The world needs you

I've been told many times -especially when working with film- about the right way to do things.

"Look at the masters", they say. "Do what they did", they repeat.

"It was all academic. You were taught to paint like somebody else, made me not want to paint at all. You want to paint your own way!"

Georgia O'Keeffe said it better than anyone else. Using just charcoal, she created beautiful -but radical for her time- abstract drawings. That wasn't what she was supposed to be doing. And yet, she became one of the greatest American artists of the 20th century.

Look at the masters, and then "kill" them and carve your own path. The world doesn't need another Ansel Adams or another Henri Cartier-Bresson.

The world needs you.

Summer downtime

The summer is always a slow time for me and my photography. I don't like the heat, and it's just too bright out there. I usually take some time to finish old projects and start new ones, something I can't really do when I'm on the road.

This year, I'm taking some time to work on old images, prints and (finally!) 2 upcoming books. I can't wait to share what I'm working on with you.

I haven't gone on a photography trip for almost 2 weeks (if we don't count the morning I spent at Chain O'Lakes), and I'm starting to have withdrawals.

This doesn't mean I haven't been making new images, though. I always -always- carry a camera with me. So even on days when I'm spending time with family (say, the 4th of July), or days when the most exciting thing I do is going on a walk around town, I'm still able to photograph something.

These are some of the images I've made during the last few days here in Indiana.

Forever a beginner

Experience doesn't matter when it comes to photography. If it did, all the greats would've created their best images at the end of their careers. That's rarely the case.

Actually, I'd argue that experience makes us and our art predictable. The more we do something, the less likely we are to try something new.

I believe we should strive to be beginners forever.

Hasselblad CFV II: an almost perfect system

I hadn't been so excited about a camera announcement since the Zeiss ZX1 (which by the way, hasn't been released yet -who knows if it ever will).

A few days ago Hasselblad announced the X1D II, the sucessor to their beautiful mirrorless medium format camera. New features and a greatly recuded price are always welcome. But for all purposes, it's more of the same. Just with a bigger sensor.

They also announced something else, though, something that got me really excited: the CFV II 50C.

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You don't have to explain your art

We create because we love creating.

Sometimes, there's no need for an explanation or a deeper meaning. No need for a grandiose project or a long-term vision.

It can be all about the act of creating something new.

A beautiful sunrise in Pacifica, California

I knew I had to make an image of this pier the moment I saw it for the first time. I had to wait just a few hours for the right conditions, though, so I woke up early and drove to Pacifica just before the Sun rose.

It was a beautiful morning.

2 months, 10,000 miles, 11 states and 4 cars

I've spent quite a bit of time on the road these last 2 months. I drove 10,000 miles across 11 states, using 4 different rental cars. It wasn't cheap, but it was so worth it.

We like to name our cars, even if they are rentals. These are the 4 vehicles that powered my most recent road trip.

 
 

Sonora

This was my first car of the trip. I had it for 24 days and put more than 6,000 miles on it. From LA to Portland, stopping by Phoenix, Santa Fe and Salt Lake City in between.

It brought me to beautiful places like Saguaro National Park, Arizona, the Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado, a lot of Pueblo towns in New Mexico or Moab, Utah.

 

Sonora II

I know, I wasn't very original with this name but I mean, same car and same color...

I only had Sonora II for a couple of days, enought to drive more than 500 miles to beautiful spots of the Oregon and Washington Coast and, of course, the stunning Mt St Helens.

 

Big Bertha

This one was as big as a boat! A very smooth drive and awesome choice for more than 3,000 miles. I took it to Mt Hood, then down to the Bay Area where I explored the Sonoma Coast and San Francisco, and even to a wedding in Nevada City (east of Sacramento).

It was an old model (it had an iPod -that's an O- connector), but I really liked this car.

 
 
 

Rafael

We flew to Detroit from the West Coast, and there's really no other easy way to get from there to our final destination here in Indiana other than driving.

It was a short drive and just a few hours, but Rafael still deserves to be mentioned as part of this story.

Images from Portland, Oregon

It was great to be back in beautiful Portland, Oregon. We met with old friends, we ate some of our favorite foods in town, and visited some places we love. It was a wonderful time.

Everything comes to an end, though. We've left the city behind and we are getting ready to spend a couple weeks in California.

I wanted to share some of the moments from these last few days in Portland.

The Bronica Guy

Since I got my Bronica back in 2017, I’ve produced so much content with it (and about it) that some people started to identify me as the Bronica guy.

Many stumbled upon my work while looking for information about these cameras (and film in general). Over time, a large part of my audience was built around the Bronica.

My camera was becoming more important than what I was creating with it.

As I realized about this, I started to wonder if those new eyeballs were looking at my images or at my camera. Would they stop being interested in my photography if I didn't shoot the Bronica? Would they look away if I shot digital?

I doubted myself and my work.

The Bronica had taught me so much about photography. And yet, it was making me feel trapped, even if this was a mostly self-imposed sentiment.

I knew what I had to do: to the disappointment of many, I decided to leave the Bronica behind on this trip. Not only because it'd be a pain to carry, but also because I could break that Bronica guy label once and for all.

This was one of my most productive trips and I'm very proud of the work I did on the road. It's all digital, it feels liberating, and I can't wait to use my Bronica again.