I was recently back home and going through some boxes I had stored away. I found this poem I had written back when I was working in McMurdo Station, Antarctica. For me it was a dream job. To this day, I would return in a minute if conditions were right. I spent 8 years working with some of the best people I have ever known. I am fortunate to still maintain relationships with some of my friends from that time. Antarctica is not for everyone but for those who have been there and know what I mean, it has a special grasp on you. It touches you in a way not many things can. It will stay with you and haunt you for the rest of your life.
Many of the photographs I shot while there were with film and slides and in the future I will scan them in and post some here. For the time being, this poem will have to do. I wrote it in the Antarctic winter of 1999. Antarctica is known for it’s storms. This poem is about the power and vastness of Antarctica. Hope you like it.
No earth, no sky–
Bathed in a snowy shroud,
Just the orchestra
of the wind and snow
playing to the tempest of the ice.
She crashes down upon you
with the force of a thousand explosions.
The bone jarring cold seizes your breath,
you know not where you are going,
nor where you have been.
Surrounded by darkness
engulfed by wind
she plays her symphony like a million times before.
To her heart’s content she howls and screams,
driving the cold deeper in you, penetrating like a knife.
Relentless enough to carve stone into sand
cold enough to freeze air, sea and land
Raging into nothingness
at last, all becomes quiet.
Richard Owens Jr.
I recently read a book titled “The Landscape Photography Workshop” in which the authors talk about Landscape photography in the digital age and techniques on how they achieve quality digital images. In it they advocate exposing so your histogram is pushed to the right, or in other words, over expose the image. In the past I have always followed the philosophy of proper exposure for what I am shooting. Proper exposure is totally subjective but let me explain what I mean and how I qualify proper exposure.
In any given scene what I give the most importance is what I generally expose for. If a scene has a dynamic range greater than the camera can handle I have to make decisions. Do I want the shadows exposed better because what is there is what caught my eye or do I let the detail drop off and expose for something else. I have followed this technique and it has really helped me “see the light” and focus not so much on what I am seeing in my histogram, rather, what I see in my mind’s eye.
In my opinion the authors of this book have it completely wrong. There are those of you out there that will say I am wrong and that is cool with me. Photography is just that, very subjective and therein lies the beauty. No one ever sees the same thing. You can stand beside someone who is photographing a scene and not see what they do and when you see the image either on screen or in print you get a piece of them.
I did experiment with their technique and have to say that it is definitely not for me.
Until the next time,
Okay, after the concert there was a lot of editing to do and now the images are ready for sale. If you are interested, you can go to my store and purchase there. I am selling them at less than half price and part of the profits will go to the Local Ronald McDonald House. The prints will be 20 x 30 cm and mailed to your house.
Last week I had the privilege to be the event photographer for a concert to raise money for the local Ronald McDonald House here in Barcelona. We had two really great Blues and Jazz singers, Gwen Perry and Alma Simonne. It was a total success by all accounts. I don´t know how much the concert raised but needless to say, whatever it did will go to a really good cause. Not to mention, raising awareness of the fantastic work they do there and the need to help them in their mission.
I hope that in the future we can do more work of this kind to promote them and what they do because the children and their families certainly deserve all we can do. Here are a couple of photos of the event. One is Gwen singing and the other is of both Gwen and Alma with the U.S Consular who was also there to help promote the concert.
This weekend I will add some photos from the concert to my store for purchase. Part of the sales of these images will go to the Ronald McDonald House Barcelona. I will keep you posted.
Hello again everyone! If you haven´t noticed, I have made some changes to my website. I have added an on line store now so it is easy to purchase prints of my work. I am adding prints to the store daily so if you don´t see one you want you can contact me on the Contact page or wait a bit and see what I am posting next. Hope you find something you like! Until next time…..
I have also added content in Spanish so if you click on the Spanish flag you will see the Spanish content. Happy viewing!
The American Society of Barcelona has partnered with Casa Ronald McDonald Barcelona for the past year. Next month the American Society is organizing a concert here in Barcelona to benefit Casa Ronald McDonald Barcelona. I have been asked to participate as a sponsor and will be the event photographer. It is my privilege to take part in the event to help children and their families who have to be away from their homes due to hospitalization.
You can learn more about Casa Ronald McDonald Barcelona here.
The concert is on June 20 and Luz de Gas here in Barcelona. For more information on Luz de Gas click here.
I hope you can come and participate. I will post images of the event after the concert.
As I said in an earlier post, I have assigned myself projects. One of them is to shoot more in the studio. I have updated my portrait gallery with some examples of a portrait session I did the other day. Hope you enjoy it!
Well, today I turned 50. I got a really cool birthday card today and thought it would make a good post. I will post it here below so you can check it out. Truly a great idea from www.wallwisher.com. It is a place you can give lots of folks access to and works like a real time birthday card where folks can post a photo and write a birthday wish or anything really. Here is the card:
One of the ways we as photographers can improve our skills is to assign ourselves projects, or themes on which to work. I for one have not been that disciplined to assign myself projects. I have a bunch of things I want to do. I want to take the time to go down to one of the wine regions near Barcelona, El Penedes, and shoot the progression of the grapes growing with landscape shots and follow the evolution of the season with a project of the harvest and pressing of the grapes in the smaller vineyards. I have another where I document the different sunrises once a month the whole year. I am fortunate enough to live in a place where I can see the sun come up all year long. I can see the movement of the sunrise across the horizon from summer solstice to the winter solstice and back. I want to document it and then use post production to composite the images as if they were a multiple exposure showing the different positions. One that I have promised myself I would start on this year and hopefully finish before next fall, is to put together a photo essay on the place I live, Vilassar de Mar. I want to shoot the people mainly, in sort of a street photography technique but also want to document the place, the weather, the beach and architecture. My goal is to put together an exhibition for the town, free of charge in a local civic center. I will post updates on my projects in the near future with images from my shoots. Hope you enjoy and I would love to hear any feedback any of you would like to post.
Just a short post to say I’ve updated many of my galleries. You will find some more travel images, and I have posted more images in and around Barcelona. Some are new and some I have had pending for a while. I have also added a gallery for my work with restaurants and bars in the Barcelona metropolitan area.