our bodies intertwined

our bodies intertwined

I try to photograph based on my emotions. I try to communicate them with my knowledge as an architect from what I know about proportion, shape, scale, texture and symbol.

This photograph is the sea, it was already night and I had just my old tablet with its 3.2 megapixels but I didn’t care, I just wanted to don’t forget the soft sway of sea waves against the beach… the movement. I altered the few colors to express more and more of what I felt. Of course it could be not your cup of tea and that’s fine, if the world had the same preferences then we should just replace ourselves for a society of robots.

To be able to take this photograph as I wanted I needed the lessons learned across thousands and thousands of photographs.

About Art

I was thinking about it because I saw the work of a photographer with his medium format camera (the cheapest with a single lens can cost 9000 dollars, in contrast my humble camera manufactured in 2005 cost me 250 dollars) but there were mistakes between his goals in his mind (paintings) and the photographs he got; the compositions and colors he chose were the kind of errors I made too when I started to take photographs and edit them. I suggested him to use the help of a cell phone to sketch his photographs but he took the suggestion in a very badly way, lol. I didn’t say more, in any case I tried to search in my past if I had the same attitude, if you have a critic to my photographs and they can help me to be a better person (because my goal are emotions expressed in photographs, I’m not interested in being a photographer in the sense to be hired or sell photographs) then I will glad to read with patience. I’m happy with my only camera, I tried one of those sexy Fujifilm with better image quality but it was less funny, I think if I would lose my camera I’d like to buy a Samsung NX500,a Sony A7S II or a Sigma Merrill but in the end I would buy again my compact Sony R1, I think I don’t need equipment more expensive than a whole house to see the world (although money is needed to see the world hehe)

So I didn’t reply the gentleman, but I remembered the reality in my country. When Spaniards came they were tied to their religion and one terrible thing is that fantasy was banned, so instead of theater there was religious plays; instead of painting of what the soul asks only religious themes were allowed, and so on in every art. Until these modern times they hardly produce fantasy but mostly they copy what is fashion in Europe or USA, and if an artist produce something authentic it’s despised as something lack of value except when that artist get recognition in UE or USA. Instead in my culture the fantasy is important so our cinema is about creatures or fantastic ideas. And if you have seen my photographs I rarely see them as a document of the reality but more as a record of what I see with the eyes of my imagination, so in the titles I choose I hope you can see that I don’t see a stone or a chair, but a king or the wings of a giant. Of course that doesn’t mean I consider my culture superior, just different.

The case is that I don’t like to be considered an artist because in the reality of my country, where my civilization is a minority, art is the success in imitate what the artist in your country, dear visitor, is really producing from the mind. I don’t need recognition, I only know that I just simply do what I do, just because something inside burns me to do it.

33 thoughts on “our bodies intertwined

  1. “Of course that doesn’t mean I consider my culture superior, just different.” : me too :-)
    I have same words for speaking about my photographs……. my emotions for my country………I think I understand you, thank you, francis :-)

  2. So, not only do you develop a sense of style and purpose from your photography, but also a philosophy….A photography philosophy ~~ to each his own purpose.
    Amateur photographers buy more and more expensive cameras and they probably don’t even understand what it is they’re trying to capture: a memory, an emotion, or just a pretty picture. You usually don’t need a super expensive camera for that.
    Something to ponder while drinking my morning coffee :)

    1. Exactly, although I have to admit that as every man I’m a kid that likes to play with toys. Perhaps if I had more money I couldn’t resist the temptation to buy cameras and gadgets :P
      I say it because years ago I liked to read books but I fell in the danger to try to got them in the best editions, in the beginning with the goal they could endure the years but after that because there was a satisfaction in get nice editions. Fortunately ebooks gave me again the sanity to focus in the important: the content and meaning. I hope that was a good coffee ;-)

  3. “if the world had the same preferences then we should just replace ourselves for a society of robots”… “and one terrible thing is that fantasy was banned”… “painting of what the soul asks”…” just because something inside burns me to do it”…

  4. Unable to sleep, I started looking for reviews of Marumi polarizing filters, which brought me to your page. The winding road often brings the greatest riches… and here you are! Just outstanding photographs! I am fascinated by the construction of your images. They do not look “composed”. Things get cut off at the edges, they are often of “nothing” in particular. Yet they are perfect. Every one of them. So perhaps I can ask you: what did you find were the mistakes between the ‘goal in mind’ and the ‘end result’, and what strategy did you develop to eliminate them and produce work of such purity?

    1. Hello, Ralston. Thanks very much for your words. I have tried the excellent Marumi Super DHG and the superb Marumi Exus. Actually the Exus is so good that I made the mistake to leave it always in the lens and it got some little scratchs in the borders. I think it almost doesn’t block any light so the temptation to leave it in the lens was to me a bit unavoidable.
      About my photos, I think it would be just to not forget what I feel when I see something. In the case of this photograph, although edited, it was the movement of the sea next to the lights of Ilo city. Sound and light intertwining n_n
      The biggest mistake I always find in my photos is if I got to represent with clarity what I want to express. Sometimes I notice something is distracting, of the light is not the one that shows the object. And never forget that I still am learning, it is like learning to see forgetting the camera as it sees in a different way than our eyes.
      Best wishes from Peru : )

  5. Well, I just bought the Super DHG… which is all I can afford right now ;) You are an architect, and I have seen before how an architectural training seems to produce great photographers! Unfortunately my degree was in a very different, non artistic, area of study. The line in your essay that caught my attention was: “there were mistakes between his goals in his mind (paintings) and the photographs he got; the compositions and colors he chose were the kind of errors I made too when I started to take photographs and edit them.” I think what you are saying is that instead of being preoccupied with ‘rules’ of subject and composition, we should choose subjects that provoke a strong emotion and then place our attention on producing a final image that generates that same feeling. Do you think I have understood? I am interested to know, if your acquaintance with the medium format had had more humility, what further tips you would have suggested to him to help develop his eye.

    Anyway… your work is outstanding!
    I live in Mexico City. Do you ever get to Mexico? It would be my pleasure and an honor to show you around! Saludos :)

    1. The Super DHG is great! the only difference with the EXUS is that the Exus is a bit more transparent and nothing else.
      Oh, I see about the point. The photographer had got a giantic medium format camera and he carried it with a table and a laptop to tether it and have more control of the image. The equipment was so heavy that he contracted the help of a gentleman in, if my memory is correct, the highlands of Scotland as he went in a rainy day to see a tumultous river. He tried to make the equivalent of a painting made in the Romantic period, I suspect a bit like the works of Turner. He went there and arranged the table and shot with a camera that was quite expensive but the photograph wasn’t showing his idea. According to what he said in the text usually had meant to make a long exposure of the photo (at least eight seconds) to blur the stream and transform the river into powerful brushes with the dramatic skies and contrast it with something stationary as a tree or a powerful rock. I recommended him that, considering the weight of his equipment a good idea had been to make fast photographs with his cell phone to get views of successful compositions to his goal. What is not a new technique. Film photographers used to use Polaroids to have immediate feedback before using their giant cameras. The problem was that the photographer took a bit my comment as “your photo is no good, in that case you had better used a cell phone instead of such an expensive camera” so I understood it was better not to say much. I made the same mistakes as him when I got at first time my Sony R1 with a tripod. Somehow I was thinking the sheer technical advantages of that equipment would help me to produce better photos but it only produces technically better photos but not compositionally, and even worse to think that editing could save them. A good photo as composition is a good photo with or without editing, taken with an expensive camera or a simple cell phone. Certainly rules are important to apply in our subjects and when we master them we can break them knowing that in some cases it will make the message stronger. I think you understood well and because your words I suspect you also know what do you want to express.
      I would had suggested him to practice and make many mistakes before using his equipment for formal projects.
      Thank you for your kindness. Mexico is a lovely country, so many places to visit, although for this year I am afraid I cannot go if I could I’d love to see the work of architect Barragan in el Pedregal, the Biblioteca Vasnconcelos, La Isla de las Muñecas and so many places, Mexico City alone is like a whole country xD
      Afectuosos saludos desde Perú : )

      1. There is an abundance of interesting architecture in Mexico. You would find getting around most of Mexico City very easy and I could take to to visit locations not easy accessible by bus or metro. There are also places, like Barragan’s house, that I have always wanted to see, but never had a good excuse to visit. So you would be a good excuse!

        Writing that, I suddenly grasped something about why your work is so attractive to me. We are used to the idea of going places to see ‘something’. The Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Statue of Liberty, Barragan’s house. We take pictures of some ‘thing’ to try and capture the essence of a place. But what if a place has no special ‘thing’ to capture? This idea makes sense to me because, after living 20 years in Mexico, I consider my second home in that country to be “Los Altos” which is a large region of high plains country in the state of Jalisco. Apart from, say, the large cathedral in Arandas, what distinguishes this part of the world is not any specific location but rather ’the land’ itself. Red soil, fields, trees dotted about, tiny towns and the odd tractor here and there. There is nothing specific that that can hook (enganchar) your eye. There is no precise or easy composition because the beauty is all around you, and I love it. I suspect very much like where you live, but with agave cactus!

        Your work gives me a language with which to speak this land. A language distinct from how I have been trained to visualize composition, but demonstrably effective at conveying what you wish to convey: how you feel when you see what you see.

        Much to think about (and look at, again and again) for sure!

      2. Hey, thank you, Ralston! : ) Of course everything that we see feeds us in an intimate way and is a point of view that we can share with others as is personal to us. I recall a friend in Baja California that loved so much the infinite desert. He don’t publish though what is a pity. Secret stories.

        About myself I have to confess that I have no professional education in photography and as so, even if you find it attractive, it could be not a way to have success or popularity, goals that are valid but they were not my goal, it is more like a personal diary to don’t forget. There are things of my culture that are banishing, places that are changing or that nobody gets to see. I’d say my goal is to use photography to document, to express that feeling of seeing something that perhaps is not going to be there the next day; not to get a fantastic photograph per se. Photographers can use many tricks to create amazing art; for example from subtle changes to create deep blue skies (you can with your polarizer) with extraordinary golden tones (a tad of saturation and using white balance in cloudy) to drastic changes as paste the sky of one photograph into another, the place cannot be like that when you visit it with your eyes. The photograph of this post falls in that category I think. In this case more than documents were seeing it was more to isolate the movement and the light, how I was feeling it.

        In any case good luck, after you will take thousands of photographs you are going to be conscious of your personal language. At least that was my personal experience. Saludotes, y felices fiestas : )

      3. Igualmente Franciso, te mando un fuerte abrazo y te deseo un muy feliz Navidad y un prospero Año Nuevo!

      4. Felices fiestas Ralston. Mil disculpas, tuve que irme de viaje y se dilató bastante. Feliz año nuevo también. Espero que sea uno muy auspicioso en tus proyectos : )
        PD: Gracias por la invitación a facebook. Por cuestiones de trabajo no he podido participar de redes sociales desde ya hace buenos años, de hecho incluso no he podido postear aquí por ciertos inconvenientes, pero siempre estoy atento al blog. Afectuosos saludos.

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