Random cat.

Is a fight just a dance? Is a dance just a fight?
September 3, 2007, 12:25 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

(As usual, click on the photos to enlarge)

About photography.

A few days ago i was in a friend’s room, and as i was staring at the walls i saw a little print, that made me stare at it for a long time. I asked about the print (made in real b&w paper), and she told me that it was taken by a friend of hers, the same one that took another one that is hanged on the wall too, a portrait that i had already seen in some other day. The photo was powerfull. It was a photo of a building in Berlin (a detail photo, not a photo of the whole building), and it was well executed, the composition was amazing, the framing was perfect, and technically the print was very good too. (and before i go on, and before some retarded leaves a comment saying “What do you know about photography, you think that because you study photography for a year now, you know anything about composition or printing techniques: this is MY opinion based on what I know, even if what i know is nothing!)

Although i’ve never done architecture photography before, because i think i dont have the eye for it, and i dont have enough knowledge of architecture to understand the power of some details, of the lines, and all that, i really like to see good architecture photos, specially details like this one.

The other photo, the portrait (and those who know me, know that i love portraits), is one of those breathtaking portaits. Although i think that, in this case, the print is horrible, i can imagine it in a matte paper with the perfect contrast. This is one of those kind of photos that, even if i love to look at them, i would never hang it on my wall, except only if i was the portrait subject (as she is in this case) or the photographer who took it. In any other case, i would never hang it on my wall. I don’t know exactly how to explain this, but its the kind of photo that i wouldn’t mind to have in a book, and be able to close the book whenever i want, but i would never buy a print of it to hang on the wall. I don’t have a photo of any of this photos I’m talking about, and i will not take a photo of this portrait to make my point clearer, but i can show you two “intimate portraits” (First one: “Indecisive Affection” by Linus Waltenberger, and the second one “This Modern Love ii” By Michael Vesen) that are close as this one im talking about:

Indecisive Affection by Linus Waltenberg

This Modern Love ii  BY Michael Vassen

And, this are, in my opinion, two of the best “intimate portraits” I’ve ever seen.

(Since the second one, This Modern Love ii BY Michael Vassen features some mature content I asked for his permission to use this photo in this post.)

After this f*cking long introduction, lets cut to the chase:

I don’t know the guy who took this two photos in my friend’s room. I don’t know his professional pretensions in photography (if he only takes photos from time to time, or if he is or wants to be a professional photographer), i don’t know his work or portfolio, i don’t know his opinion about photography in general. (Actually i do know him now, the next day after i wrote this, i was introduced to him. Still the only thing i know about him is that he’s an italian architect). The only thing that i know about him it’s these two photos, these two amazing photos. But this two photos kept me thinking for a almost two days about photography.

And my question is: Is he a good photographer? Is photography only about well framed scenes, with a good composition and a good technique?

My two cents about it:

In fact, i don’t want to know if he is a good photographer. If i wanted to, i would ask my friend to give me his contact, or to show me more of his works, maybe a portfolio. What i want to know is if you can judge a photographerusing only some photos, 2, 3 or 10, without knowing anything about him, his past or future projects and about his pretensions in photography. Is photography just an image? Is a good photographer just someone who is able to find the perfect framing and composition?

In my opinion photography is way behond that. One should be able to pick a good book of photography and learn something. About photography itself, or about any other subject. Photography should be the tool that the photographer uses for showing the world his opinion about any subject.

If you put side by side a series of 10 photographys of pretty faces, where the photographer’s intention is only showing pretty faces just for the sake of it, and a series of 10 photos of “at-the-first-sight-just-snaps” of a club night in Central America, or random people being arrested, crying about their destroyed houses and other hard situations the masses will prefer the pretty faces, with that lovelly bohek that we all know. Because its easy. You dont have to think about it. Its just a pretty face in the paper. You look at it, you like it, and by the time you’re walking home to do dinner is gone. Gone. Maybe that pretty face in the photo made you fall in love for 2 seconds, while you were looking at it. And 10 minutes later is gone.

But if i said to you that you would have to first get in touch with the Central America’s cutlure, about their habits, about the laws, in order to see this series about Central America, maybe after you see it you will think about it on your way home, and in the next party you will talk with your friends, about this images you just saw about a Central America’s night, and about what you learn about it, and maybe you and your friends will have a good topic of conversation, instead of trying to find the best ass and boobs combination in the party and trying to be the first to get her number. Not that i dont like to do it sometimes with my friends. In fact, for some, that’s the only thing i do 😛

Photography should lead you to somewhere. I love portraits. I love spontaneous portraits featuring a pretty face smiling at me. I like to take these photos. But should one have this as a goal? Should i, as young-and-still-learning-photographer present my portfolio featuring some nice prints in B&W paper, and some others with some pretty faces, stunning models, and be happy about it? Well, im sure i would make some good money shooting some fashion models, where my only concern would be if they look good and sexy. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that is an easy job! And, as i said, i like to do it! In fact, I LOVE to do it!

By Jose Florentino (Me)

Image by: Me.

Anyone can take photos now. It seems that a digital camera with XPTO MegaPixeis, Anti Shock, Anti Dust and Anti WhatEver for only 199€ is the only thing you need to be a photographer these days. And the more mega pixels it has, the better you are. So, the combination of pretty friends + fancy camera + good photoshop skills is the only thing you need to amuse the masses. Because, for them (the masses), that’s the job of a photographer: take pretty pictures. Nothing else. And in fact, that’s the meaning of a professional photographer: Someone who makes the his living out of photography. No matter if you are a war photographer trying to show the world the mess that the war can create, or if you’re taking some photos in a weeding or trying to catch some celebrity with the hand in her (or someonelse’s) nose. No doubt this last one will hit the front page of many magazines. Oh yeah, every paparazzi’s dream.

Photography should make you think. About the world, about the people, about the implications of this or that law, about the effects of war, about whatever. Photography should show what world we live in. And, if with these 10 photos of pretty girls, the photographer is also trying to show us something else, something that makes you think and exercise your brain, in that case, hell yeah, bring those pretty faces, i will first drool a little bit, but i will think of them on my way home, and think about what this photographer was trying to say to me with that.

So, yes, of course there are situations were is supose to only show pretty faces, amazing landscapes, or else… When I’m shooting a festival, like i did 2 weeks ago, my concern is not to trying to alert the world of anything, my goal is to show pretty faces having fun, and rock stars playing hard to please the audience.

And im not trying to take the credit out of good images. I love snaps, i love taking photos just for the sake of it, i really do! I love portraits, and i love have a nice face in front of my camera. And yes, i think a photo should stand for it self without needing a context, or to be included in a series. So if i do a series, with a special purpose, every single photo in that series should be a good image, and a image that works for it self, without being attached to the series or the concept of the series.

But when i think that, as a photographer, all that the people expect from me is to be able to take pretty photos, it seems a little bit shallow to me…

I want to show something that will make my audience thinks. That will make them go home, google about the subject.

So the question is: Im i asking too much from myself as a photographer? Should one just stick to the main goal of capturing good images (which is not easy as it seems, since a good image is more than a good frame and composition combination)? When does the photographer’s work ends and the anthropologist’s or sociologist’s (or else) starts?


So i went to this beach party the other day and i decided to take my camera + fancy and big L lens + Auralis’s 430EX speedlite…

Everybody thought i was an official photographer… and everybody was asking for a shoot, for their 15 minutes of fame… And i, as a photographer, decided to fulfill their dreams, and took some photos. But i since i was not working i decided to have a little fun… so i tried to catch the WORST moment possible i.e.: eyes closed and stupid faces.

So lets the freakshow begins:

Hey, Bern, the girl on the left is a serious opponent to her, dont you think?

“Look at me, trying to act serious, with a nice lady next to me”.

Are you sure that it was fashion who made you hard core?

Nothing like a sincere smile, dont you think?

Hummm… shouldnt you be paying more attention to the guy that you are kissing?

Mummy, im famous!!!

Bem… vou almocar…


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

ho molte cose da dire a proposito di quello che hai scritto…ma non qui…:)

Comment by francesca

i didnt subscribe your blog so i can read about photography. i expect some nice very photos and not some thoughts on a beat-to-death-topic.

post photos of hot chicks… kk?

Comment by Bernhard

Jah tinha lido o inicio, introdução. Enquanto o pala corrigia eu lia, mas não tinha chegado a acabar. Adiante esta parte do texto (“… random people being arrested, crying about their destroyed houses and other hard situations the masses will prefer the pretty faces, with that lovelly bohek that we all know. Because its EASY. You dont have to THINK about it. Its just a pretty face in the paper. You look at it, you like it, and by the time you’re walking home to do dinner is gone. Gone. Maybe that pretty face in the photo made you fall in love for 2 seconds, while you were looking at it. And 10 minutes later is gone.”), lembro-me de discutir e ter longas conversas sobre isso com o meu pai, acabando por fazer um trabalho para a escola sobre isso.

About the party.. i can’t belive you went that party!! ;P

Comment by Daniela

“photography is not brain surgery”. i don’t see the smallest point in discussion all that since it’s all personal. just as bernhard said: i’m here for the photographs.

Comment by Sebastian

thanks man!
and i dont care if u post pics of hot chicks or write long ass stories… i ll read it (;

Comment by Linus

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