About the eternal and the ethereal

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In photography I like to try new things, I like to try the clichés to after avoid them. Although I guess I am committing a lot of photographic clichés. I don’t know, I have no much photographic books and I am not totally familiarized with the big names of this art. But I am learning something new everyday so I hope to be more and more in the water.

This photo could be a natural landscape but the highway was near so I wanted to mix a urban type of photo with landscape. Fortunately the night covered me against the car driver’s incredulous stares. I mean, Is it so hard to believe that someone is walking alone in middle of the nature? Is that or I’m so skinny that probably more than a walker I seem a ghost, lol.

I liked the composition so I took just two or three pictures more and after that I walked two and half hours to the near town of Imata and… well, that is a story for another day.

As fire in a forest

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I dreamt about her some time ago, actually three or four years ago. Probably a dream not very remarkable. But she was in there (my image of her really) so it is a haunting dream.

I was the star in a TV show for children, I had a big costume in the form of Homer Simpson and I had to dance and sing in a colorful stage. I dislike so much to dance, I dislike much more to (try to) sing, and the disguises make me feel a bit ashamed, and when child I preferred to see the cartoons more that the tv shows. But I was a professional so I had to do everything I was asked with the heart. Nevertheless the producers wanted more rating so they hired a new co-star to the show. Who was she/he? I didn’t know, and as a professional I didn’t care because I had to work with anything they say. So I was dancing with people disguised of trees and flowers in the stage that was like a garden in the park. So the voice-over starts to talk while we are dancing, the new star is right there as a surprise to the public. There is a lady near me but I cannot see her because I can’t break the dance, because you know, that wouldn’t be professional… The male voice-over says she is from Denmark and I think that the producer have to be mad to bring here a girl from far away, a land so distant, I wonder if the rating has dropped so low. Thus in middle of the dance I permit myself a bit unprofessional glance, just half a second to see her without breaking the choreography. And it is the end, she is dressed in a soft and silky black dress, she is black haired and has a pretty smile and intense eyes. Is in that half a second that I understand that she has a beauty as hadn’t ever seen before in this country, exotism from a far away land.

That was a dream that I remember not because of even a second but for barely half a second. In the shared reality beyond the dream for those days we weren’t talking. I wasn’t a gentleman and came late to see her one day. She was very angry and I understood that I had did a lot of things wrong so my friendship with her was ruined. Two years later I called her and we talked a bit, she ask me to go out for a coffee but I knew that she was just polite and kind, and I polite and invariably said yes. I hope we don’t see anymore, it’s probable that she could give me a hug, but also is probable that she feels uncomfortable, the latter is enough reason to avoid and save her that issue. I couldn’t say I fell in love with her, or perhaps I didn’t allow it, she was from a reality totally different to my life, and I had always that idea that we were deeply incompatibles, assuming she would be able to accept me perhaps she wouldn’t be happy and my remembrance of her would be one not very happy as it is now.

Anyway I think that dream gave me the words I cannot find, that to me she’s a beauty beyond everything I could think possible.

PD: The title is a reference to a line from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman; the story with Milo Manara.

Vespertine Titan

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Certainly there is a fascination with the astrology. Fascination that I don’t share because the stars in our hemisphere are different of those in the northern hemisphere. (the Chakana, Crux or Southern Cross, is one survivor of the old celestial map) So I guess we are free from any prediction.

I think that’s a liberating notion. That there is no destiny, and if it exists it isn’t bonded to the stars. Even more when you know that the stars are ghosts of things that happened years ago, centuries ago, ages ago. millions ago, billions ago…

Our only nexus could be that the stars are our grandparents, stardust.

I would like to know which planet is in the photograph I took that dawn (It’s in the middle above the volcano). I’d like to believe that it’s Jupiter, but perhaps it is Venus.

They say bigger is better so you can click the image to see it full screen ;-)

Sunstar

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The first time I saw a natural forest was in the last elementary grade year. We, the classroom, went to Machu Picchu and it was thanks to a year of work. The economics were really bad those years in the country so we had to earn the travel.

It was a strange journey. We took the train from our city near the Titicaca Lake to the old Qosqo (Cusco or Cuzco is the wrong name given by the Spanish invaders, and the Titicaca’s real name is perhaps lost in time) We passed near a little volcano and in the night we saw Qosqo, I believed that it was the only magical city in Peru, even the night seemed populated by creatures like amarus (the equivalent of the European Ouroburos, the Chinese Long or Lung, and maybe also the mexican Quetzalcoatl) shaped with the points of the streetlights over the hills.

But when we took another train this time to Machu Picchu I wasn’t prepared to see a real forest. In our lands without many trees the jungle is really another world. Every tree seemed so dark like a mystery to discover, with lost cities under their copes waiting the right people to uncover them, or to see the birds with the most weird tone of red in their feathers. Although with the pass of time I’ve learnt that the most mysterious riddle is the human being, with our cities and everything we do.

Said that actually I wouldn’t live permanently in the jungle, there are a lot of mosquitos, insects and a lot of heat, lol.

A brick in the heaven

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I like to go upstairs and see the sky. It seems that there is not much people there, in their rooftops, seeing instead landscapes in internet or tv.

Thinking about that I don’t remember a customer that had asked me for a window to see the moon when it arises from the volcano, or not even a bedroom with a view to the sunrise (and that’s a healthier room by the way).

I guess that today the people windows aren’t that of crystal but screens in the room or even in the pocket. My understanding is that travelling is something marvelous, but not exclusively the one thing to discover a beautiful place.

The Garbage Manifesto

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Tonight I am writing about the garbage in landscape and my stance about it in photographs.

To me photography is something relatively new, I have taken photographs with cell phones, web cams and point and shots since four years ago, a superzoom two years ago and the last year I had the luck to find in internet a Sony R1 as an affordable way to play with quality raw files thus I can work on them to produce a photography closer to my perception.

I say closer to my perception and not closer to the reality because we are human beings, not machines. Our emotions and psyche modify what we are perceiving and at the same time we see the world we are changing it to our desires. For example the sun early in the morning to a happy man could mean just a signal or a medal of his good luck; but to another man in disgrace it can be the tenacious reminder of his penuries and torments. Could be that the reality is one (or could be not depending on our beliefs) but illusion or solid that reality is different for everyone.

However it is the garbage issue. I mean, today the technology allow us to manipulate this fiction so called photography. Etymologically we aren’t just writing with photons or light, but with pixels. It is a simple gesture modify the image of a girl to make her look like a Barbie (even with the plastic skin :S), rejuvenate actors and actresses of yore; even erase some dictator’s fallen in grace friends, and yes, cloning and healing to erase that uncomfortable garbage from our photos.

Months ago I discovered, using the trials of raw processors, to erase that bags, diapers, and tappers in the pretty landscapes. But I wondered if that wasn’t go to far in edit…

Let’s see this photograph, is a can in middle of the field. It was there recently cause its lack of oxide, it draw my attention because I didn’t remember an object reflecting the whole sky in its surface without interferences as buildings, poles, trees, people, cars, dogs, etcetera. So when I took the picture I tried to emphasize that idea (please, remember that I do this as a hobby, I am not a professional), I used a bit of fill flash to reduce the shadow intensity so it couldn’t compete with the can; I extended the zoom further so I couldn’t appear (contaminate) the blue surface in the can, with a camera with interchangeable lenses I couldn’t achieved that idea because the low flash synchronization, the shutter was set in 1/500 and with a fixed camera that’s a peace of cake, and after when I edited the raw file I tried to emphasize that idea: fine tuning contrast, highlights, saturation, etcetera, I am using photo ninja to edit my files, actually I chosen it in part because the files doesn’t look so artificial or manipulated but with a beautiful rendering that seems so natural, not film-like that also has an artificial, but different from digital, finish; and I choose it also because it has not tools to fake the reality upon is constructed the photograph.

So in my landscape photographs I decided to not erase the garbage, in part as a protest to the people who pollute just because they don’t live in the place they are making dirty. But also because I believe that the photography, although a subjective vision of our way of see the world, it has to tell anyway in base of the shared reality. And if something is erased I think it should be ethical to remark it.

This is a personal posture from the point of view of somebody who just likes to take photographs, I have no desire to be a professional photographer because if it were a work I don’t think it would be funny anymore. I don’t see nothing wrong if other people has another posture, in fact several photographs I like a lot are heavily modified (to me modified is different to just processed) But in my case I consider that erase anything, even something so disliking as garbage, in the borders of a photographs would be as lie to myself. Because I know that that wasn’t what I saw in first place.

By the way I used the healing and cloning tool of some programs. Firstly I took it with enthusiasm but after a couple of weeks I begun to feel that I had destroyed my photographs. After that I am happy with my editions, they are not far from I saw, in fact they are closer.

Distant borders

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Every day occurs a sunset and at the same time it’s never going to happens again.

When a child I tried to remember the details of the most extraordinary ones. I have some of them in my memory but they are things that are going to pass with oneself. There are things made to be created and after its culmination be forgotten because they are special, and in some situations I’d say they are sacral, in the human meaning; but also is true that there are things made to be shared, because would be a pity if those memories were lost in dust.

In this occasion I’d like to share this sunset with you.