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.

Struggling to finish

It took me a long time to write my last post. I started it over several times and couldn't find the right title. It never felt quite finished: I always wanted to change, add, or remove something.

I hadn't posted much on the blog for weeks (even though I have plenty of unfinished drafts) so as soon as I got a draft with an introduction, a few points, and a conclusion, I was ready to publish it.

It wasn't perfect and it didn't need to be. I just wanted to break the bad habit of not finishing things.

I've been struggling with closing projects lately.

I still have many open projects that need my attention, but we need to start somewhere, we need to take that first step, and I feel like publishing my previous post was a small but big victory to me.

An Ansel Adams pilgrimage in New Mexico

I didn't have the chance to photograph New Mexico during my last road trip across the US, and that was something I wanted and needed to fix. I spent 10 days there and photographed some of the places I had seen through the eyes and work for great artists and photographers, like Ansel Adams.

How I select my best images

I take a lot of pictures. A lot. That means I'll have to go through hundreds if not thousands of photographs after a trip, which can be overwhelming and take a lot of time.

I've developed a process over the years that is relatively fast and painless. This is how I select my best images.

A morning in Moab, Utah: photographing Corona Arch

Utah is one of those places every photographer should visit and photograph at least once in their life.

I'd been to the southern part of this beautiful state before (Zion, Monument Valley...), but I was missing on what are probably the most visited parks: Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef, all very close to each other around this small town, Moab.

This trip wasn't supposed to change that, I want to spend some significant time in the area and this wasn't the best time to do so. I still wanted to get a glimpse of this sacred place for photographers and think about what I could create here in the future.

I only had one morning, and I decided to spend it photographing Corona Arch, just outside of Moab. This is the video of that morning.

Is consistency in our work important?

 
 

Consistency:

consistent behavior or treatment

In photography, being consistent means creating images that look similar. Maybe we shot them with the same camera and lens, maybe we made them look that way in post-processing.

Let's talk about consistency, when we should be consistent and when it's ok to switch things.

 
 

I am a big believer in telling stories through a collection of images, be it in a zine, book or exhibition. Let's call it a project: a vision we have, a message we want to deliver, something we want to tell.

Generally speaking, I want to make all the images in a project look very similar, to have the same aesthetic. Otherwise, it might confuse the viewers.

Think of a book: all the words, letters and sentences are the same color and size. Only titles are different to make them stand out, to mark an end and a beginning. All the pages follow the same layout as well. It'd be too distracting otherwise.

There are a few things we want to keep constant or very similar: if an image is monochrome or color, the amount of grain, the contrast, the aspect ratio.

We can emphasize the importance of an image making it bigger, spanning through two pages, for example, or even changing the aspect ratio just for that one.

 
 

Different projects might require completely different approaches, though. I believe it is ok to not be consistent between projects: one could be in color, shot with a phone; the next one could be in monochrome using a medium format camera.

If we pick up a different book, we don't mind to see another font being used, more or less margins, a different size altogether. As long as it's kept consistent through the whole book.

 
 

I try to apply the same principle to my photography: to be consistent in a project, treating all the images the same way, so they form that body of work where none of its components is more or less important but just another piece of the puzzle.

That's what consistency offers: being able to create a cohesive collection of images that tell a story.