Holy Week

I wanted to do justice –a beautiful justice, I believe– to those old places taking photos of them with a camera as old; and those aged roads with equally aged film rolls. I wanted that ruggedness of the cracked asphalt to naturally be in the grain of the film images, those bumps reflected in the light leaks of the camera and in the stains that time creates in the expired 35mm emulsion.

Photos were taken with a Contax Quartz 139 and diverse lenses with Afga Agfapan APX 125, expired in 1982. The music used in the videosequence is the startling  "Descansa" by David Cordero y el Niño de Elche.


Under construction

My girlfriend Jara is an architect. She is currently working on the restoration and reconstruction of a hotel in Madrid. Part of her job is to go around the construction site checking that all the works are being done according to procedures. When doing so, she brings her tiny Fujifilm Tiara and documents the atmosphere, the work in progress.

Fujifilm Tiara, Kodak Color, developed at  La Peliculera . 

Fujifilm Tiara, Kodak Color, developed at La Peliculera

I very much enjoy these photos. They bring me her sight, the way she sees beauty in something I would have never put muy eyes on. She sometimes refers to the construction site as “my office. It couldn’t be farther from the type of workspace most of us have. So open, rough, analog, dusty and grainy, as film is most times.

Fujifilm Tiara, Kodak Color, developed at  La Peliculera .  

Fujifilm Tiara, Kodak Color, developed at La Peliculera.  

This little (big, beautiful) project of hers is still under construction (pun absolutely intended here) and most photos are not yet published or even developed. I am always excited when I see new ones coming, convinced that they will make a delightful exhibit somewhere in the renewed hotel when they reopen it.

This is Jara, in her working attire. Fujifilm Tiara, Kodak Color, developed at  La Peliculera .  

This is Jara, in her working attire. Fujifilm Tiara, Kodak Color, developed at La Peliculera.  

You can follow some of Jara’s photos at her instagram

Fly or sail

Lisbon’s waterfront has a silverish quality when it’s partly cloudy. That or perhaps the games my Mamiya 6 likes to play with light, left me with a few takes that bring me nice memories. Isn’t light —certain types of light— a very powerful memory retrieval instrument, second perhaps to the evocative qualities of smell?

Both photos taken with a Mamiya 6, Kodak Portra 400 and reveloped at  La Peliculera . 

Both photos taken with a Mamiya 6, Kodak Portra 400 and reveloped at La Peliculera

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Pink silence

There are times when I feel extremely lucky to live in this latitude, with these beams of textured warmth  coming in a few times a day, depending on the inclination of the sun. Madrid has easy winters, with the precise amount of cold and sun rays. 

I like these two photos because they speak about the (beautiful) changes that are occurring in my life these days. 

Olympus OM-2n with Kodak Portra 200, developed at  La Peliculera

Olympus OM-2n with Kodak Portra 200, developed at La Peliculera

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St. John of the Cross

During the last year I spent many hours reading the poetry of Saint John of the Cross and also his biography. It had such a profound effect on me that I decided to visit the places where he lived, trying to see a bit of what he saw, to be where he was, in an innocent attempt at better embracing his philosophy.

The project is incomplete, since there are still unchecked places and also some others that demand a second, more thoughtful visit. I will do so when I’ve saved enough time and silence to do so.

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All photos were taken with the Rollei SL66e and Portra 400. I am satisfied with the results but next time I will bring the Mamiya 6 or the Mamiya C330 instead. The Rollei is not only way heavier but it also feels a bit fragile to be used in the countryside with dust and all.

All photos were taken with the Rollei SL66e and Portra 400. I am satisfied with the results but next time I will bring the Mamiya 6 or the Mamiya C330 instead. The Rollei is not only way heavier but it also feels a bit fragile to be used in the countryside with dust and all.

Trombone

Summer was coming to an end. It had been a hot day and the streets of Madrid were empty with most people still on vacation. Silence was caressed by the jazz notes of a trombone.

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Cinestill 800 is a tricky emulsion. I used it with a Carl Zeiss 35mm f1.4 and a Contax body, pushed to 1600 and the results were... just ok. I had to increase the exposure a bit on Lightroom for the images to be usable. I find the green dominant a bit uncomfortable. What do you think? Have you used it? And if so, for kind type of photos?

Pensions

I’m sure that pensions and modest hotels hold better and much more interesting stories about their guests than fancy ones. I sometimes like to spend my travel nights in them, often in small towns, wondering about the motives, hopes or worries of those who stayed before me: why did they stay there? How many nights did they spend? Was it a family trip, business, or perhaps a visit to a sick relative? Was the person who preceded me on that bed happy? Was he or she worried? Old or young?

Rollei SL66e, Kodak Portra 400, developed at  La Peliculera .

Rollei SL66e, Kodak Portra 400, developed at La Peliculera.

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Mom

Not only a beautiful soul, also the best mother I could imagine and a great artist with an extreme sensibility for colors. She’s still shy about her painting work, but you can get a small glimpse of her last work here.

Mamiya c330 and Ilford XP2 400, developed at  La Peliculera .

Mamiya c330 and Ilford XP2 400, developed at La Peliculera.

This photo comes from one of my first rolls shot with the Mamiya c330, which was a bit intimidating at first —too many wheels to check prior to taking a photo— but became almost intuitive after a a couple of rolls. The results ended up being as good (perhaps even better since the C330 is a bit easier to focus), also smooth and textured as with the big Mamiya RB67 for half the size. 

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Hundreds of bodies rushing out of trains that braked after traveling at unimaginable speed. Those rays of sun invite me to stop and ask myself if all that rushing is really necessary, when January is presenting us such morning.

I doubt between taking that train to Barcelona or staying there, watching, letting that warmth caress me.

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I took the photos with an Olympus Olympus OM-2, a Zuiko 50mm f1.4 and Kodak Gold 200 film (except for the last one, which is Kodak Ultramax 400) All of them were developed at La Peliculera.

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Dirigible

Un dirigible acercándose al campanario de Ulm, tan reminiscente de esa foto del Graf Zeppelin LZ 127 sobre el "Ulm Muenster", la torre de iglesia más alta del mundo:

Fujifilm Tiara II con Fomapan 400, reveladas todas en  Yetilab .

Fujifilm Tiara II con Fomapan 400, reveladas todas en Yetilab.

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Qué pena no haber tenido una focal larga y un trípode para emular la original, que pego aquí, de alrededor de 1930. Impresiona ver cómo algo tan frágil compitió contra algo tan perenne en llegar a los cielos (y perdió):

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Ulm metálico

FujiFilm Tiara II con Fomapan 400, revelada por  Yetilab . 

FujiFilm Tiara II con Fomapan 400, revelada por Yetilab

No sé si amar u odiar el grano del Fomapan. Lo amo por la textura que logra dar a veces.  Lo odio porque es imprevisible.

 Me gustó el efecto metálico que adquiría ese edificio al final del Danubio, desafiando a la vista opuesta, la del Ulm medieval, como una especie de nave alienígena recién aterrizada. 

Ulm

FujiFilm Tiara II con Fomapan 400, revelada en  Yetilab  

FujiFilm Tiara II con Fomapan 400, revelada en Yetilab 

Atardecía en Ulm tras una jornada agotadora. Mi hijo descansaba en la habitación del hotel mientras yo me daba un paseo por los alrededores. Ulm tiene una de las catedrales más altas del mundo (se disputa el mérito con la de Colonia), de antes de que la reforma protestante transformase esos templos erigidos a la gloria de Dios en modestos edificios de “estudio evangélico”.

La FujiFilm Tiara viñetea un poco las fotos, lo que sumado al imprevisible grano del Fomapan le da a la escena una textura casi de época. 

Arcos de la Frontera, fin de año

Mamiya 6 con Agfapan APX 100, revelada en  Yetilab .

Mamiya 6 con Agfapan APX 100, revelada en Yetilab.

We had just arrived to what was going to be our home for New Year’s vacation; a few days in Arcos de la Frontera (Cádiz), to which I was new, although it felt really familiar.

We went right to the roof and looking over a wall we saw one of those typical Cadiz’s views: TV antennas growing out of the white architectural landscape together with some church towers here and there.