to find the “balance” with the two glasses of wine on the level tool, I BROKE ONE, splashing it on the ground of my studio.

Easy to be a creative!…

I took my Iphone, made a picture, used the app Shakeit Photo, and decided this was my last “masterpiece from 2012”.

For me it is!

Latter on, when seeing that photo, I will remember the entire story contained in it.

All the fun we had, all the plans we did, everything we talked about, resumed by a “clic” in this “beautiful” stain of red…wine!…

It makes the sense that I wanted.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU, My Kids Pedro and Maria, Familly, Friends, Followers, World

So, let’s try for 2013

TO FIND OUR BALANCE

TO PRODUCE A MASTERPIECE

Keep shooting! Cheers!…

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THE MASTERPIECE

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About me?…The answer my friends is “Blowin’ in The Wind”…

Is this a story or a thought!?…
Today evening I was traveling by car, thinking about what it could be a new post in my blog, having some ideas.
I allays found that driving is inspiring. I pay attention anyway, don’t worry.
My lonely reflections were around the theme “self portraits” and why photographers do it quite often.
Suddenly, from the radio came the Bob Dylan’s song.
Great.
I felt a sort of flash back to my fifteen’s when I bought in London my very first LP from him. My first trip abroad and alone also.
If said to me that if I had to choose  a song to illustrate my self portraits since my beginnings in photography until today, this would be, most probably, the one.
The emotion keeps the same. Just reinterpreted.
And what about “self portraits”?…
Well my friends, today I keep silent. Let’s Dylan talk…
My answer is still blowin’ in the wind!…

 

How many roads most a man walk down
Before you call him a man ?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand ?
Yes, how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned ?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Yes, how many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea ?
Yes, how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free ?
Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see ?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Yes, how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky ?
Yes, how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry ?
Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died ?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

2011

 

 

1972

Look Back!…

It is very easy to start a Blog. We get an idea, we format the interface, we start writing some posts.

To keep it going with no disappointment for your followers is another discipline. Real life remains out there calling us, and we shouldn’t either become too much addicted to internet communication. It is easy and dangerous. Just a thought. You understand what I mean.

I have been outside those days but came back for a little talk about this apparently obvious thing in photography, not in our lives, that is, to “Look Back”!…

Probably, most of you, were expecting that I start posting about “tips & technics” with something much more “technic”.

Well, no!…When I first though about which will be the first one I just liked the idea of the “look back” as nothing complicated but often forgotten and that helps a lot. I usually speak about in my workshops.

At this point I must tell you that I am not the kind of photographer obsessed by technical details. For me it is much more important what is inside an image, how it is framed, how the different elements off your photo talk together and with the spectator. But we let this for another post.

As I said, this “Look Back” is the kind of thing that, even if it seems obvious as many alike, takes time to be installed in our minds as photographer reflexes like it should for not loosing the good shoot.

It is specially useful when you walk around some place that you are exploring, like a new city, a new space, mainly in street photography or similar, but not only, even inside a studio it may help.

Resuming, that simply means that you should have in mind like a reflex installed, to look back time to time when you are searching for images, trying to find the good one, or deciding what and how to shoot.

And,…sometimes, The Photo is behind us, not in front. Even in a closed space.

That idea can be followed of course by saying that going up or laying down in a space, when possible, is also important for discovering what we can catch. Well, I believe that you understand the “thing” already!…

BUT…some other times, just stop and look, quietly, not shooting, until finding and feeling the idea, the good one.

Finally, to look back in your lives can also help one day for a good photo. Who knows!?…

I keep thinking about that too.

See you soon!…