Here in the neighborhood, besides the lack of urban infrastructure that I am trying to capture as seen in the previous posts, we can also find some beautiful scenery. The Pedra da Gávea is one of the most enjoyable tours in the region. Now in the summer, however, I do not feel like doing the hike that leads to the summit because the strong heat can make this activity something close a torture! In the winter, instead, in the middle of the year, I like to walk through this forest. This post is my entry to the photo challenge Tour Guide .
My photographic wanderings continue to portray the same space as the last posts, that is, those around my neighborhood here in the western zone of Rio de Janeiro. I think it will continue this way until I can come up with better shots of ideas of light and composition. To capture a more elaborate light the photographer has to know at what time it will touch on a certain surface, what kind of shadow and contrast it will generate. Of course I’m always open for this moment, when this encounter with the perfect light occurs spontaneously. The moment I realize that I’m in the right place at the right time so I do not miss the opportunity to shoot! But it’s not always so. So photography also requires planning. As I’ve been saying, these posts are not planned. These images are the result of my random passages through the streets.
I do not really see myself as an artist. I am like a promise that is never fulfilled. Someone is always in the learning stage. This week I might print this landscape here from Rio de Janeiro. Just to remember that this city has beautiful curves when we look only for them … good week to all!
Until recently I only wanted to make photographs of landscapes, highly elaborated, technically beautiful. Suddenly I realized that because of this, I was shooting very little. Landscape photography requires large displacements, and at the moment of my life, I have to stay right here in my city. It was then that, two weeks ago or so I went out with the camera and happened to photograph the things I saw. Since then I’ve never stopped. I’m addicted to going out with the camera daily and photographing the streets and people. The result is that I’m not producing very elaborate images, but at least I’m shooting every day. My big question today is if this, for my personal portfolio in instagram it is healthy. I used to post only my best pictures. Now I am a little freer from this self-imposition. Before I wanted to give a more consistent look to my landscape production, but it occurred to me that I posted much less. By a suggestion of a reader here in the blog I created a specific account for this type of image more uncompromising, and I’m posting … The result of this experience is that I find myself in a crisis of identity, that is, in the impossibility of doing the photos that I really like, the one of landscapes, I went to make photos of the streets made almost in any way. On the one hand I find it healthy to photograph daily and post on instagram and here on the blog, on the other, my work is getting less elaborate. It is up to me now to try to find a middle ground between producing more consistent images, mainly in terms of ideas of light and framing, while maintaining a periodicity in terms of publication … I hope I am not charging too much
Here in Rio de Janeiro we are at the carnival. It’s a time of year when the whole city seems to be in a frenzy, in an ecstasy, people go crazy, driven by alcohol and drugs. When I got up in the morning I decided to take a look at this climate of the city, maybe it would give me some good pictures. Upon arriving at the beach of Ipanema there was a crowded crowd, drinking caipirinhas, vodka, beer, smoking … I went alone. Walking around the streets, I tried to listen to somebody else’s conversation, trying to understand where all that happiness really came from. I realized there was a reason everyone was dressed up … I felt like a fish out of water. The sun was burning on my shoulders and I decided to sit on a waterfront kiosk and drink some coconut water (where this picture was taken). Since I did not like the party, I realized that I would not be able to get good pictures. It is necessary to flow with the environment. It was not my case today.
According to the previous post, reality is in black and white, today I went to the city center, and between an appointment and another I took time to make some images. This time I wanted to look at the diferences between working in color and black and white. It’s very hard for me to decide which one I like the most. Certainly, the black and white images carry in themselves a drama that the color has not. In turn, colors reveal the environment more naturally and directly (?) – since monochromatic images are actually an abstraction of reality… My method for achieving this tonality is quite simple. I configure the camera (sony a7) in neutral color mode – in RAW format (always in RAW, I never use JPEG). After I finished shooting, I connect the camera with my cellphone over the wifi (a feature that I really like this camera. I’ve been using it a lot since I discovered it. I have sony a7 recently, after almost a decade with a 550d canon). With the images on the phone I apply the VSCO app filters, and that’s it! This is the way I work with images for instagram or the internet in general. For professional work I certainly have to go through the adobe lightroom and export in tiff format. In the lightroom I also have the VSCO filters, but I use them much less in this software. When I work on my computer, I have a lot more image control, so color correction is much more elaborate than just applying a filter. But as I have been saying, these images that I have presented here on the blog, especially these street series, are very uncompromising, so I feel free to work them out simply as well. Hope you like it. Looking foward to hear your thoughts about your preferences, between color or black and white. For my side, I just can not say what I like most… Geminian feelings over here 🙂
Variations on a Theme
Wim Wenders once said a thing that I never forget ” life is in color, reality is in black and white“. Beyond the playing with words of this quote, there is some true behind it. B&W pictures has the hability to put things in a atemporal perspective. I can not find the right words right now to describe this strange effect (no Susan Sontag here). It is certainly an abstraction of reality, but the way we read the images in monochrome format has certainly a very different impact in our perspective. When color photography appeared, fine art photographers, like Ansel Adams, were very resistent in accepting the new film support as art form. They saw it as comercial way to make images. It took many years to color being accepted as art form too. I am just making this introduction to say that for me sometimes is hard to stick only with B&W as my favorites photographers does. Is very simple. I just like how the colors look. So, tomorrow I have to go to the city center and I will make some street photography in the shape I did last few days, but I will do it in color instead. Looking for what you guys think about it 🙂
Robert Capa has a book called ‘Slightly Out of Focus’ in which he advocates that his photography style, while not technically perfect, was about what his colleague Cartier Bresson was saying – to capture the decisive moment. These two photographers serves as a means of insipiration for this series of images that I have been producing since last week, between my house and the subway station that I do daily in an old bus that passes here by my neighborhood. Far from any comparison with the two masters of photography, my inspiration refers only in the sense that I am aware that these images are far from being a technical perfection – I would not mention the composition aspect. However, I believe they have something that captures an immediate sense, catch a moment that I believe, over the years, will gain a certain strength – at least in my memory – but also, may serve as a record of an era here from my neighborhood. I’m not saying that there will be many people interested in this, who knows? But what motivates me in producing and presenting these images is, above all, my desire to practice photography on a daily basis, in a less ambitious way. The meaning of this blog is precisely this, to record this practice to try to perceive some evolution over time.
Variations on a Theme