Nov 18, 2010

Flor da Rosa, Crato - Carrilho da Graça (Wasted Project 2)


When I came back to Portugal in 1990, after living in Germany for many years, the first architecture photographs I made, were assigned by the architect Manuel Tainha. I should photograph his just built Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação, Universidade de Lisboa.

It just so happened that the publisher, and also architect, Luiz Trigueiros from Editorial Blau, saw the images and liked them. He subsequently asked if I wanted to work for his magazine "Architécti" (by that time a really fine publication), and offered me two assignments: the above mentioned work by Tainha and the Piscina Municipal de Campo Maior, by João Luís Carrilho da Graça.

Photographing the works of these two master architects, I got started in Architecture Photography. Not a bad start, I could dare to say...

Around 2004, I thought about doing a White & Blue book on the recovery and conversion of the Flor da Rosa Monastery in Crato, Alentejo, into a Pousada, by Carrilho da Graça.

On my mind, it would be a fabulous companion book for my other publication about Santa Maria do Bouro, also a conversion of a Monastery into a Pousada, in Amares, by Eduardo Souto de Moura. Both are outstanding works, having their origins in historic buildings.

Well, I do love that!

The necessary steps were undertaken: I met João Luís who agreed to colaborate on the project, permissions and arrangements to photograph the building were granted, film was ordered, and so on and so on...

After many images were shot in 2005, the excellent designer Francisco Vaz da Silva, from Aveiro, made an interesting mock-up. Everything was looking good, and I thought that I could soon publish another book!

Then the wheel of fate started turning the other direction, things started going bizarre, and for many reasons I don't wish to detail, sometimes I don't even understand myself, the book never took form.

One more wasted project!

My loss, for sure!, nobody's gain, I guess...

Some fellow photographers claim that they don't like to talk about their equipment or methods. Some even say that they don't care about technical issues. How grateful they must be!

These fellows often excuse their relutance on talking about technic, with the explanation that only the image counts, and nothing else matters. While I might understand that point of view, with some of them I have to ask if they have technical knowledge at all...

I permit myself to be silly and disagree: yes, equipment and technic count!

I am not a magician and I don't have tricks upon my sleeves, I don't pull secret rabbits out of my hat!

I am a photo-freak with nothing to hide!

Are you perhaps eager to learn more about what kind of gear I used to make the above photographs? Look at the list below (I hope that I won't forget something important, I very often do!):

- Gandolfi Variant with 6x12 Horseman roll film back, and Linhof 6x7 Rapid Rollex (as the names imply, 6x12 and 6x7 formats); Schneider lenses.

- Horseman SW612 Pro (6x12 format, also doubles duty as 6x9 camera); Rodenstock lenses.

- Corfield WA67 (6x7 format) with fixed Schneider Super Angulon 47mm.

- Hasselblad 500 C/M (format 6x6); Carl Zeiss lenses.

- Film: Kodak Ektachrome 120.

- Light meter: Gossen Variosix F.

- Color meter: Gossen Color Master 3F.

- CC and LB Filters: Rodenstock.

- Tripods: Gitzo and Manfrotto.

- Lighting equipment: Hensel.

Got an idea?

Now a little joke, and food for thought, for imaginary clients: would you find it correct to pay me the same for this kind of service, as if I only took my Canon digi and a little tripod along?

No? Well, a lot of people do...

Oh, by the way, where was my digi-ding-a-dong-dings-bums?

P.S.: A very special thank you goes to my son Luís who assisted me on the photographic sessions and all the people involved, mainly the staff personnel at Flor da Rosa, who were always very kind and helpful.

Have fun!