Sunday 25 March 2007

Reflective wall, Madrid 2007

Madrid is a confabulation of light and opportunities to photograph. Which leads one to wonder if the exoticism of the unknown can turn the locale deceivingly exciting; or if things are really enchanting as they seem at first sight and one has to photograph what one sees. My only guess is that photographers live by the thrill of the hunt of images, no matter where they are.

Old man entering shadows, Madrid 2007

One enters shadows in more ways than one. Particularly when old age is already here. And the shadows are patiently waiting. I guess there is always an analogy to be exercised somewhere in many of the images we capture. Some are reasonably sound, whereas some are not...

Workers with beam, Madrid 2007

One has to be totally, and visually, inured not to see things that hold some attraction when one can casually walk by holding a heavy steel beam over one's shoulders on the way to the construction site...

Getting Close to Chuck, Madrid 2007

You have to get really close to Chuck Close to discover in amazement what he is capable of doing by the touch of his fingers. There are no tricks, no intention of misleading anyone. There is only mastery, and paint on brush, or charcoal at the fingertips.

Giant Lichtenstein, Reina Sofia, Madrid

This one has the same enthralling light with the added monumental Lichtenstein sculpture. People come over to touch it, to run their fingers over the smooth surface and walk around mesmerized and awed by its power. The prying Mantis, the beautiful, enormous insect.

Luz de Madrid, 2007

This one came after being inside the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid for a few hours. Going out for a coffee I had to notice it; it would had been impossible not to, the light filtering down from the roof over the courtyard at the entrance. It was magic, it was the caress the Rolleiflex was very much in need of.

Sombra, Madrid 2007

On the way from Calle Atocha, looking for a good café, I took this shot of my colleague as he enters the door frame from the left. It was a beautiful light and it was getting late. Sometimes all you need is to cross the street, and voilà, there it is.

Sunday 4 March 2007


Is there anything to add about a face?

Cuatro Esquinas/Four Corners

Images are enclosed within the boundaries of restriction and protocol. But nobody can say there can not be a slight twist in the proceedings. The up-righted angular motion framed by the four corners shows the potential of an image to become caricature, if only we can push it further out. On the other hand, this image could be interpreted as being a re-enactment of a night spent inside a fishing boat off the Coast of Vizcaya.

Noon Shadows

There is always that undercurrent of images once seen in a small cinema in the tropical birthplace. There is always the intention to re-capture what was once seen and is now therefore forever irretrievable.
Does Bergman ring any bells?

Saturday 3 March 2007

Margarita Mejia, photographer, Cali 1997

All images have a secret compartment. They hold an extra something which is not made evident during the taking of the photograph. That is exactly what happened with this one of my young friend, photographer Margarita Mejía. It is now, ten years after having taken it, and printed it for the first time, that I discovered that Margarita is a doppelgänger for any number of the many female figures, unsung heroines, that populated Mexican cinema in the fifties and sixties. Her face has the elements of tragic beauty that immortalized Maria Felix.

Cali, Colombia 1997

Moi, by Sloman

This one I owe to Neil Sloman, dear friend and colleague.

Paris, 2006

Long Street Studio

This is a large blow-up of a photograph taken a long time ago and it is the first time that it has been enlarged to such a degree. It has always fascinated me simply because it contains largely ignored and unexplored territory, the territory of dreams, the province of Breton & Co. The figures seen walking in the shadowy distance, and the lazy silhouette of a dog in no hurry, are to be found walking to nowhere for no reason, in some corner in paintings by Max Ernst or Giorgio di Chirico, among many of the surrealists.

San Sebastián

Short legged studio

Making a studio in a living room is part and parcel of the traveling photographer.
The market place and the public square may be all is needed for exteriors.
But any sitting room could be made to measure, to become a studio for ten minutes, even if the measurements are so tight you have to crop half the room out.

San Francisco,
CA 1993

Estudio improvisado

This man was a sex worker and a transvestite. For that reason he was attacked by murderous psychopaths with guns. He was nearly killed but survived. He can not walk without the help of crutches.
He knocked at my mother's door in Cali, in 1995, and demanded that I take his picture. I obliged without hesitation. I had to improvise a studio in the living room complete with plastic flowers. That gives this image its rightly deserved look of tropical photo-studio. Cheesy town to boot.

Cali, Colombia, 1995

Estudio en gris

Grey is a color of undefined beauty. It pleases and does not offend the eye with any other shades that may scream for attention. It is sedate and tranquil and it goes well with all forms of shadowy detail. It can resemble stone and sky and early night or early morning. And it is always reliable.

El Entramado, San Francisco 1994

Enana a la fuerza/Dwarf by force

This image has the ubiquity of a whimsical proposition. Some images adapt to modifications and even mutilations. Not many survive gracefully. Some grow into it and blend effortlessly.
This one started as a normal reproduction but slowly, by twists and turns and improbable double-takes, it ended being a seemingly interesting concoction.
It points to the creative possibilities of scissors and tape; a ruler, and above all, a bit of luck.

Untitled and Unwritten

Whitstable - First Week of December 2023