Bienvenidos al blog de Manuel Vázquez Muñoz

Bienvenidos a mi cuaderno de bitácora, donde podréis conocerme un poco mejor y poco a poco parte de mi obra…

En mis fotografías trato de poner de manifiesto la complicidad entre el fotógrafo y el motivo fotografiado, donde no sólo basta con apretar el disparador.

Trato de “ver lo invisible”, o mejor dicho, lo casi inadvertido; es decir, ver “con otros ojos”: personas, momentos o detalles siempre agradables, motivos para celebrar…

Cada imagen forma parte de mí y, por eso, aún estoy escribiendo mi biografía…


miércoles, 11 de diciembre de 2013

A cualquier hora

Hacía mucho tiempo que no me pasaba por este mi rincón y la verdad es que ya me apetecía...

Con esta foto, sin otras connotaciones que la gente pudiera interpretar, pretendo plasmar lo que considero que ya es algo habitual: la falta de socialización que tienen los jóvenes de hoy en día... Creo que se están perdiendo algo muy importante en sus vidas y, cuando se quieran dar cuenta, no habrá solución para recuperar el tiempo perdido...

No es menos cierto que vivimos en lo que se ha denominado "era de la información" y eso, de alguna u otra manera, también ha influido en nuestra conducta... En cualquier lugar que os paréis a pensar, es raro no encontrar a alguien "enganchado" a su móvil, ya sea para jugar, conectarse a internet, recibir un "what's app" o conectar sus auriculares para escuchar música... Esta nueva "forma de vida" - way of life, que dirían otros porque queda más "cool" - hace que cada día nos hagamos más introvertidos, vivamos "nuestro mundo" y "desconectemos" de la realidad, de la vida...

He aquí mi particular visión de esta forma de pasar el tiempo, o de divertirse... Y es que no importa el lugar en el que nos encontremos, ni la hora del día o de la noche que sea, porque estamos "enganchados/conectados"... Tan sólo hace falta un punto de red al que conectarse (si no quieres gastar tu tarifa de datos) y voilà! Ya tengo diversión hasta el infinito y más allá...

En fin, ya me diréis qué os parece. No sé si coincidiréis conmigo con esta reflexión, pero espero que, al menos, os guste la foto.


domingo, 13 de octubre de 2013

Los cinco niveles de la fotografía de calle

Hacía tiempo que no me pasaba a subir ningún hilo... El caso es que mirando por internet y las redes sociales he visto un artículo que podría seros de interés (al menos, creo que sí que los es). Se trata de un artículo sobre fotografía de calle, de la relación entre la emoción que despierta la imagen en el espectador y el elemento cognitivo que proyecta...

El artículo está íntegramente recogido del blog de Juan José Reyes - "Out for a walk" - al que podéis acceder desde el siguiente enlace:

Espero que os guste. Saludos.

The Five Levels Of Street Photography

Searching for a better editing process
Editing is the hardest part of street photography. It is harder than being confronted by strangers or getting lost in the bad part of town or trying to focus manually with the Fuji X100.
Just to clarify, for the purposes of this post, when I say editing I am referring to the process of selecting the images that “make the cut” and discarding the ones that don’t.
My decision process when looking at one of my images usually goes something like this: “wow, this one is fantastic!…..maybe not…..well, it could be……ah.. whatever, I’m keeping it….. I guess….not sure…… yes!”.
At the risk of discombobulating such a scientific and rigorous process I started to think if there could be a better way to more easily select images that have higher impact and meaning and that will make me feel a little better about my photographs.
Since images have two elements, visual aesthetics and emotional content, I thought it would be good place to start by categorizing the images according to how much of each element it reveals to the viewer. This is important because the first one operates at a more conscious level and the second one aims at the subconscious level.  Images that are mostly visual would be categorized in the lower levels because it fulfills the most basic needs of the viewer.  Images that have strong content would be placed at a higher level because fulfills deeper needs of the viewer.
Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, fulfilling the needs at the top has a more lasting effect and is a more powerful motivator. The same thing happens with SP images.  Some images fulfill the basic need of providing information or delivering visual/esthetic reward while others are more complex and touch the subconscious part of the viewer eliciting a stronger reaction that lasts longer and makes the viewer come back to it over and over.
Cognitive Friction
The term “complex” isn’t enough to describe if an image will be in the higher level. Complex doesn’t define well the impact of the photograph because we can have a very simple image with a strong emotional content. For example a white wall with one single shadow of a person on it.  It is a simple image because there is really only a wall and a shadow but opens the mind to a wide variety of meanings and emotions. Complex might refer to multiple elements and subjects on the frame but that doesn’t necessarily make it more interesting so I had to find a better word or tool.
During this self-imposed and unnecessary quest, I came across a concept that not only will make it sound like I know what I’m talking about but will also add the scientific validation that the whole process is sorely lacking. This concept is called cognitive friction.
In the world of interaction design, cognitive friction is defined as“The resistance encountered by a human intellect when it engages with a complex system of rules that change as the problem changes.”  Is a common concept in the software development world and it basically means that if on different screens or modes the same button performs a different function, it makes it more difficult for the user to learn how to use it.
Simply put, applying cognitive friction to street photography means that the image changes or acquires different meaning based on our current or present emotion. If you are an interaction designer you want less cognitive friction but if you are a photographer you want more.
If an image has high cognitive friction it means that you cannot understand it  just by looking at it. Your mind has to work to understand it and your interpretation or emotion will change depending on many different internal factors that are also changing constantly. I am aware that even though it sounds scientific it is still a subjective process.
Five levels, Five emotions.
Based on the emotion that they trigger and the amount of cognitive friction they have I created five levels to help me determined which one of my photographs will be the target of the delete or export button. The five levels are:
Level 1
  • Emotion: Interest  
  • Cognitive Friction: Low
vivian maier
Vivian Maier
Henri Cartier-Bresson
These type of images are mostly informational. Elicits some interest but is not enough to keep the viewer engaged for long periods. It could be viewed as a  basic photograph of people in a public setting. Sometimes these images lean more towards the documentary side and have more meaning if analyzed in the context in which they were taken.
Level 2
  • Emotion: Joy.
  • Cognitive Friction: Low
Robert Doisneau
lev 2 HCB
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Elliott Erwitt
These are images that trigger a pleasurable emotion such as when we smile at the visual joke created by the juxtaposition of the subject and background or are amused by the contrasts or patterns.
There is usually one theme or pattern and all the elements are visible in the frame without leaving much to the imagination. The answer is given, no questioning involved, so the impact diminishes with time. In other words the more we look at it the less strong the emotion becomes. A funny story becomes less funny with time.
Level 3
  • Emotion: Surprise
  • Cognitive friction: Medium
Robert Doisneau
lev 3 HCB
Henri Cartier-Bresson
lev4 henri-cartier-bresson-0
Henri Cartier-Bresson
In these images all elements are visible but displayed in a way that they elicit strong curiosity or questioning. The viewer has to work a little bit to figure it out because they find something unexpected in the frame. Images that have “layering” or different scenes in the same frame, and images with peak gestures captured at the right exact moment are an example of this type of photographs.
Level 4
  • Emotion: Distress  
  • Cognitive friction: High
Robert Frank
Lee Friedlander
Robert Frank
These images trigger emotions such as confusion or fear, sometimes anger or sadness.  Images that trigger confusion or fear usually have missing elements in the frame or they are only partially visible, missing or distorted. Shadows and blur are common.
Level 5 
  • Emotion: Mixed (usually combination of 3 and 4)
  • Cognitive friction: Highest
Henri Cartier-Bresson
lev 4 HCB seville
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Robert Frank
The combination of the elements in the frame triggers different emotions at the same time. These are powerful images, not easy to create  yet the masters seem to have done it almost routinely. This is what  Meyerowitz and Winogrand called tough images, “tough to like, tough to see, tough to make, the tougher they were the more beautiful they became”.
An editing framework
As I said at the beginning, this is just a framework to help me categorize and decide what images have a better impact. I realized in the process that it also helps me when I’m shooting .  To summarize and to make things easier to use as an editing ( or shooting ) tool:
Screen Shot 2013-01-21 at 10.59.56 AM
I am aware that the whole thing is a subjective process and because it is based on emotions it will vary greatly from person to person. It is a starting point. I also realize that the images I used as examples can move from one level to the other very easily.
I started using these new system and so far the main result is that I don’t like any of my photographs!. Not the result I was hoping for, but maybe that’s a good thing. All it means is that I have to go grab my camera and go out for a walk.

viernes, 21 de junio de 2013

Entrevista a Henri Cartier-Bresson

Primera parte de la entrevista realizada por la periodista Sheila Turner-Seed a Henri Cartier-Bresson y que ha sido publicada en The New York Times... Siempre se agradecen palabras de sabiduría y conocimiento... Al menos, sirven para comprender cómo trabajaban los maestros...

Espero que sea de vuestro agrado (aunque esté en inglés). Saludos.

Henri Cartier-Bresson: Living and Looking

I’m not interested in documenting. Documenting is extremely dull and I’m a very bad reporter. When I had an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in 1946, my friend, Robert Capa, told me, “Henri, be very careful. You must not have a label of a surrealist photographer. If you do, you won’t have an assignment and you’ll be like a hothouse plant. Do whatever you like, but the label should be ‘photojournalist.’ ”
All my training was surrealism. I still feel very close to the surrealists. But Capa was extremely sound. So I never mentioned surrealism. That’s my private affair. And what I want, what I’m looking for — that’s my business. Otherwise I never would have an assignment. Journalism is a way of noting — well, some journalists are wonderful writers and others are just putting facts one after the other. And facts are not interesting. It’s a point of view on facts which is important, and in photography it is the evocation. Some photographs are like a Chekhov short story or a Maupassant story. They’re quick things and there’s a whole world in them. But one is unconscious of it while shooting.
Henri Cartier-Bresson and Sheila Turner-Seed

Sheila Turner-Seed asks Mr. Cartier-Bresson about Robert Capa and David “Chim” Seymour.
That’s a wonderful thing with a camera. It jumps out of you. I’m extremely impulsive. Terribly. It’s really a pain in the neck for my friends and family. I’m a bunch of nerves. But I take advantage of it in photography. I never think. I set, quick! I hit!
How did you start in photography?
When I was very young, I liked the life of adventure and I knew only one thing: that I was strongly appalled by the idea of working in the family textile business. My father’s brother was a painter who got killed in the first days of World War I. I was 5 or 6 when he died, and I had always been dreaming about painting. And my father said, “Well, all right.” He was nice enough not to force me into the business. So I was painting at a friend of that uncle who died. And later, I studied two years in a studio of André Lhote, who was not a great painter, but a very important teacher. It is from him I know everything — between him and Jean Renoir, the filmmaker.
These are the two pictures I remember very well. One is a picture by Munkácsi of three kids running into a huge wave on a beach. And that — it’s so perfect, the relations, the design of all the plastic problems. And their movement is wonderful. That struck me very much. Otherwise, it was not photography that influenced me. I just thought that the camera was a quick way of drawing intuitively.
Do you think you see more now than you saw when you were 20?
Different things, I presume. But not more, not less. The best pictures were in that book, “The Decisive Moment.” I took them when I was 20. Immediately, after a fortnight. The first day I started pictures. It’s in that book.
That’s why teaching and learning is nothing. It’s living and looking. All these photography schools are a gimmick. What are they teaching? Could you teach me how to walk?
It provides work for photographers.
Yes, but it is a phony world. And it affects the way you work. To work with people is something different.
Josef Breitenbach, the photographer, once told me that he felt most good photographers were good from the beginning.
I agree. Either you have a gift or you have none. If you have a gift, well, it’s a responsibility. You have to work.
DESCRIPTIONCourtesy of Rachel Elizabeth SeedSheila Turner-Seed and her daughter, Rachel.
Do you think a photographer’s art can mature?
Mature? I don’t know what that means. It’s always re-examining, trying to be more lucid and freer and go deeper and deeper. I don’t know if photography is an art or not an art. I have no idea of all this.
I see children painting beautifully well, and at puberty sometimes there’s a curtain that drops, and then it takes a lifetime to get it back. Not the purity of a child, because you never get it back once there is knowledge, but to get back the qualities of a young child takes a whole lifetime.
The freshness of impression is extremely important. Blasé is an awful thing.
What has made you decide to visit certain countries?
Well, certainly, everything is interesting — your own room. But at the same time, you just can’t photograph everything you see. In some places the pulse beats more than others.
After World War II, I had a feeling with my friends, Bob Capa and Chim, that going to colonial countries was important. What changes were going to take place there? That’s why I spent three years in the Far East. We didn’t know what was going to happen. There were different possibilities. Sometimes it’s war. Sometimes it’s not war. Sometimes it’s peaceful. When a situation is pregnant — it’s to be present when there’s a change of situation, when there’s the most tension.
DESCRIPTIONHenri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum PhotosThe photographers David “Chim” Seymour, left, and Robert Capa, in Paris. 1952.
Can you talk a bit about your China experience?
Well, I don’t want to say anything. It’s as if you invite someone for dinner and serve wine in a decanter instead of the bottle with the label. People should guess if it’s a good wine. But no, they want to see the label. This is awful. That’s why there shouldn’t be any captions. People should just look. We should awaken our sensitivity. But people don’t. If it’s in a decanter, they won’t dare say it’s a good wine or it’s a bad wine because they haven’t seen the year. They don’t know which chateau. That’s what I resent. I think photographs should have no caption, just location and date. Date is important because things change.
I hate tourism! I like to live in a place. I don’t like to go for short time. Rodin said, “What is made with time, time respects,” or something like this.
And at the same time, when something happens, you have to be extremely swift. Like an animal and a prey — vroom! You grasp it and people don’t notice that you have taken it. Very often in a different situation, you can take one picture. You cannot take two. Take a picture and look like a fool, look like a tourist. But if you take two, three pictures, you got trouble. It’s good training to know how far you can go. When the fruit is ripe, you have to pluck it. Quick! With no indulgence over yourself, but daring. I enjoy very much seeing a good photographer working. There’s an elegance, just like in a bullfight.
But the most difficult thing for me is not street photography. It’s a portrait. The difference between a portrait and a snapshot is that in a portrait, a person agreed to be photographed. But certainly it’s like a biologist and his microscope. When you study the thing, it doesn’t react as when it’s not studied. And you have to try and put your camera between the skin of a person and his shirt, which is not an easy thing, because you steal something. The strange thing is that you see people naked through your viewfinder. And it’s sometimes very embarrassing.
I’m always nervous when I go to take a portrait, because it’s a new experience. Usually when taking a portrait, I feel like putting a few questions just to get the reaction of a person. It’s difficult to talk at the same time that you observe with intensity the face of somebody. But still, you must establish a contact of some sort. Whereas with Ezra Pound, I stood in front of him for maybe an hour and a half in utter silence. We were looking at each other in the eye. He was rubbing his fingers. I took maybe altogether one good photograph, four other possible, and two which were not interesting. That makes about six pictures in an hour and a half. And no embarrassment on either side.
DESCRIPTIONHenri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum PhotosEzra Pound, 1971.
What do you see for yourself now? Do you have an idea of what you want to do next?
I was to draw this afternoon. I carry a camera. I don’t know. It depends. I don’t plan life, period. I would like to draw much more calmly and I would like to see other photographers. You see, I feel very lonely in a way. I mustn’t have nostalgia about the past, because, I mean, it was not easy between Capa, Chim and I either. We had different habits.
Yet one gets the feeling that you really miss them.
Well, it is very strange. I don’t realize that Capa and Chim are dead. Because in this profession, we are gone for a year or two years and we don’t see each other. And then he comes. I knew Capa was dead when I saw the book “Images of War.” Before that, he was not dead at all, just somebody you don’t see for some time.
The influence of Capa went beyond his lifetime. He was on the same wavelength with everybody socially. He was not impressed by queens. He was impressed by everybody as a human being. He was facing them front. I liked Capa for that very much.
At the same time, we were utterly different. We didn’t read the same books. He was staying up at night and I was waking him up at 10 a.m. and he was borrowing my money without telling me — all sorts of things. But there was a fundamental unity between Capa, Chim and I. Capa was optimistic and Chim was pessimistic. Chim was like the head of a chess player or mathematician.
DESCRIPTIONDavid Seymour/Magnum PhotosDavid “Chim” Seymour, left, greeting Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris, 1938.
Where do you place yourself in there?
I have no idea — impulsive.
There were only a few photographers in the early ’30s in Paris. We were taking café crème at the Dome in Montparnasse. I was painting there in Montparnasse, which, before the war, was something extremely lively. It was my city.
Did your association with Capa and Chim influence you to concentrate more on photography and less on painting?
Not at all. We never talked photography.

Tomorrow, we present the second half of the interview, in which Mr. Cartier-Bresson discusses his distaste for color photography and the liberties taken by Robert Capa in bookkeeping in the early Magnum days.

"No existen las casualidades"

Para los que queráis seguir aprendiendo, aquí os dejo la segunda parte de la entrevista a uno de la grandes maestros de la fotografía, Henri Cartier-Bresson, publicada hoy en The New York Times...

Espero que así sea. Saludos.

That is, until 2011, when Ms. Turner-Seed’s daughter, Rachel Seed, learned of their existence and went to I.C.P. to study the tapes. It was a profound experience for her, since she was 1 when her mother died and did not remember her voice.
Ms. Seed, herself a photographer, has been working on a personal documentary, “A Photographic Memory,” about a daughter’s search for the mother she never knew through their shared love of photography. She is raising money with a Kickstarter campaign.
The second part of that interview, transcribed from tape by Sheila Turner-Seed, continues where we left off yesterday. It has been lightly edited. A DVD of the Cartier-Bresson interview, with his photos, is available from the International Center of Photography’s online bookstore.

Henri Cartier-Bresson
Yesterday, we presented the first half of Sheila Turner-Seed’s 1971 interview with Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Have you ever really been able to define for yourself when it is that you press the shutter?
It’s a question of concentration. Concentrate, think, watch, look and, ah, like this, you are ready. But you never know the culminative point of something. So you’re shooting. You say, “Yes. Yes. Maybe. Yes.” But you shouldn’t overshoot. It’s like overeating, overdrinking. You have to eat, you have to drink. But over is too much. Because by the time you press, you arm the shutter once more, and maybe the picture was in between.
Very often, you don’t have to see a photographer’s work. Just by watching him in the street, you can see what kind of photographer he is. Discreet, tiptoes, fast or machine gun. Well, you don’t shoot partridges with a machine gun. You choose one partridge, then the other partridge. Maybe the others are gone by then. But I see people wrrrr, like this with a motor. It’s incredible, because they always shoot in the wrong moment.
Can you bear to talk a bit about your equipment?
I am completely and have always been uninterested in the photographic process. I like the smallest camera possible, not those huge reflex cameras with all sorts of gadgets. When I am working, I have an M3 because it’s quicker when I’m concentrating.
Why the 50-millimeter lens?
It corresponds to a certain vision and at the same time has enough depth of focus, a thing you don’t have in longer lenses. I worked with a 90. It cuts much of the foreground if you take a landscape, but if people are running at you, there is no depth of focus. The 35 is splendid when needed, but extremely difficult to use if you want precision in composition. There are too many elements, and something is always in the wrong place. It is a beautiful lens at times when needed by what you see. But very often it is used by people who want to shout. Because you have a distortion, you have somebody in the foreground and it gives an effect. But I don’t like effects. There is something aggressive, and I don’t like that. Because when you shout, it is usually because you are short of arguments.
Henri Cartier-Bresson and Sheila Turner-Seed

“The greatest joy for me is geometry; that means a structure.”
If you have little equipment, people don’t notice you. You don’t come like a show-off. It seems like an embarrassment, someone who comes with big equipment.
And photo electric cells in a camera — I don’t see why it is done. It is a laziness. During the day, I don’t need a light meter. It is only when light changes very quickly at dusk or when I’m in another country, in the desert or in the snow. But I guess first, and then I check. It is good training.
In some sense, you impose your own rules that are like disciplines for yourself, then.
For myself — I’m not speaking for others. I take my pleasure that way. Freedom for me is a strict frame, and inside that frame are all the variations possible. Maybe I’m classical. The French are like that. I can’t help it!
DESCRIPTIONMartine Franck/Magnum PhotosA triple portrait of Henri Cartier-Bresson taken by his wife, Martine Franck.
Photography as I conceive it, well, it’s a drawing — immediate sketch done with intuition and you can’t correct it. If you have to correct it, it’s the next picture. But life is very fluid. Well, sometimes the pictures disappear and there’s nothing you can do. You can’t tell the person, “Oh, please smile again. Do that gesture again.” Life is once, forever.
How do you feel about color photography?
It’s disgusting. I hate it! I’ve done it only when I’ve been to countrieswhere it was difficult to go and they said, “If you don’t do color, we can’t use your things.” So it was a compromise, but I did it badly because I don’t believe in it.
The reason is that you have been shooting what you see. But then there are the printing inks and all sorts of different things over which you have no control whatsoever. There is all the interference of heaps of people, and what has it got to do with true color?
If the technical problems were solved and what you saw on the page would really be what you saw with your eyes, would you still object?
Yes, because nature gives us so much. You can’t accept everything of nature. You have to select things. It’d rather do paintings, and it becomes an insoluble problem. Especially when it comes to reportage, color has no interest whatsoever except that people do it because it’s money. It’s always a money problem.
Henri Cartier-Bresson and Sheila Turner-Seed

“You have to respect your limitations.”
There are some very good young photographers. They want to do photographic essays and there is no market for it.
In 1946, when we started Magnum, the world had been separated by the war and there was a great curiosity from one country to know how the other was. People couldn’t travel, and for us it was such a challenge to go and testify — I have seen this and I have seen that. There was a market. We didn’t have to do industrial accounts and all that.
Magnum was the genius of Bob Capa, who had great invention. He was playing the horses and the money paid for the secretaries. I came back from the Orient and asked Capa for my money and he said, “Better take your camera and go work. I have taken your money because we were almost in bankruptcy.”
I kept on working. Now it is a very big problem because there are hardly any magazines. No big magazine is going to send you to a country because everybody has been there. It’s another world. But there are heaps of specialized magazines who are going to use your files. And you can make quite a decent living just by files. But it means you have to add pictures for years and years. For a young photographer to start is quite a problem nowadays.
DESCRIPTIONMartine Franck/Magnum PhotosHenri Cartier-Bresson with a photograph of his mother, Marthe Leverdier.
There are necessities of life, and everything is getting more expensive in a consumer society. So the danger is that photography might become very precious — “Oh, a very rare print.” There’s not a very real place for it. But what does it mean? That preciousness is a sickness.
Why do photographers start giving numbers to their prints? It’s absurd. What do you do when the 20th print has been done? Do you swallow the negative? Do you shoot yourself? It’s the gimmick of money.
I think a print should be signed. That means a photographer recognizes that the print has been done either by him or according to his own standards. But a print is not like an etching, where the plate wears out. A negative doesn’t wear out.
Perhaps the only lead that photographers had was to imitate painters, and they still have to learn their own identity.
Yes. Why be embarrassed? We are not what you call “misfit painters.” Photography is a way of expressing ourselves with another tool. That’s all.
Can we go back to something we were discussing earlier? What is it like to return to a country you have visited before? Is there a difference between the first time and when you return?
I like very much going back to a country after a while and seeing the differences, because you build up impressions, right or wrong, but always personal and vivid, by living in a country and working. You accumulate things and leave a gap, and you see the changes strongly when you’ve been away for a long time. And the evolution in a country is very interesting to measure with a camera.
But at the same time, I am not a political analyst or an economist. I don’t know how to count. It’s not that. I’m obsessed by one thing, the visual pleasure.
Henri Cartier-Bresson and Sheila Turner-Seed

“In photography, you’ve just got the intuition. And it’s there. You’ve done it. The only way to correct is to make the next picture.”
The greatest joy for me is geometry; that means a structure. You can’t go shooting for structure, for shapes, for patterns and all this, but it is a sensuous pleasure, an intellectual pleasure, at the same time to have everything in the right place. It’s a recognition of an order which is in front of you.
The difference between a good picture and a mediocre picture is a question of millimeters — small, small differences — but it’s essential. I didn’t think there is such a big difference between photographers. Very little difference. But it is that little difference that counts, maybe.
What is important for a photographer is involvement. It’s not a propaganda means, photography, but it’s a way of shouting what you feel. It’s like the difference between a tract for propaganda and a novel. Well, the novel has to go through all the channel of the nerves, the imagination, and it’s much more powerful than something you look at and throw away. If a theme is developed and goes into a novel, there is much more subtlety; it goes much deeper.
Poetry is the essence of everything, and it’s through deep contact with reality and living fully that you reach poetry. Very often I see photographers cultivating the strangeness or awkwardness of a scene, thinking it is poetry. No. Poetry is two elements which are suddenly conflict — a spark between two elements. But it’s given very seldom, and you can’t look for it. It’s like if you look for inspiration. No, it just comes by enriching yourself and living.
You have to forget yourself. You have to be yourself and you have to forget yourself so that the image comes much stronger — what you want by getting involved completely in what you are doing and not thinking. Ideas are very dangerous. You must think all the time, but when you photograph, you aren’t trying to push a point or prove something. You don’t prove anything. It comes by itself.
If I go to a place, it’s not to record what is going on only. It’s to try and have a picture which concretizes a situation in one glance and which has the strong relations of shapes. And when I go to a country, well, I’m hoping always to get that one picture about which people will say, “Ah, this is true. You felt it right.”
That’s why photography is important, in a way, because at the same time that it’s a great pleasure getting the geometry together, it goes quite far in a testimony of our world, even without knowing what you are doing.
But as for me, I enjoy shooting a picture. Being present. It’s a way of saying, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” It’s like the last three words of Joyce’s “Ulysses,” which is one of the most tremendous works which have ever been written. It’s “Yes, yes, yes.” And photography is like that. It’s yes, yes, yes. And there are no maybes. All the maybes should go to the trash, because it’s an instant, it’s a moment, it’s there! And it’s respect of it and tremendous enjoyment to say, “Yes!” Even if it’s something you hate. Yes! It’s an affirmation.
DESCRIPTIONMartine Franck/Magnum PhotosHenri Cartier-Bresson in 1996.

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viernes, 14 de junio de 2013


Con la que está cayendo, y ahora me sale el "puntín de nostálgico"... Si es que, para luchar contra el calor, lo mejor es sentarse y refrigerarse del modo que sea... Como en casa no tengo el lujo del aire acondicionado, me tengo que refrescar con la vista...

Llevaba tiempo dándole vueltas a la cabeza y hacer una composición con múltiples exposiciones... Creo que esta técnica tuvo su hueco en la historia de la fotografía... De hecho, he de decir que me inspiré en algunas de las fotografías de René Groebli, obviamente salvando las distancias... Podéis ver parte de su obra en el blog "...Y mientras tanto" (

Se trata del pasado invierno en Madrid, cuando aún estaba la decoración navideña en pleno centro, un día de esos en los que la niebla está muy baja y el frío te cala hasta los huesos... Tres exposiciones superpuestas, tratando de querer recoger el ambiente y ese toque nostálgico, con los bordes algo difuminados...

Espero que os guste. Saludos.

lunes, 3 de junio de 2013

Jugando con las pompas

A estas alturas, ¡quién se atreve a decir que no es un clásico! Rara es la ocasión en la que, paseando por las calles de cualquier urbe, no vemos a uno de estos artistas callejeros, que tratan de ganarse la vida haciendo las delicias de los más pequeños y, al mismo tiempo, que éstos saquen de sus casillas a los padres...

Sí... Y es que no sé qué tendrá el agua, que a todos los niños les encanta... No me extraña que luego los padres se enfaden con los niños que juegan a romper estas enormes pompas, porque acaban empapados y, en algunas ocasiones, hasta llorando porque se les mete el jabón en los ojos y les pica a rabiar (vaya usted a saber su composición química...).

En fin, me gustó el momento en el que el niño, cada vez más, se quedaba absorto y no daba crédito a lo que sus ojos estaban viendo... A cada pompa, ni se movía, y una vez rota, se volvía a sus padres para hacerles cómplices por si se habían perdido la jugada...

El encuadre algo arriesgado, haciéndola en cuadrado, eliminando cualquier objeto que pudiera distraer, con una caída exagerada que le da ese ritmo que, de por sí, la foto carece... Habrá quien diga que es excesiva, habrá otros a quienes le guste (entre ellos me incluyo yo)... ¿Por qué? Porque se compensa con la otra diagonal que forma la burbuja con los palos, el propio figurante y el cubo de jabón en la parte inferior... O al menos, eso me parece a mí...

En fin, aquí os la dejo para que digáis qué os parece. Saludos.

jueves, 30 de mayo de 2013

Ciudad de las luces

Huyendo de la típica postalita de la ciudad de las luces, o si se prefiere la ciudad del amor, es decir, París...

Aquí os dejo un detalle, tal vez demasiado arriesgado, aunque creo que original y poco visto... Creo que dejando entrever la seña de identidad característica de París, y jugando con la farola, es una clara alusión a las "luces"...

Creo que con dos elementos, la vista recorre toda la imagen, desde la izquierda hasta la derecha, dando continuidad y cierto ritmo a la toma con las diagonales formadas por la farola "quebrada" y la torre, como queriendo converger en el centro, o tocarse ambos extremos, como si de "La Creación de Adán" se tratara (más allá de la distancia de los planos en los que se encuentran ambos elementos)...

En fin, sin elementos que distraigan, sencilla, tal vez París desde otro punto de vista... Espero que os guste. Saludos.

domingo, 26 de mayo de 2013


Mi particular visión del Panthéon parisino, donde se encuentran los restos de numerosos ilustres franceses, entre ellos, el de Voltaire...

En lugar de capturar la típica postalita, con la escultura completa de Voltaire, preferí jugar con la sombra que proyectaba para dejar que la mente de cada espectador acabe de completar la parte correspondiente al busto... La inclusión de la inscripción en la piedra aclara quién es nuestro personaje...

Diferente punto de vista, donde el juego de líneas y la perspectiva hacen que fijemos nuestra atención en la sombra y quede relegado a un segundo término la mitad derecha de la toma...

Espero que os guste. Saludos.