Category Archives: Portafolio

8th National Photography Exhibition – fotofoto Gallery Huntington N.Y.

It has been many years that I had presented photographs for an exhibition. I was very active when I stared in the early 80’s but due to my work and my travels I had not really tried. It was until last year when i started to get more active and retake my passion for photography that I decided to present some photographs to the fotofoto Gallery at Huntington New York.

When I looked at the invitation to participate at the CAFE (R) Website I felt this urge for bench marking that kind of photography I do with photographers all around the United States.

Also, the juror of the exhibition, Naomi Rosemblum, caught my attention because when I researched her, I found that she is very respected in the community. The International Center of Photography in NY has given her a lifetime achievement award and has published numerous book on photography.

It was hard deciding what to present but I found the photographs I had taken while I lived in Guatemala in the mid 90’s. At that time I was taking a lot of pictures but besides developing the film and making contacts I was not printing them much. When I saw them, I was transported back to Guatemala and relived, in my mind, the beautiful culture that country has. It is so rich and diverse that you just want to capture it all.

The original photographs were taken with Tri X Kodak film. I then digitalized them using a Canonscan 9000F scanner and then printed them using archival inks and paper. The paper I used was Ilford’s Galerie Gold Fibre silk Paper. They were printed in a Canon PIXMA Pro 9500 Mark II printer. The results were great.

To look at the photograph go the menu and follow My Photographs/fotofoto gallery exhibition Huntington New York



Russia in B/W

Russia is a land of many contrasts. I grew up with the idea that they were on the other side of the cold war. My vision of Russia was different, biased if you will. I imagined Russia as a gloomy, oppressed country but I found the Russians to be are very energetic, they are proud of whom they are and are always looking for ways to flourish, even with the difficulties life has put upon them. Also, people have the same issues, good and bad, that people, all around the world, have.

For my photographs I focused on the day to day. I wanted to capture what people do every day; the way they live, what they see, what places do they visit and so on. Everywhere I went I tried to show people in their environments. What I saw was no surprise, Russians do as we all do – they live their lives. The images you are about to see are my version of what I saw in a very unique country.

I was very lucky in St Petersburg to have met our local guide Tatiana. I loved her enthusiasm and her spirit to be free. Very inspiring to say the least. We had very good conversations about the Soviet Russia, in which she mostly grew, the transition to the current Russia, and the similarities that the new Russia has with the old Russia. Even though the systems are different now, the lives of the common Russians have not changed much from the Soviet Russia. She showed me that and I tried to capture it with my camera. Thank you Tatiana!

Moscow was a very different experience than the one I lived at St Petersburg. At St Petersburg, the environment was friendlier and more open. It had the feel of a small city. In Moscow, you could immediately feel how hectic it is.

I am from Colombia and I always thought the traffic in my hometown of Bogota was bad but, after being in Moscow, I had to change my thinking. It’s bad and I mean real bad. You can sit in your car for hours and just move a couple meters. I understand now why there are 2.4 billion passenger rides per year in their Metro System. It is the third largest subway system in the world, after Tokyo and Seoul, with over 185 stations and more than 300 kilometers of lines. If my math is correct, it is like almost 6.5 million persons per day.

Moscow is a very cosmopolitan city, full of people on the move. There is always something happening. It is very vibrant and very impressive. It is worth spending the time and seeing it. I was surprised and I am sure you will be too.

The photographs are in B/W. I think it gives them more character and feel. I chose ten photographs for this blog because I think they will give you the sense of what I have described above.

As I have always done in my previous blogs, you can see a preview of the photographs in the video below but I really encourage you to click on My Photographs/Russia in B/W to see them in more detail.

I hope you enjoy them.

Visual Silla

I decided to call this post “Visual Silla” because it contains images captured while visiting South Korea. The Silla were one of the three great kingdoms in the region. It reigned for almost 1000 years. A lot of the things that you see, from historical sights to common day to day images reflect in some way the legacy of the wonderful Silla Dynasties.

You could capture many images in that country that would look fantastic in the travel books, but I wanted to give you, the person reading this blog and looking at my images, a more intimate and personal perspective of what I saw. It is a beautiful country, and I wanted to give my own “photographers” perspective.

I captured with my camera many scenes, but only choose a few that really grabbed my attention and mesmerized me. The ones that make me stop and look again.

A group of the photographs were taken at Songdu beach near Busan, on the southeast corner of Korea. Every year they have an art festival in the beach and I was very fortunate to be there at that time. Huge pieces of art, scattered all over the sand provided me with enough visual stimulation to capture unique sights. I focused in many of the details of the pieces, the light, and the textures. I had a very spontaneous image when I got close to some students, probably on an excursion to see the art. They were having lunch and when they saw us they started to greet us, but when I raised my camera, they all reacted at the same time – some covered their faces, some laughed – it was one of those nice and warm moments. You will also see a photograph from the famous Busan fish market.

Seoul is a wonderful city. It is a big, very cosmopolitan city. It does however have unique places that reflect the temples and palaces of the Silla epoch. An oasis of calm within a bustling city.

The photographs that I selected from Seoul include images from a street performance of a traditional Korean Dance as well of some images from the taken inside the teas houses at Insadonggil Street, fall images at the gardens of the Royal Palace and pictures of the numerous temples in the city.

Even though all Korea is stunning, probably the place I enjoyed the most was Gyeongju on the southern part of the country.

Gyeongju is a Unesco Protected Heritage Site. It was the center of the Silla Kingdom. There are images from the Bulguk-sa temple which were striking. I was highly impressed a courtyard in the temple which has thousands of little mounds of rocks. The contrast of the rocks in the different shades was magnificent. The gardens and the fall colors were impressive. One of my favorite photographs is of an image taken at the forest in the “Namsam Natural Park”. It is a unique visual that gives you a supernatural feel and if you look at it from different angles it will give you different feelings.

Korea and especially Icheon are famous for its ceramics. My wife is a great potter and we could not leave Korea without visiting the 2011 Gyeonggi Ceramix International Biennial. I was blown away by the quality of the ceramic pieces showed there. Besedes the ceramic exhibition was an exhibition of glass pieces. It also provided some images that captured my imagination.

I hope you like the photographs you are about to see. As before I have put them all in the video below but please go into My Photographs/Visual Silla, at the link above, to take a greater and more intimate and closer look. It is worth it.

The Vanished

The Vanished

The photographs that you are going to see this time were taken in Argentina some time ago. While I was looking at them recently and trying to pick and chose the ones that I would include in this writing a persistent thought came into my mind, and, it is how fragile life, people and things could be. All of these can “Vanish” or disappear from our lives in a second and I believe that the only way we can keep them alive is by making, us and everyone, aware that those realities exist. The photographs were taken in color but I thought that the way they should be looked is in B&W. I’ve always thought B&W is so powerful to convey emotions. One day I will publish them in color since they are also very powerful.

Two of the pictures you are going to see where taken while walking in Buenos Aires. If you go there you can see that our brothers in Argentina are not shy in expressing their feelings, especially, when they are remembering the people that “Vanished” during the military regimes in the 70’s.

We ran across this graphic display of crosses, hanging in a frame, and every cross had the name of someone that one day was here and the other he was not. Nobody knows where they are and probably, today, the only ones that remembered them are their families and those crosses in the street. I registered close ups of the crosses and printed them in a yellowish tone, like old photographs that were kept in boxes for years and years. It gave me the feeling that I should take them out of the boxes and show them so that these “vanished” people were not forgotten.

Another place in Buenos Aires where you can see people that have gone away is at the “Cementerio de La Recoleta”. It is a cemetery that has thousand of mausoleums that go back to the last century. If you wanted and had the time you could follow Argentina’s history by looking at who is buried there. Most of the mausoleums are very elaborate but there was one that really captured my attention. It is a bronze fixture in a door that tells us to keep silent; to respect the peacefulness of the place. I was just amazed of what I felt when I took the photograph.

During the trip, I had the opportunity to visit the region that borders with Chile, where the “Aconcagua” resides in the Andes Region. The peak is almost 7000 meters high. Two scenes captured my attention. One is how rugged those mountains can be and two how many people had “vanished” trying to conquer their peaks. I visited a cemetery, at the base of the mountain, where climbers, that lost their live trying to reach its peak, were buried. Some tombs had the boots they used and others were just a pile of rocks. I was impressed by how simple the burial place was compared to the monumental task of reaching the peak. It did not reflect the effort. Very sad.

The other photographs you will see were taken at the “Iguazu Waterfalls”, where Argentina borders with Brazil. They told me I was lucky to visit them at that time because they have had a very long rainy reason and the amount of water was an all time record. You can walk to the waterfalls and be very close to the edge and I was there almost at dusk and the view was just so spectacular. The sensation of feeling small compared to such roaring power was overwhelming.

The vision of in my head, when I took the photographs, was like a watercolor painting. The colors of the sunset were stunning but, again, to convey the harshness of the scenes and how easy all this could vanish, I decided to show them in B&W.

I captured a very nice view of a house the i’ts built over sulphur. Taking it to BW gave it a different sense that the colored one, which is also very good. Being in Argentina, I had to show some movement and I chose some tango street dancers. Movement is a recurring topic of mine.

I really hope you enjoy these photographs. As before, I’ve put them in the following video format but you can go into “My Photographs/The Vanished” to see each one of them in more detail.

P.D. – The best steak I ate is at “La Cabrera” at Palermo SOHO

Attractive Italy

The photographs that you will see this time are urban views and interiors with a mixture of details and textures. The photographs were taken on a recent trip I had to Florence and Sicily.

There are endless views in Florence that can catch your eyes. Some of the ones that really captured my attention were a series of outdoor sculptures at the Boboli Gardens adjacent to the Pitti Palace. There are some sculptures in the gardens that are rich in textures and colors. The older ones, which are the ones carved in rock, show a series of colors that developed due to the minerals and oxides in the rock and some weathering of the rock. The other ones, the contemporary ones, are also very captivating. The details and the expressions just grab your vision and invite you to register them.

From Florence, you will also see some urban views. Those are images that strike you while you are walking around. I was lucky that the weather during those days was beautiful so I was able to register a sunset scene at the Ponte Vecchio. Beside the warm colors, what really got hold of me was the reflection of the buildings in the river. Reflections are one of those things that I have always been attracted to. Most of the time, I am looking for them so you will see them coming up in my photographs frequently.

The other set of photographs are from the northeastern part of Sicily. I was really impressed by how diverse that place is. For centuries and centuries, that region has been the bridge to Italy and you find that melting pot in the people and places in Sicily. What you see feels very intimate. Just walking through the market or visiting the Greek and Roman ruins or just walking through the little town hanging in the cliffs, gives you a very rich visual and personal world. I photographed the ones that caught my attention and stirred my emotions.

As before, I will give you a preview of the photographs in the video below and please see them in “My Photographs/Attractive Sicily”.

I hope you enjoy them

P.D. – “Pasta con la Sarde” at Granduca in Taormina is phenomenal.

Unique Amsterdam and Bruges

On a recent trip, I had the opportunity to be a several days in Amsterdam and then take a train to Bruges and spend some days there. It was my second time at Amsterdam, but this time I had the chance to walk and look around. Such a rich visual environment, that, everywhere you look there is something that catches your eye. It was hard to sort all the photographs but in this post you will see some B&W and some color photographs. I hope they capture your eye as they did mine.

Amsterdam is a great place to walk and see. While my visit there, I focused in capturing specific details of the city. You walk around the channels and you see art in the streets, you look the endless rows of buildings and in the windows you see objects hanging or just sitting there. It is such a rich visual environment that you can just sit in a Cafe and just look and everywhere you look you see objects that you want to capture.

Bruges is a totally different experience. It is a small medieval town with cobblestone streets. Very romantic and cozy but it has also unique details. I do not know if it is the culture but they have a unique way of putting things around, like, if they put them there and then hide to watch your reaction. The same as in Amsterdam. You see some stuff that make you laugh and think “WOW – what’s all this about – why is this here?” You could feel their grins when they see you laughing alone when you look at something.

I registered in my camera the visuals that captured my eye. You will see some color and B&W – I love B&W – reminds me of my old days which the only thing I registered was B&W. Color was just another part of your composition. Something you could leave out because B&W had character. I’ve changed now. With all the control you have nowadays of the color I learnt to appreciate it and use it as an important part of some of my photographs.

There is a photograph of a place called ‘t Brugs Fonduehuisje. If you are in Bruges, please go and eat there. You need a reservation. Small, cozy, good wine and the best Fondue in town. In Amsterdam, visit Idrapura. It is an Indonesian Restaurant with a great Rice Table (Rice with a lot of little plates with delicious things).

I hope you enjoy the photographs. The above video is a preview but you can see them in the menu, at “My Photographs/Amsterdam -Bruges”