Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Don't get lost in the technology rat race!!

First and foremost you have to be clear that you are a photographer for the sheer pleasure of expressing, communicating and creating. Lately since the digital revolution, if we can call it like this, it has all been about making you buy the latest and most advanced camera, computer, software, lens, memory card etc, etc. Photography used to be all about vision and creativity. The masters of yesteryear would use the same camera for years till they did not work properly any more. Then they went and bought the same model they were using. (Leicas, Hassies, Mamiyas, Rolleiflexs) Cameras and lenses took a back seat to the photographer's creativity and vision. Manufacturers took pride in the equipment they were building, and hand built lenses were the envy among them.
Nowadays it all seems its about how many mega pixels a camera's processor can process, or how good the software you are using to manipulate the image( it seems it's not longer called a photograph).
The equipment manufacturers have turned the tables, in my opinion, and have made cameras obsolete in a matter of months. On the other hand the old standards are still excellent photographic instruments. I challenge anyone that cares to differ and is willing to match a modern auto everything top of the line $30.000.00 Hasselblad, to a Hassie of yesteryear or even a humble Pentax 6x7. It appears its not longer vital the quality of the lens, the focus is on the processor and the manipulation of the image.
We should not rush any stage of the creative process, careful light metering,and composition are still vital in determining the result of a good photograph. And we should not look for shortcuts, or shoot 400 photos playing the odds and relying on the outer chance that at least one will be good enough.
I did not get in photography to make a quick buck or to have an software designer do my work. I got into photography and have dedicated my life to being a photographer because I believe in its power to communicate ideas, feelings, dreams, beauty. I don't care for shortcuts, I want quality and dedication from the people providing my tools.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Life as a photographer.

With this article I would like more than to give you a tip, I want to inspire you in becoming more observant of your surroundings and looking at your everyday in an exceptional way. As a shy young man I discovered that through the lens of my camera I could express all the emotions and points of view I wanted. With this powerful tool at my side, I took on my world and started experimenting with photography. This was great I started noticing the beauty of nature and really grasping the magnificence of Divine Creation. A flower is a perfect organism with beautiful colors, shapes, textures and there are no two alike. This is true for birds, rocks,trees and specially human beings. So once I started discovering this wonderful new world, and this new resource I had to express myself, my life changed for ever I became a seer of life. It was like discovering a whole new dimension to my life and having the power, so to speak, of expressing my feelings and my vision to the world.
I would like to invite you to try looking at your world in this way and to discover the beauty that surrounds you, and specially the beauty in your mind and your soul that , in my case, through the lens of a camera and a strip of film I was able to bring to life.
Its a very gratifying experience to be able to share your vision, try it you wont regret it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Quotes by Ansel Adams

The negative is the equivalent of the composer's score, and the print the performance.
Ansel Adams

The only things in my life that compatibly exists with this grand universe are the creative works of the human spirit.
Ansel Adams

There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.
Ansel Adams

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.
Ansel Adams

There are worlds of experience beyond the world of the aggressive man, beyond history, and beyond science. The moods and qualities of nature and the revelations of great art are equally difficult to define; we can grasp them only in the depths of our perceptive spirit.
Ansel Adams

There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.
Ansel Adams

These people live again in print as intensely as when their images were captured on old dry plates of sixty years ago... I am walking in their alleys, standing in their rooms and sheds and workshops, looking in and out of their windows. Any they in turn seem to be aware of me.
Ansel Adams

To photograph truthfully and effectively is to see beneath the surfaces and record the qualities of nature and humanity which live or are latent in all things.
Ansel Adams

Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.
Ansel Adams

We must remember that a photograph can hold just as much as we put into it, and no one has ever approached the full possibilities of the medium.
Ansel Adams

When I'm ready to make a photograph, I think I quite obviously see in my minds eye something that is not literally there in the true meaning of the word. I'm interested in something which is built up from within, rather than just extracted from without.
Ansel Adams

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.
Ansel Adams

Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.
Ansel Adams

You don't take a photograph, you make it.
Ansel Adams

Friday, July 24, 2009

Macro Magic

Macro Magic

A wonderful world of details and colors goes undetected until we reach for a macro lens. Macro means in very simple terms, that it brings closer and larger what is very small. With a macro lens you can see details in flowers, you can also see the fine texture of some fabrics. You can also, and this is a treat on its own, meander into the world of insects.
With a macro lens you will be able to photograph such beautiful and crisp images that it will bring a whole new dimension to your photography.
Nowadays you have two options to start shooting macro photos, the first and least expensive is to buy a close up filter kit, and just screw like any other filter onto your normal lens. The close up filters have their cons and their pros, like most anything in life. Pros are that they are relatively inexpensive and easy to use just screw them on your lens and you are set. The cons is that you have a limited range of focus using your focus ring, you will physically have to move from and too your subject to find the perfect focus. The other option is a macro lens, this option is more costly but offers the ease of focus of your normal lens.
Which ever way you choose to go, I would encourage you to start experimenting in the world of macro photography, it gives a new and fresh look at ordinary objects like a coin for example. Or the rust on a nail,you will discover beautiful colors and details you never thought existed. I am posting some examples of macro photography, some I have done for clients of my studio, like the jean's tag and the Jean's button and others just for pure enjoyment.

Friday, July 10, 2009


In my opinion besides having the correct light metering parameters measured and making the necessary adjustments, what makes or breaks a photograph is how it is composed. Composition is vital, sometimes even more important than the subject, for it compliments it or detracts beauty from it.
A well composed photograph on a nice sized format be it film or a digital, lends it self to many editing possibilities. I have myself been able to composed two different images out of the same frame. Look at the photographs A and B below and see how important composition was in this particular example.

I was able to make two impressive shots out of the same composition simply by cropping them differently, and adjusting contrast and brightness. This is also true for editing old photographs and giving them a new twist. You can always try how a particular photograph looks in a different layout for example a panoramic can have in itself many interesting vertically composed images, and vice versa a vertical layout may posses great horizontal ones.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Words of Wisdom by HCB

I want to share with you this very interesting and enlightening interview with Henri Cartier Bresson, in my opinion one of the masters.
You will see how his concepts differ from what many photographer today, both professionals and amateurs, have as a guide line as how they should approach photography.
For example I would like to quote this very interesting concept on limiting yourself on the number of  exposures per image. Henri Cartier Bresson said the less the number of exposures you did the better, for the excess of images confuses your mind and gets you further away from your original concept.

We must avoid however, snapping away, too quickly and without a thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.

If you think about this concept for a while it makes a lot of sense in the way this philosophy also applies to your creative process.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wrong lens, right choice!!!

Sometimes you have to be bold with your choice of lens. Choosing the wrong lens for an specific situation may bring added panache to your photograph. Lets say for example you choose a powerful telephoto lens or zoom, anything above 300mm for a portrait. This lenses, typically used for sports and nature photography, have the ability to compress distances between visual elements.
You would need to take into consideration the peculiarities of this lenses, for example since they are big and heavy, you would need a good support for your camera. My advice is to have a good sturdy tripod so the weight of the lens is not an issue. Another aspect to take into consideration is that most of them except for the very high end variety, the white lenses you see in sport events, are very slow in comparison to normal portrait lenses. What does this means, that the largest or fastest f:stop setting (@f5.6) is slower than the one you would normally have on a portrait lens(f2.8).
So you will need a good light source, either a nice sunny day or a good flash or strobe, in my opinion is better to have a good light source than to sacrifice image quality by using a high ISO setting.