Oct 10, 2009

Gonçalo Byrne, some works


Mr. Byrne in his atelier on the 17th of November 2006.

I always felt a very high respect for Mr. Gonçalo Byrne.
He is not only a great architect, but before anything else he is a very valuable human beeing.
I used to think that he was my kindest client.
On location, he invariably took care that I enjoyed the best possible accommodations, that I got served the best food and wine.
Sadly, somehow along the way, our paths drifted away and I seldom see him these days.

In spite of that, I will forever maintain that he is a very cordial and polite person, a true gentleman!

Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Arraiolos, 1993.

Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Arraiolos, 1993.

Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Arraiolos, 1993.

The above photographs actually mark the very first time that I got an assignment from Gonçalo Byrne. I made most images in color, but I choose to show some black and white for the time being.

Faculdade de Informática e Electrónica, Pólo II, Universidade de Coimbra, 1994.

Edifício da Capitania, Marina de Lagos, 1994.

Edifício da Capitania, Marina de Lagos, 1994.

Palácio Nacional da Ajuda, Lisbon (project).

Palácio Nacional da Ajuda, Lisbon (project).

I can't exactly recall the equipment that I used to make the images shown above, but I guess that most, if not all, were made with a Sinar f2 camera in 4x5 inches/9x12 cm.
I enlarged the photographs in the traditional wet darkroom. The scanning was produced from the gelatin silver prints using the Epson 4990 Photo.

I made the portrait of Mr. Byrne using a Canon EOS 1n + Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L USM.
(I hate these long and complicated names!!!).


"Unglaubliche Geschichte um die Ecke", Pau, France, 1986 (Rolleiflex 3.5 F)


Many years ago, the good Lord might remember when (I had to look up...), I was travelling in the company of my good old friend Fred, on our way from Portugal to Germany (or was it the other way?).

After crossing the Pyrenees, we spent a couple of days in Pau, staying at another close friend's home. Pakica (Francisco is his real name) used to live at that time in this nice and friendly town.
Because of our geographical distance, we always had so much to remember about the months we had been apart, living our far away lives, fighting our separate struggles and savouring our separate short happy moments.





"Lust zum Wegfahren"

You might have noticed that I titled this minuscule photographic sequence in german language. That's how I called it by then. I will try to shed some light on the subject...

The main tittle means something like "Unbelievable Story Down the Corner"...

Actually, there was something surrealistic about the whole situation: me and Fred just walked randomly in the neighborhood killing time and putting our legs to some work.
I had brought the Rolleiflex with me and I occasionally made an exposure of some scene that I thought might be worthy of some visual interest. It all flew rather calm and relaxed, unstressed...

All of a sudden a car stops by and an older man jumps out, asking very nervously what we were doing. In our rusty french, we tried to explain that we were just doing nothing special, strolling around visiting town.
The good old man was not satisfied with our modest explanations and kept making more and more absurd questions. When he ultimately asked what "race" did we belong, we decided to completely ignore him and kept our way, doing as before.

He then drove rageful and paranoid, mumbling something about police and other stupidities.
Every few minutes he kept driving by, threatening und cursing us.

He even picked up a camera and started photographing us! From far away, from the security of his car...
We couldn't keep from laughing and finally felt some kind of pity on him.

Poor mad man... He had so much demons to live with...

I would like to emphasise that all this happened long before the ghost of terrorism, before September 11th and all this kind of sordid occurences.
I am talking about a peaceful sunny afternoon in an european town free of conflict, with two pacific young people enjoying the tranquil quiteness of some sleepy streets.

What brings me to the point of saying that "the moral of the story, the moral of this song, is simply that one should never be where one does not belong.
So when you see your neighbor carrying something, help him with his load, and don't go mistaking Paradise for that home across the road".

And yes, I was paraphrasing Bob Dylan in his song "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest", from the album "John Wesley Harding", from 1968.

For the photo freaks: all images were shot on the 14th of August 1986, using a Rolleiflex 3.5 F, loaded with Kodak Tri-x film, developed in Kodak D-76, diluted 1+1.
The images shown here were scanned from original silverprints (printed by me), using an Epson 4990 Photo.

Oct 4, 2009

If Six Was Nine


Getting rid of the superfluous...
(self-portrait, 4th of October 2009)

If the sun refuse to shine
I don't mind, I don't mind.
If the mountains fell in the sea,
let it be, it ain't me.

Alright, 'cos I got my own world to look through,
And I ain't gonna copy you.

Now, if six turned out to be nine,
I don't mind, I don't mind.
If all the hippies cut off all their hair,
I don't care, I don't care.

Dig, 'cos I got my own world to live through,
And I ain't gonna copy you.

White collared conservative flashing down the street.
Pointing their plastic finger at me,
They're hoping soon my kind will drop and die,
But I'm gonna wave my freak flag high, high.
Wave on, wave on.
Fall mountains, just don't fall on me.
Go ahead on Mr. Business man, you can't dress like me.

Nobody knows what I'm talking about.
I've got my own life to live,
I'm the one that's going to have to die,
When it's time for me to die,
So let me live my life
The way that I want to.

JIMI HENDRIX - If Six Was Nine
(from the album "Axis: Bold as Love", The Jimi Hendrix Experience, 1967).