In every water drop lies the secret of life.
Riding my bicycle an Travel are two of the things, besides Photography, that I enjoy the most.
For a Flashback Friday, I want to share here this photo. For the mentioned above and for the light and overall scene, when I saw the shadow of a bicycle drawn by the afternoon sunlight last March 2017 near Mahahual in Mexico I really had to press the shutter button on my camera.
I find myself truly most at home in Nature, away from the urban surroundings close to home.
Not so long ago my main outdoor activities implied searching for and exploring caves and, even though I’d love to I haven’t done much mountain climbing, yet. On the last time on the higher side I was fortunate to visit with some friends La Malinche Volcano in Mexico and I of course brought my camera with me, two cameras indeed, my recent image making machine of choice, the Nikon F100, and a Nikon D200 for the more immediate digital experience and as a backup just in case.
In the end I made more images with the D200 than with the F100, in several scenarios I used both cameras mostly before sunrise to experiment a bit with low light and see how much I could push the film limits in those conditions and trying to avoid the use of the tripod since the main goal of our visit was to reach the summit in time.
Here is a selection of my most liked images made with film that day. I hope you enjoy it.
It’s always so rewarding to stay outside after the sun has set, the sense of calm and stillness enlightened by those beautiful colors in the sky…
Cactus are such a beauty of the botanical world, their multiple shapes, the distribution and forms of their thorns, how they can live on their own or in an ordered, almost architectural group and their ability to survive in very harsh environments always make me stand in awe in front of them.
Here I had a few minutes of joy contemplating a group of cactus drawing its dark silhouette against the evening sky. For making the image I used my Fujifilm XT10 camera handheld with the 18-55mm lens.
What is your photography style, color or B&W?
The debate on this has been around for long I know, having the choice of what film stock to use at the moment of loading the camera, and even easier with the advent of digital photography that many take for granted these days, so easy in fact that you can choose any moment
I truly love the feel of a Black & White image, the emphasis on the light, composition, shapes, volumes and textures yields something special about it, even when it’s about Nature I love to render it in B&W, contrary to the more documentary or scientific approaches where color becomes very important. In this example of a large tree rooted in the basement of an ancient Maya building in Quintana Roo, Mexico, the color rendering of my Fujifilm camera did a lot of justice to the scene, so after some tweaking in the computer at some point I just wanted to see how it’d look when turning it into B&W, and it just seemed like magic.
Artists are prone to see things through a feelings filter though. Days later I took a look at the color version, and I just also loved it too, since then I’ve gone back and forth between the two versions without being able to make up my mind about which one to share with you, so here are both, please tell me which you like the most. Fujifilm XT10, 18-55mm lens, developed in Luminar.
Here in Mexico we don’t have those snowy landscapes as far as the eye can see, with the exception of of the highest mountains on the very wet and cold days, however there is a color palette in a lot of regions dominated by the hues of dry vegetation, a subtle reminder of the yearly Life renovating cycle.
Among photographers there are several paradigms that set the way we view and think about our own work.
One of the most common paradigms is that in the image making process “the camera is just a tool”, and while that’s true, it’s also true that a good (or great) tool allows for a finer craftsmanship. In fact, I think it would be better to say that the camera-lens duo is not just a tool, it’s THE TOOL.
Taking it even further, as artists many of us photographers are beings that live through emotions and feelings. The fact is: the experience of making an image or a series is often as important as the result, sometimes even more. For sure part of the process implies the interaction with the technological side of photography, so, be it for documenting or for developing our own interpretation of life and the world around us, if the gear we use to capture a slice of time is something we like and feel joy to put our hands on, making us want and lust to grab it and make click, much more the better!
All of the written above, being myself a person with feelings, perhaps is a way to justify myself, and introduce you to the result of my latest crisis of gear acquisition syndrome. Here’s my new gorgeous toy, and yes it’s not a digital camera, it shoots 35mm film, after all, in the end the image is what matters!!
Heading into the high mountain, which in fact is an old slept volcano is quite an experience! Being at high altitude gives the chance of experiencing an environment that is kind of otherworldly with peculiar landscape vistas and plant species which are examples of life endurance struggling to survive in a low oxygen atmosphere. Most of the images are made at above 3500m ASL with my Nikon D200 and the lens I used all the time, a 50mm F1.8., with a couple of them including the panoramic shot where I really wanted to get a wider field of view I used an iPhone.