Dec 21, 2011

Eu Não Sei Quase Nada do Mar


Nazaré, Portugal - Março de 1980
(Leica M4-2+Summicron 50mm)

“Eu Não Sei Quase Nada do Mar” – Ana Carolina e Jorge Vercilo

(Do álbum “Pirata” de Maria Bethânia - 2006)

Garimpeira da beleza
Te achei na beira de você me achar
Me agarra na cintura, me segura e jura que não vai soltar
E vem me bebendo toda, me deixando tonta de tanto prazer
Navegando nos meus seios, mar partindo ao meio
Não vou esquecer

Eu que não sei quase nada do mar
Descobri que não sei nada de mim

Clara, noite rara, nos levando além da arrebentação
Já não tenho medo de saber quem somos na escuridão

Me agarrei nos seus cabelos
Sua boca quente para não me afogar
Tua língua correnteza lambe minhas pernas
Como faz o mar
E vem me bebendo toda, me deixando tonta de tanto prazer
Navegando nos meus seios, mar partindo ao meio
Não vou esquecer

Eu que não sei quase nada do mar
Descobri que não sei nada de mim


Dec 19, 2011

O Astronauta


“O Astronauta” – Vinicius de Moraes / Baden Powell

Quando me pergunto
Se você existe mesmo, amor
Entro logo em órbita
No espaço de mim mesmo, amor

Será que por acaso
A flor sabe que é flor
E a estrela Vénus
Sabe ao menos
Porque brilha mais bonita, amor

O astronauta ao menos
Viu que a terra é toda azul, amor
Isso é bom saber
Porque é bom morar no azul, amor

Mas você, sei lá
Você é uma mulher
Sim, você é linda
Porque é


Dec 15, 2011

Gente Humilde


Lisboa, Alfama, 1987
(Hasselblad 500 EL/M+Carl Zeiss Distagon)

"Gente Humilde" - Garoto / Vinicius de Moraes / Chico Buarque

Tem certos dias em que eu penso em minha gente
E sinto assim todo o meu peito se apertar
Porque parece que acontece de repente
Como um desejo de eu viver sem me notar

Igual a como quando eu passo no subúrbio
Eu muito bem, vindo de trem, de algum lugar
E aí me dá uma inveja dessa gente
Que vai em frente, sem nem ter com que contar

São casas simples, com cadeiras na calçada
E na fachada escrito em cima que é um lar
Pela varanda, flores tristes e baldias
Como a alegria que não tem onde encostar

E aí me dá uma tristeza no meu peito
Feito um despeito de eu não ter como lutar
E eu que não creio, peço a Deus por minha gente
É gente humilde, que vontade de chorar


Dec 14, 2011

A Day at the Races (Part 2) - Autódromo do Estoril (20th of November 2011)


Jorge using the Canon EF 500mm
(courtesy of Canon Professional Services/Colorfoto)

Some days ago, you could see some photographs I made during the treino fotográfico organized by Colorfoto and Canon Professional Services, so I won’t repeat myself here, explaining how it all came to take place.
Please, just use your mouse, should you wish to know more and you missed the first post.
The workshop actually consisted of two days, so this second post on the theme shows the photographs I shot on Sunday.
Please, allow me just to remember that the treino fotográfico took place under the supervision of the very kind gentleman Paulo Maria, an experienced sports photographer.
Once again, thank you Paulo, thank you Colorfoto and Canon.
I also wish to thank the staff at Autódromo do Estoril and the racing teams, everybody was very kind and supportive.
Last but not least, a special grateful word to my sun Jorge who brought me along…

The racing cars were only the Leitmotiv
I don’t really much care about racing cars, I am more the type of guy who gets a faster heartbeat staring at Land Rovers and Pinzgauers, everything that can climb over rocks, or dive in some deep mud… The type of workhorse vehicles that can take me to that far away places, out of reach from the ordinary Sunday drivers.
Nevertheless, photographing racing cars (with a digital camera) can quickly become a passionate addiction and you must control yourself to stop shooting.
As you might guess looking at the photographs, I got a kick out of telling a story about the human action at it, all the anxiety and stress, all the concentration and awareness, all the sadness of losing and all the joy of winning.
Just like in real life…

Some of the fellow-photographers who made the day very enjoyable

Some thoughts and opinions about the Canon gear I have used on the event:
The 500mm that you see Jorge using above is for sure a great lens! Jorge got absolutely wonderful shots with it!
 If I would earn my money shooting sports or birds, I would definitely consider such a beast.
As I don’t, I prefer to stick to my (much smaller and lighter)  EF 400mm / 5.6 L (or whatever Canon calls it, I am lazy to check it up, this long terminology kind of nerves me!).
Since I got recently a frozen shoulder and some trouble in my left hand, this beast of a lens (I mean the 500mm) just is too heavy and cumbersome for my taste. I know that you need to get used to it, but I feel much more confortable with the smaller lens.
(Please, keep in mind that on the 30D body, as I have used it, the 400 becomes equivalent to a 640mm lens! I was actally getting “nearer” than Jorge with his 5D and the 500mm… I have used the 400mm exclusively hand held, no tripod or monopod! - no Image Stablizer on this lens, thanks!)
You can see the lens in question (I mean the 400mm) on an older post, should you have interest on taking a look. If you look further on, you will also find several photographs that every now and then I posted, made using that piece of glass.  
I also had the chance to try the 70-200 / 2.8 L in the Autódromo, the newer version of the lens, with Image Stablizer. In case you have noticed my former comment, you will understand that I am no big fan of IS… The noise and feeling of it working just drives me nuts, I rather prefer to hold one of my cats in the arm!
So, I prefer to stick to my older version, without IS, thank you again! (of course, you may claim that I can shoot with IS off. You are right, but I have the feeling that if we made a side by side test on optical quality and definition, the older lens would win… Somebody with more experience than me out there with a different opinion? Maybe Canon?)
The rest of the stuff was plain bread and butter:
I have used Jorge’s EF 50mm / 1.4, a lens that I can’t say it is bad for sure, but I also won’t claim that it is “GREAT”.  I know that lots of knowledgeable people love it, but I am maybe spoiled by Leitz / Leica and Zeiss…
I say jaein (ja + nein as the germans like to say)…
About my old 17-35 / 2.8 L:
Canon still has to make it better, if they want to convince me with their wide-angles, but then again maybe I am spoiled by the Summicrons, Elmarits, Distagons, Super-Angulons and Grandagons…
(lots of funny names, right!)
As I have said before, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose…
All in all, I absolutely was a winner by taking part on the event!
I hope that you enjoy the photographs.

Technical data for both days:
Camera - Canon 30D
Lenses - Canon EF 17-35mm/2.8 L + EF 50mm/1.4 + 70-200mm/2.8 IS L (not used on the 20th) + 400mm/5.6 L
Dates - 19th + 20th of November 2011 (these images, second day only)
Location - Autódromo do Estoril, Portugal

Dec 10, 2011

Meu tempo é quando


Tomar, Abril de 2011
Leica M4 + Summicron 35mm

"Poética" - Vinicius de Moraes

De manhã escureço
De dia tardo
De tarde anoiteço
De noite ardo.

A oeste a morte
Contra quem vivo
Do sul cativo
O este é meu norte.

Outros que contem
Passo por passo;
Eu morro ontem

Nasço amanhã
Ando onde há espaço;
- Meu tempo é quando.


Dec 3, 2011

Boom! Boom! Out Goes the Light!


I washed the dishes and warmed the palm of my hand with a cup of coffee, the cats are fed and I am ready to share some little things with you:

We play our power games, we step on each others feet,
And, all of a sudden…
Boom! Boom! Out goes the light!

Ah, just small nobodies…

I wish I had a photograph of dolphins - I used to see the toninhas on the beach in Maxixe, Mozambique, many years ago. I was too young, I had no camera, but after all, we are all god's children, right?

To cheer it up, a song by the great Fred Neil, a song that often makes me break into tears:

"The Dolphins" - Fred Neil (1966)

This old world may never change
The way it's been,
And all the ways of war
Can't change it back again.

I've been searching
For the dolphins in the sea,
And sometimes I wonder
Do you ever think of me?

I'm not the one to tell this world
How to get along,
I only know the peace will come
When all hate is gone.

I've been searching
For the dolphins in the sea...

You know sometimes I think about
Saturday's child,
And all about the time
When we were running wild.

I've been searching
For the dolphins in the sea...

This old world may never change,
This world may never change,
This world may never change...

(Please, allow me to dedicate this song to a lady who actually swims with the dolphins in Hawaii - Hi Pamela, would you please say hello to the dolphins for me?)

And because sometimes I am so addicted to Fred Neil songs and his deep voice, here comes the next one:

"Everybody's Talkin'" - Fred Neil (1966)

Everybody's talkin' at me,
I don't hear a word they're sayin',
Only the echoes of my mind.

People stop and stare,
I can't see the faces,
Only the shadows of their eyes.

I'm goin' where the sun keeps shinin'
Through the pouring rain,
Going where the weather suits my clothes,
Bankin' off on the northest wind,
Sailing on a summer breeze,
Skippin' over the ocean like a stone.

Everybody's talkin' at me,
Can't hear a word they're saying
Only the echoes of my mind.

I won't let you leave my love behind...

Fred Neil is dead and gone, but I know we will meet one fine day, that's for sure!


This old world may never change
The way it's been
And all the ways of war
Can't change it back again

I've been searchin'
For the dolphins in the sea
And sometimes I wonder
Do you ever think of me

I'm not the one to tell this world
How to get along
I only know the peace

Nov 28, 2011

How many roads...


My second son, Luís, is flying to Germany today.
Frustrated with life conditions in this country and wishing to try a new life with his german girl-friend, he decided to go back to Heidelberg, his place of birth.
I have the consolation to know that Sara Joana waits for him. Her parents are long time friends from the years we lived over there. I know that he can count on some good and trusty people.
A sad day for me and his brothers and sister, hopefully a new sunny begin for Luís.

The photographs above were taken on Wildpark Frankenhof, near Reken.
On that cold winter day, there was no one else around, silence was only disturbed by our footsteps tracking our way through the snow.
We spent that winter (2003/2004) together in Reken. It was a very hard time for us, as Luís mother (the mother of all my four children) was struggling between life and death, after suffering a stroke.
We would sit at night eating Brezels with butter and cheese, drinking Veltins, watching some stupid TV channel, mostly thinking about that very thin line that separates life from death.
Sometimes we would cook a Griessklösschensuppe to keep us warm, and whenever we found the energy for it, we would try to laugh as much as we could… Laughing to keep from crying!
Often we would dress our warm coats in the middle of the night and go for a walk in the woods or through the fields, the only waken souls in the region.
Although I knew Reken for some decades, I felt kind of strange there: me and Luís’s mother were already divorced, somehow I didn’t belong no more there…
Looking back, I sometimes think that those hard times contributed for us to learn a lesson, albeit a hard one; we grew spiritualy for sure… And we got very close friends!

“I wish you well my son, I hope that you find your way, and that your way is a good one!”.

“Blowing in the Wind” – Bob Dylan
How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man ?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand ?
Yes, how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned ?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Yes, how many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea ?
Yes, how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free ?
Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn't see ?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Yes, how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky ?
Yes, how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry ?
Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died ?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.
 (From the album “The Freewheelin’”, 1963)


Nov 27, 2011

A Day at the Races - Estoril, 19th of November 2011


At first I was reluctant and said no.
But my son Jorge insisted, and I agreed to take part on the Photographic Training organized by Colorfoto ( it is no exggeration if I claim that they are the best photographic retailers in Portugal) and Canon Professional Services.
Instructor was Mr. Paulo Maria (Interslide), a professional with long experience in the field of Motorsports Photography, and who happens to be a very kind person.
David and Rui Morgado from Colorfoto were also always at hand with good advise and driving us around the track.
We also could try some of those beautiful grey Canon lens that you can watch the pros using on TV during sports events.
As a whole, all the event was very well organized and a joy to be part of.

Thinking afterwards, I came to realize, that I had never photographed a car race before.
So, you’re watching a kind of premier

The long lenses from Canon are really top-notch and digital photography is a very convenient medium for this kind of stuff.
Yes, you guess it right: even a hardcore Leica guy like me has to concede that in this field Canon sounds better than Leica!

“Come on, you will have some fun!”.
Well, I must admit that Jorge was right, and I am happy that I came along.

We had a wonderful day at Autódromo do Estoril!


Nov 25, 2011

"Vai, triste canção..."


"Modinha" - Tom Jobim / Vinicius de Moraes

Não pode mais meu coração
Viver assim dilacerado
Escravizado a uma ilusão
Que é só desilusão.

Ah, não seja a vida sempre assim
Como um luar desesperado
A derramar melancolia em mim,
Poesia em mim.

Vai, triste canção, sai do meu peito
E semeia a emoção
Que chora dentro do meu coração.


Nov 11, 2011

Sofia and Ricardo Got Married - September 10, 2011


My nephew Ricardo and Sofia got married last September.
I decided to take the chance and use the occasion to make some classical Leica photography: unobtrusive and intimate. The kind of stuff Leicas are good at and got famous for!
In black and white film, of course!

I chose two Leica M bodies (a M3 from 1955, - yes, that’s the year of my birth! and a M4 from 1968/69 respectively, - yes, that’s the year the first men landed on the moon!) and a couple of lenses:
 Super-Angulon 21mm f/3.4  (a really true non-retrofocus classic, designed and built by Schneider and resold by Leitz), Summicron 35mm f/2.0  (the often called “king of Bokeh, whatever people mean by that…), and the very enjoyable and small Tele-Elmarit 90mm f/2.8 (sadly in the meantime vanished from the Leica catalogue, I will forever treasure it!).
As film material, I picked up Agfa APX 100 (another true classic) and the new Kodak T-Max 400 (my concession to modern technology…).
I stuffed it all, together with a Gossen Variosix F lightmeter, in a small Leitz Kombitasche M.
 I was ready to go!

Wishing this nice couple all the best in the world, a wonderful song as food for thought:
“Congratulations” – Paul Simon

Oh, seems like you’ve done it again
And I ain’t had such misery since
Since I don’t know when,
Oh, and I don’t know when

I notice so many people
Slippin’ away
And many more waiting in the lines
In the courtrooms today
Oh, in the courtrooms today

Love is not a game
Love is not a toy
Love’s no romance
Love will do you in
And love will wash you out
And needless to say
You won’t stand a chance, and you won’t stand a chance.

I’m hungry for learning
Won’t you answer me, please?
Can a man and a woman
Live together in peace?
Oh, live together in peace

(From the album Paul Simon - 1971)

Technical Data:
Cameras - Leica M3 + Leica M4
Lenses - Super Angulon 21mm + Summicron 35mm + Tele Elmarit 90mm
Films - Agfa APX 100 + Kodak T-Max 400
Developer - Kodak D-76, diluted 1+1
Location - Setúbal, Portugal
Date - 10th of September 2011
Scanner - Epson 4990 Photo