Thoughts about Instagram

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I opened an Instagram account. It was so funny because a great person I follow wrote about her leaving Instagram. LOl! Of course you already know her but if there is a minimal possibility that not then you can enjoy her Instagram journey here.

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Said that I think I don’t have the risks to fall in the dark corner she mentions. I opened my Instagram as a way to share with my ex (while in relationship) and we had a funny time together. Instagram even has a place to chat xP Amanda wished me joy in my new “filtered” life. I don’t see wrong in it, after all cameras are not designed to photograph feelings so Instagram get me close to them: I am not used by it, I use it.

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If you have seen my blog previously you have seen these photographs in a certain way, but at the same time this is the first time you are seeing them because I am using the Instagram filters to get closer to what I feel and see : )

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I love the square composition, it makes in a certain way things bigger, more classic perhaps.

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Instagram is a faster way to see photographs and follow people and interests. WordPress is something you need usually two or three minutes. More when the publication is longer. But Instagram is quite direct and quickly to appreciate.

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The photographs even usually has not a title. So it’s up to you to give to them a personal meaning.

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The filters to me are a starting point, not every image has a filter applied and the ones that yes actually I try to use them with the goal to get a natural rendering.

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And that’s all. To me Instagram is quite funny. In a way to rediscover my photographs, it’s something fast but at the same time those squares seems to be calmer…

MY-LOR~1

Mark the chickens

mark the chickens

Peruvian election means an attack of advertisements. Political parties use any space in order to get votes. It’s curious to find them in the countryside where they use the whole facade of homes. xP

Durante las elecciones en Perú hay bastante publicidad electoral. Los partidos usan cada rincón disponible para publicitarse. Me parece raro el cómo lo hacen en el campo, donde usan fachadas enteras de las casas. xD

One ichu

one ichu

Ichu, the yellow grass (except in Summers when it’s green) of the Andean Plateau… The weather can change, the water can be absent for months. But it will survive.  It’s not stubborness but nature.

Ichu, el pastizal amarillo (excepto en verano cuando es verde) del altiplano… El clima puede cambiar, el agua escacear por meses. Pero sobervivirá, no por terquedad sino por naturaleza.

Some thoughts about street photography

see into the light

See into the light

I am thinking about street photography.  I understand about life in cities and people is important to have a reference of scale so when the composition ask it I introduce people in public spaces in the photograph. For example in this first photograph… Could you have a sense of the size of the door without the couple?

Caress of afternoon light

Caress of afternoon light

In Peru, Chile and Bolivia there is no problem in shooting in the public space of the street. It’s the space for everybody so the same way I take photographs of others I discovered others shot photographs of me. I never could forbid nobody in the street to have photographs about me, the same way I couldn’t forbid nobody to shot the façade of the buildings I designed because I designed them precisely as a contribution to the public and shared space of the city. Of course there are limits and I try that the person is not totally clear, because I’m not focused in persons but the happenings of the city.

In search of the unknown

In search of the unknown

The life in the highlands, the coast and the jungle is quite different. Usually population in touristic cities are used to photographs, commercial cities instead are the less welcome to photographs. In any case I can say that in Peru, Bolivia and Chile is allowed to take photographs in any public space.

doves

Doves

But I understand it’s not a universal way to see things. I know in continental Europe and in Quebec laws forbid photography of people, even in public space. If I would visit those places certainly I would respect the law and save my camera, but I don’t understand why the citizens of those countries have not the same problem when they visit my country and are happy to shot, as it’s nothing wrong really, every person, especially the ones with more typical costumes. Also I see their albums and they are proud to shot people in Japan or India…

contemplating

contemplating

So this is my thought. In my way to think, to feel, to express, (and according to the law of the countries I have visited and the one where I live) I know I’m doing well. I considered to delete, modify or don’t post street photography for the readers of the sensible countries but this is not a magazine. This is a personal diary, and I need to be faithful and true to myself.

I hope you can appreciate in my photographs and words how is a world different to yours, in the same way I learn from the yours. But if it’s against what your heart and mind consider correct and you are not going to change your mind then my best suggestion is to leave my space, as always honored for your time towards what I write and show. Nothing more.

color in the white world

Color in the white world

If there is an idea I try to express is my feeling that in cities we tend to be actually alone. The crowds and the cities make us living around several interactions, but in the end they reinforce our will to be ourselves. Certainly cities reinforce that will on me. In the highlands I try to live close to hills or mountains, in the coast close to the sea…

mural painted with reflections

Mural painted with reflections

There is an almost funny feeling of solitude contrasting with the idea that we walk regularly with the same people in the way to work or studies. What is more accentuated in this time where we cannot get a word with the passenger next to us without being seen as perverts but we wake up passions with the stranger that we “knew” in internet. But although sometimes it’s real mostly that’s an illusion: here we are just chains of letters. The person next to you in the street is more real.

doubt at afternoon

About shadows and thoughts

When I take these photographs I think in Hopper’s oeuvre. The reflexive loneliness of the persons. They way they never get to make eye contact closing their souls around themselves.

We sell colors

We sell colors

In Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino I also feel that strange life that is the life in the city. A carnival where people of every kind is mixed and the traditions and routines make us forget that perhaps some of the things we do aren’t healthy or logical. For example one of the reasons I don’t see my University former mates is because the meetings have to be done drinking several bottles of beer… but it’s the life in cities.

is it truth

Is it truth?

And I like to think in cities as living animals, giant and living according to their own rhythm. Indifferent to the little and ephemeral people moving around their bodies.

Time to go.

nice day for a walk

nice day for a walk

Passenger: recommendations to photograph in the highway

lonely vertical

Lonely vertical

I travel by bus; planes are expensive and I’m not in a hurry. I know the highlands, the valleys, deserts, the coast, and a bit of the jungle. I like to take snapshots of the landscape and I’ve a method that could be useful to you.

Ready to go
caution a

Caution

In first place you need to see. To observe requires you enjoying the view from the window. Otherwise is the camera the one travelling and not you. Of course this suggestion is valid if you are like me, a guy that enjoys to travel, if you are a photographer then you can skip them. This is because there are two kind of persons, the ones that take photographs of the travels they enjoy and the other a person that travels to get photographs in a portfolio to show/sell. Rarely you can be both at the same time.

You can use any camera, just try to turn off any flash in your camera so you are not going to take photos of its reflection against the window. The problems you are going to find and their solutions are the following:

  • Reflections in the window: Reduce them with a polarizer filter
rocky castle

Rocky castle

If you see the photograph in the blue sky and the top of the rock you can see reflections of the opposite windows of the bus. They could have been even worse but the polarizer helped to reduce to the maximum any reflection.

little cloud

Little cloud

In this photograph instead the polarizer got rid of any reflection.

  • Color casts from the window: use software to correct it
Towers hill

Towers Hill

The colors across the windows are going to be a bit twisted and sometimes funny. To correct them you can use editing software with white balance correction, there are both free and paid programs. Usually you can pick an object known to be white (a painted wall, a sign, a cloud) and it automatically correct it. Nevertheless still the colors can end different because windows aren’t made to be optical elements but protection and source of light. A raw file is easier to correct than the common jpeg file.

One thing you can do is accept that fact and take advantage of the differences in colors.

  • Poles and obstacles: take quickly a second photograph
a scream in the sky

A scream in the sky

When you are traveling the car can be on the road at high speeds. So there is no way to carefully design a composition. Some like to use bracketing, I don’t like to do that, I prefer to preview in my mind how is going to change the perspective, wait until it and shot like a Jabusame (a Japanese archer on a running horse) but it’s possible that the mind reacts by instinct when there is something in the landscape. I take a photograph to discover a pole or a sign, so quickly I shot it again.

  • Blown highlights: use a graduated filter
summoning clouds

Summoning clouds

You can take a photograph and suddenly you see that this happened: the land is according to your eyes but the sky is almost white and without detail. In these cases a graduated filter is mandatory, of course you can recover in software (specially with the last cameras) but the less time you live in front of a computer the better.

  • Discover stories: observe the highway
Waiting for the driver

Waiting with loyalty

Along the highway there are evidences of stories. The most of them have not an obvious explanation because people in the countryside is always different. What happened to that car? Is the dog a watcher or is just resting? the scars of sun and rain in the textiles give a sense of time too. A story for a detective.

  • Dirty windows give flares: take advantage of them!
Beyond the ground a luminous place

Beyond the ground a luminous place

I love flares! If you don’t like them then a lens hood could help you. In my case I like how the dirty windows (they’re always dirty) transform the light and get a diffuse and low contrast image.

  • Difficulty in taking photographs at twilight and night: get the most of those hours
glazing eye

Glazing eye

It doesn’t matter if you have a cell phone or a giant camera: in broad day they can get nice pictures. The problem is with low light, the most basic the camera the blinder it is to low light scenaries. In those circunstances a tripod and a long exposure would be the option but in a car in movement that is just impossible. In this moment technology matters and the best camera is going to give you more useable photographs. To this first photograph I used a Fujifilm X-E1 camera and a fast 1.4 fujinon lens.

If you can get a camera with a big sensor then the night is going to be open to you. Quality films have usually low sensivity to light so they aren’t suitable for these dark hours.

Somebody else in the highway

Somebody else in the highway

In this photograph I used my Sony R1, it has a big sensor but it’s quite old so it’s a bit blind to the night. So I used a long exposure to get the lights of the passing cars. I knew I couldn’t get a sharp photograph but I could get photographs with movement.

Four neighborrs

Four neighbors

End of the travel
Follow the line

Follow the line

So the travel ends, usually when the night is closer. Time to rest and be ready for the next trip…

last bus to the city

Last bus to the city