Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Unconscious sequences, mishmashes, things that arrange randomly

Don't you find that the more you look at photographs the more unexpected sequences arrange themselves? I see this a lot when I look at places where other people's photography is highlighted (like Bryan's Photograph's in the Brain or my photohemorrage). Sometimes images that I scan in a roll seem to have some perverse sense of story or narrative. It somehow reminds me of free association and surrealist imagery. Things sort of click, and they are more than what they were by themselves.

(Last unconscious dream sequence I found in my negs...)

Friday, 23 May 2008

Upcoming events...

There was a print of mine hanging somewhere in Milano (Italy) today. Next Thursday (till Saturday morning) I'll be around in London helping Maciej out with a workshop about photographying the city at night. If somebody misses it, we'll be in some pub around Brixton after that. Yesterday I also got confirmed that I'll be taking part on a slideshow in the Nuit de l'Annee in the Rencontres d'Arles photofestival. I must thank the Tango Photo collective on arranging this, specially Olivier Thebaud.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Welsh Surfaces

I started a sort of serial of pictures of a roadtrip. All shot during one day in seven hours going from Cardiff to Port Talbot and back. The result is called Welsh Surfaces and was edited in about an hour. The boring well-composed (maybe classically composed should be better) colour snapshot style of it is not at all representative of how I shoot, but more of a joke, I guess.

The slideshow right now has 10 photographs, and every day I will add 5 more until the total of 28 is reached.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

All tomorrow's parties...

I like shooting in parties. Birthdays, happy things. Somehow they lend themselves for double readings and anarchic compositions of people. I guess you have to be a bit cheeky when you look at things, but well, it's much more fun than do straightforward pictures of things.

I guess I just write this because it had been quite a while since the last time I uploaded any pics in this blog. Also, quite a while that they weren't in b&w. Well, happy birthday that is!

So, anybody has favourite party pictures?

(Both pics from last Saturday, by me.)

Sunday, 4 May 2008

La Pura Vida - April: beautiful consciousness, the flight of emily

La Pura Vida is a loose idea or sketch of a gallery that has been developing for over half a year on it's multiple basecamps on flickr. For the first time there is a final edited monthly issue available here: April - beautiful consciousness, the flight of emily. It's short, dreamy and nice, so you aren't wasting your time. Submissions are open for a darker, grittier, grainier May issue on this group on flickr. Over there you can also see currently accepted submissions. As usual, I'll see if they find anything fitting in my vaults...

Bryan Formhals, Raoul Gatepin, James Hendrick and Ludmilla Morais are to be credited for this project and Nathalia Mendes for the photograph in this post.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Editing: think positive

My friends are sometimes down because of editing their images, essays, sequences, projects, collections, sets, whatever you might want to call them. I think there's a misconception that editing your work is the end of the road, that last thing you do before you call it a day. Probably I saw editing like that a while ago... when you go through your images and say, "man, this isn't good enough", "oh, I have three good images of X, but nothing else to interleave", "I have eight shots of Y, but only one goes in, which one?", "stupid, in this kind of pictures all the characters are girls", etc. Suddenly nothing keeps the pace, the thing falls apart, it turns tedious, or too strong or too soft or too fast or just doesn't work... and then you want to find a nice tree and kick the bucket.

I mean, it's hard to come up with an idea clear enough of something to shoot, and go and tick all the 'compositions', 'locations' and 'topics' boxes. Plus your idea might have been immensely unsatisfactory for yourself and you didn't realize it. Nowadays I find the first edit of anything that I'm shooting a very creative process... it's the first time that I see what I am shooting and how I want to follow it. Yeah, follow it, because it's not the end, it's more, I'd say that something is not a project in my head till I have edited at least once. Once I am done, instead of seeing all the things that the edit is lacking and go to find a very tall tree, I think about how I am going to shoot them. Suddenly, from the images new branches and paths emerge. You can easily plan ahead what images to drop completely ('lets get rid of all the portraits', e.g.) and what to follow. Where there are gaps on the edit that need a certain pace, whether you have tried a certain shot too many times without noticing it, whether you have biased yourself to give a certain message to the whole when actually, under the surface, something more quiet but stronger resides. So if you are thinking about your first (painful) edit... cheer up! It's still only the beginning!

Anyhow, if I come up as too optimistic, well, give a go at Always Look at the Bright Side of Life.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

The z-series

Back in the day, a few months ago, we started a thread in HCSP called please don't waste our time. It was mostly to show to the members of the group what kind of photographs we don't want to see submitted once and again to the group. I thought that we had not used this thead a lot, but today I realized that it has 263 comments in it. I understand that having more than 21k members that potentially can submit stuff to the group means that we have to go through lots of crap, but most of it is not amazingly shocking enough for us to go on to this thread (oh, I had to correct a typo there that read 'shit thread') and post the image.

Some of it is so bad that it turns... well, maybe not good, but worth a look at. Take this one, for example:

Potentially homeless person, selective desaturation and shot through a mirror. I mean, when would I have come up with that one? It has so many of the elements that make an admin's finger go towards the reject button that is surprising that it lived long enough for being highlighted in the thread.

Or this one.

The creative use of the frame and certain elements that might be postproduced guide you towards the main topic of the image in case you were missing it. I would be interested in seeing what sort of postproduction that image would have had if one of the subjects was the photographer's ex.

Loads of postprocessing on top of a potentially interesting image. Hum.

Oh, I can't even remember how many times I've rejected this one:

But somehow, nothing beats the day that I deleted this image from some long time ago lost vaults of the group...

This reminds me that What the Duck is having an excellent series of daily comics on the issue of photoshopping. Like this one:

Also, don't miss Photoshop Disasters.