White wall

white wall

Felipillo

Felipillo means “lil’ Philip” Spaniards used in the beginning of their fanatic invasion those derogatory names instead our names, so they would say Juanillo (lil’ John) et al with their servants.

Felipillo is important because he was the first servant of the foreign invaders. A handy translator that they used to get in prison to the Inca and, afraid of a militar answer of our generals, lastly killing the Inca with ridiculous charges of idolatry (they had their gods, we had our beliefs) and polygamy (in Bible there are a lot of characters with several wives and Spaniards cared to do the same here); that was possible with the help of Felipillo that was also greedy and wanted one of the ñustas (princess) for him and perhaps felt that he would win a lot being a servant.

He didn’t win nothing. His name in Peru is now the term used for traitor. Pizarro, Hernandez and Almagro in Spain are heroes (and it’s right because they made heroic feats to the glory of Spain) but in Peru they are the worst according to our culture, thieves; the Spaniards that came from Spain are in Europe conquerors, in Peru they are invaders. But Felipillo appeared in a moment when to the laws of Spain we were even doubted to be human beings so I understand he’s not a hero, he’s nothing in their history, but in our history he appears like the maximum traitor.

Felipillo proves that the human nature is universal, in everybody there is the power to do anything, we weren’t a civilization of saints and Spaniards weren’t a civilization of bad people. I understand the most of them came from a background of poverty and despair, several of us were also greedy and allied to them; the invaders after a time would be punished by their king and would die in internal wars, the gold and silver that they stolen from us in the end would origin inflation in Spain and the consequent poverty, so the meeting would bring bad and good things for both sides. In my opinion the best they brought was the idea of pardon.

After my travels across my country I’m afraid that we are now a country of Felipillos, we betray our world, instead of making it evolve, we choose to sell us for a few coins from foreigners. Nothing is created or produced but imported. It’s like a kind of lack of self-steem. Walking the streets is a shock because no one of the cars was designed or even manufactured in the country, we are a dead country without soul. That’s the difference between a developed country from a modern one: the modern country can have machines, electronics or arts, but it depends of the production and thought outside said country, if the producers would negate to sell we simple would be recycling the cars until they break; instead a developed country has the capacity to design a car, and if it wants to manufacture it.

What makes it funnier is that foreigners come to my country to experience our culture in the belief that we are still authentic. They came and what they find is schools of yoga and Hindu philosophy…

The thirsty pastures waiting for the time of rains

The thirsty pastures waiting for the time of rains

Usually I hear music while working, but sometimes I get tired so I turn on the TV to have background noise. Days ago I was hearing a movie (eyes in the work) and after it there was a Colombian series of erotic stories, as I was concentrated in my drawings I let it be. The story was about an actress that one day decides to accept an offer to pose naked for a magazine. Then her family and her boyfriend decide to ban her from their lives; she suffers and nobody wants to hire her because the immorality to pose in the magazine. In the end she writes a book of four thousand pages to explain to the country that she feels regret for have posed. Then the boyfriend and family goes to say her that they forgive her…

It was so funny. I don’t know what is the guilt or sin in the body, and besides I think the most horrible in that story is the family that betrays their own blood, the boyfriend whose “image” is far more important than the love and support. The story is funny because Colombia has a great market of magazines with models, even some of their magazines are here in Peru and that’s great. In the end I couldn’t stop to laugh because the hostess of the program was a lady with a vast cleavage showing generous breasts…

But sadly there is something of reality in that program. I know some friends, male, in the cities that are more closer to the European traditions of middle ages, that consider a woman they want to marry a prostitute if she is not virgin, but they feel the obligation to get laid with several ladies (even when they are already married with the virgin) that they consider not suitable for a relationship because to them are just ladies to “use.” And the girls in those cities tend to choose those boys because they have the image of strength they are looking for, that’s one of the reasons I got disappointment about girls in those places and I prefer to be alone, to me a lady like that, from my native point of view is a weak person that has no dreams to fight for. It’s the way of their society in general of Latinos, in the case of natives those are quite uncomfortable traditions, we have an institution: the servinacuy, it’s a legal institution where a couple lives together, can have children and everything, but it’s considered a trial time before the marriage, because there is nothing more terrible than a man or woman get stuck in a life not meant to be. Sadly with the advance of westerners traditions some of them replace our healthy traditions, it’s true that some of those traditions have to disappear in this modern world, but the westerner world in Peru is one from the middle ages.

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.

Fill flash

Ruins after the night

Fill flash at 1/2000 of second

Fill flash is a technique to use the flash in your camera in broad daylight to illuminate the shadows of objects closer to the camera. Because, you know, photography is about the light. It’s quite useful in the beach and other places where the sun is intense and the camera register almost black shadows (never forget: the camera cannot see what your eyes see) For example in the photograph above the shadows of the midday hide the textures and colors of the rocks, the fill flash allowed me to laugh about the problem ;-) you can see the rocks in the distance, how the shadows are just a black void.

But… Is it not easier to use software?

Nop, here an example. The following photograph was shot in midday without fill flash:

No processed

Shot without fill flash, the wall in under the shadow

The photograph has no processing and the colors aren’t the ones of the reality because I programmed my camera to have the less contrast and saturation possible to process in home (but that is post for another day). Let’s try to correct the shadows in software with this file and the best we get is this:

Processed

The same photograph but modified in software

Shadows tend to be blue so I warmed the image and illuminated the sadows, incremented the saturation the closer to the natural tones and tried to give it more life. Better but know let’s see the same scene with fill flash:

Behind the wall

Processed photograph

Can you notice the change? It has more life, the colors are shining, there is more happiness and it’s closer to what our minds see, because the brain compensate when there are strong shadows. As you can see the flash effect is sublte because it hasn’t erase the shadows but just illuminate them enough to show the colors and details.

To say it in a few words I use this technic to give life to the photographs. I use flash at day and never at night. See the apple and the marble:

alone in the Andean plateau

 

I love apples :P Fill flash is great for portraits because it gives light to the eyes… the same with this apple. Let’s see what happens with a bit of flash:

red sun in marble cliff

The flash illuminates marble and apple in a natural way

With software (HDR for example) it couldn’t end in a natural way.

Speaking of eyes, I have not one from somebody else that gave me an authorization so I’m using a selfie. See, the flash gives a spark to my eyes, it helps a lot to give the impression of life, it’s in the beach and also helps to reduce the shadows:

fill flash example

See the eyes *_*

But there is a catch: you cannot use a camera with interchangeable lenses… they have a nature that make them slow with flashes. The first photograph was shot at 1/2000 of second, the most of cameras with interchangeable lenses just can get until 1/250 of second which is far from the needed speeds at midday or sunny day, I think they need special external flashes to accomplish high speeds. If you have a compact camera as I do you are not going to have problem using the flash in any moment of the day.

These are some more photographs with fill flash:

A river of white light

The boat was under the shadow… although the flash was quite strong with the foreground

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A flower in the Titicaca, otherwhise I could got a black flower or a white sky

flash

I avoided a silhouette, The flash illuminated the foreground

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

here the flash perhaps is a bit hars, you can use a diffuser

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I used the flash to illuminate and at the same time give sparks to the metalic surface

Survivor trcrawling to  the water

Without the flash the camera would just got a black mess…

And that’s all, I hope it helps you.

Orange shores of a turquoise ocean

arrangement in orange

Arrangement in orange

I had already left the part where the Ilo river meets the ocean. I wanted to walk a bit more before the lunch, just because I prefer to use my legs to know the world. This is the chronicle of that walking.

Orange land
Wave slap!

wave slap!

Ilo city has the most beautiful sandy beaches of the Peruvian south, but they are here and there; mostly the shoreline is rocky, mostly a kind of orange, they resemble prehistoric animals coming back to the sea.

last days of winter

Last days of winter

In the bottom

in the bottom

dinsoaur egg

Dinosaur egg

Solidness

Solidness

Green and black

Green and black

Fracture in the landscape

Fracture in the landscape

I hear all of you

I hear all of you

Machines to hear the sea…

Say me blue
Four against the waves

Four against the waves

The sea in Ilo is strange. It has turquoise mainly, but also sometimes it’s a milky silver, a pure blue, the sunset gives to it other palettes. It’s usually pacific.

Enduring

enduring

Those days of winter, the water seemed made of ice, you could think in an iceberg melting.

Prepare for impact!

Prepare for impact!

Waiting the sun of the west

Waiting the sun of the west

Park of rocks
Little head seeing the bit of open sky

Little head seeing the bit of open sky

Time runs so I walked till this park, it’s designed with emphasis in preserve the natural rocks.

Glimpse to  the ships

Glimpse to the ships

The artisanal ships of the fishermen crown the line of the sea. They can come so far as 1700 kilometers (one thousand miles) from the North of Peru.

Line of ships

Line of ships

inside the kingdom of rocks

Inside the kingdom of rocks

End

So it was time to lunch. I went to the fishermen terminal where the fish is fished the same day.  Even more if you are a fisherman or fisherwoman you can bring your own fish to be cooked there.

from the sea

From the sea