I always felt unconfortable presenting what I classify as family snapshots.
My doubts are by no means about privacy issues or matters like that. I
am just saying that it is kind of awkward for me to cross that − imaginary? −
thin line between “easy accomplishment” and “skilled achievement”.
Predominantly, I associate family pictures with the first aforementioned
Silly concept of mine, certainly! Why on earth should an image of a
stranger on the street be wertvoller than
a photograph of my daughter or my wife willingly posing for me?
I must revise some preconceived notions and opinions…
Having worked on the field of Architecture Photography, I am plagued by
demons that go back to my photography learning days. I used to think – and honestly
still believe! – that such a rigorous discipline only can lead to successful
results if undertaken with specialized cameras and apparatus.
Subsequently, I will have to ask if these photographs deserve the
designation of Architecture Photography.
On a certain level of lighthearted criticism, I could be tempted to say
Knowing how I shot them, I will opt to declare no instead!
Lacking a “suitable” camera for the task, I made the situation shoddier by
not even using a tripod! The acknowledged wisdom of how it should be made – the
acceptance of those rules! − forces me to call these pictures just sketches.
Are then “sketches” not so wertvoll
as “proper photographs”? Who claims to know where the dividing line must be
traced? Who takes for granted to be the “Master of the Definition”, “The Master
of all Masters”?
All photographs made with Leica M9
“Photography ought to be characterized by drama and objectivity!”
Now, that is the kind of misconception that I got rid of for ages!
I once and forever rectify: Photography ought to be subjective!!!
That is the only valid way my images can perhaps stand amongst the flood
of a zillion others, that is what makes them possibly unique.
I want my photographs to be a testimonial of my character and
individuality, of the way I perceive my environment, I wish them to be the
mirror of my soul at a given moment in time, I am not concerned with hiding on
In addition, I detect nothing wrong on the adequacy of Photography to
communicate other feelings than drama…
No matter how enjoyable or disgusting, my photographs are only
photographs, they were never intended to change the world.
It is more than enough if they manage to change my head!
The motivation for driving all the way up
to northern Spain – in addition to escaping from the inevitable gray men – was to
meet my son Luís, who came from Germany to do a part of the French Camino de Santiago.
He was travelling together with his girlfriend,
her father – a good companion of mine from the days of Heidelberg −, her sister
and boyfriend and his mother. They made up a small group of nice people, all tired
and hungry after being on foot all day.
We didn’t have time to take pleasure in
their company for long − just had dinner together for two days − as they needed
to go to bed early, for the walking day ahead was always a long and exhausting one.
At the end of the second day, I still managed
to drink a cool Galician beer with my kids – only Jorge was missing − and
Helena in Portomarín. After dinner it was again time to kiss and wave farewell.
These little/big odd men, all dressed up in gray − faces
distorted to a conspicuous cheating grimace − greedily rule our land. I feel torn apart, squeezed up to my bones, violated and
abused all the way up to my brain. Paranoidly fearing to drown, I anxiously strive for a little breeze! Moving away seems to be the only option, even if only
for a couple of days, say even a couple of hours…
I always felt some magic attraction in the vast
remoteness of many regions in Spain.
I don’t necessarily classify crowded places like
Galicia as remote, nevertheless I could enjoy some clean air, and forget all
this sticky mold. Coming from such a claustrophobic country, I was doomed to
feel in Paradise…
We have spent just an afternoon in the city of Lugo
(surrounded by Roman walls, World Heritage Site), in Galicia.
These are some of the photographs I shot with a Leica
M9 and a few lenses. I hope that you enjoy them. I am glad to share.
All photographs shot with Leica M9
For a glimpse I could forget those pathetic men protected
by their security guards, I didn’t have to watch them on TV, I was not obliged
to glare at them on the papers, I didn’t have to suffocate under their shadow.
Born 1955 in Kuito (Silva Porto), Angola.
Photographer / Publisher.
Started my professional photographer career at the History of Art Institut (Kunsthistorishes Institut ) of the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Returned to Portugal in 1990 and, while doing studio and advertising work, specialized in Architectural Photography. I had my work published in numerous specialized books and magazines, both in Portugal and abroad. Álvaro Siza and Mies van der Rohe are only some of the names who have their work extensively documented. I own White & Blue, which I co-founded in November 2000.
(I closed down White & Blue in January 2013)