Let’s see, I usually go out for dinner on Fridays but this Friday was different. It changed when I saw the package waiting for me when I got home at night. Almost glowing. I couldn’t believe it was the book already, I had the idea it would be arriving by the end of this month, but it came after just a couple of days after placing the order.
So, as I was saying, my Friday wasn’t a usual one. It changed the minute my mom asked what the book was about. I just said “it’s a beautiful story”, to what she replied “let’s hear that”.
What better way to describe what HONY’s all about than reading the introduction in the book, right? So we went upstairs to my parent’s bedroom. They both sat on their bed as I took over the couch. Then, I carefully opened it, it was magical. The first thing I read was the dedication:
"To the city of New York.
I had this crazy, juvenile idea
that you were going to make all my
dreams come true. And you did.”
Quivering voice made its first of many appearances on my reading. I continued translating as I read…
I cannot put into words what an amazing story is behind this book, it’s just mind-blowing. It’s beautiful. Maybe some of you knew its background already but I didn’t. HONY is a project that has evolved over time, and it speaks to me in many levels. It tells the stories of the people in NY, literally. And also, I must say the selection of photographs is flawless, a great collection indeed.
I just love how an idea can become a real product, the same feeling you get when you actually get to print one of your photos. But a million times better. A book.
If you guys are not familiar to HONY, please have a look. And if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, purchase it. You won’t regret it.
Hope you’re having a great day. Go out there and inspire those around you.
I was gonna share this on my personal blog (yes, I have one of those too), but I think it’s photoblog material, right?
I started following HONY some time ago and I liked it, yes, but didn’t love it. I even thought some of the shots were not exactly well executed (still think that every now and then). Then, the magic began as I finally understood it wasn’t all about the pictures. Let me rephrase that, it’s not about the pictures AT ALL! It’s the stories behind, the stories these people share with Brandon that make it real, that make it absolutely worth it.
One cannot help but engage with these posts, they’re magical, they make you go “Awww” and make you cry too. Well, that happens to me, maybe I’m too emotional but, hey, that’s me. HONY makes you feel as if you were walking the streets, meeting these people, talking to them, even comforting some of those folks. This, my friends, is why photography is relevant, we cannot forget it is evoking emotions that’s important.
This book is making me feel alive already, I can’t wait to get it. Thanks, Brandon.
Have you ever seen the first photo I shared here? If not, you’re missing out!
Well, every now and then I find myself looking back in my archive, exploring the shots I’ve taken, the moments I’ve captured. Often thinking “How did I even share that? It’s awful!” Yeah, I know you’ve probably been through that too, haven’t you? HAVEN’T YOU!!! Haha.
The thing is, it’s always great looking back in time and realizing how much we’ve not necessarily changed but actually evolved. I’m not claiming to be a great photographer for I’m not such and there’s still a ton of things to learn, techniques to master. It’s a process. But the good news, guys, is I’m IN the process, we’re all IN the process.
It is important to know your craft, to try to be better with what you have. We cannot wait to have certain equipment to then try to make the best out of it. Start now! You don’t need high-end gear to make a beautiful shot. No, you don’t. Would it help? Hell yes it would, but, is it necessary? No, it’s not. Make things work with what you own, call it a phone or the most expensive camera on the shelves, knowing that none is warranty of great outcome. Trust your eye, your inner instinct.
Know that you’ll change and that this macro of a flower you once thought to be absolutely amazing is actually nothing new and, actually, quite cliché. We all have taken a photo of a flower in our lifetime, true. And don’t get me wrong, flowers are beautiful and all but, let’s face it, it’s not something new, nothing that’s not been seen a million times before. Maybe that’s why I’m not particularly fond of shots of flowers, they tell me nothing about the photographer, and that’s not what I’m looking for in you. If you’ve taken a successful shot of a flower, then you know how to work with focus, DoF, and aperture so, why not putting that knowledge in use with much more interesting subjects, I ask?
Who am I to tell you what to shoot? No one, you’re right, I’m just making suggestions and talking real shit. That will always bother someone, it’s something that’s expected, it’s something natural for people to get offended by. “But, Alejandro, my shot of this dandelion is amazing!” No, it’s not. Well, yeah, it probably is but it’s something I’d react to in the following way:
So yeah, push yourself into different worlds, try harder, and not only try, go all the way! Ok, I’m losing my point here, I was gonna talk about my Tumblr experience and now I’m talking about… flowers? Sorry about that.
So, as the title reads, It’s been a while since I posted this heavily-vignetted, 400% skin-smoothed, noise-reduced shot that looked like crap but, hey, it is my crap and I embrace it, just as I embrace what I believe my current style is. A lot has changed, or so I believe. You be the judges.
"Sorrow through a tinted glass…" April, 2010.
"Shot 01, Set 06 I Once upon a time in Oaxaca" October, 2013.
I’ve tried multiple tools, filters, and so on but what I’ve learned the most is getting to know my camera, become one, let it be an extension of myself so that we talk in the same language. Again, it’s all a process, a beautiful one.
Thanks to each and every one of you who’ve followed this blog for 3 years and a half, you all are amazing people to whom I owe much of what I do today photography-wise. You inspire me in more than a single way and I cannot thank you enough for being there on the other side of the screen, reading, watching, discussing, even hating.
Hello there, friends! Some things have happened over the past week, or two. Here’s a list, if you don’t mind:
-The good guys at Instagram decided to make me a “Suggested User” on September 18th for a period of time (I don’t know exactly for how long). It’s brought 16K+ new followers since then. WOOT! So grateful!
-I lost my phone on September 22nd while walking my dog. It fell from my pocket (I was wearing fleece. Never wear fleece pants when walking your dog, I’m telling ya!) at some point at this huge park. I stayed there looking for it for hours (literally). Never found it…
-I got a new phone the next day. Since I couldn’t wait for the 5s to come out, I got the 5 again. No news about the 5s/5c here yet, probably until December. So, the 5 it is.
-It was my birthday. If you didn’t send me a message on that day, I don’t like you anymore. Jk :)
-I signed a good deal for a 70D on Sunday. They said it would arrive here in about 10 weekdays. Turns out it only took a couple of days and I got it yesterday (Yay me!).
-I’m going to Oaxaca for the weekend, expect some photos :D
So there’s that, my friends! I hope you all are doing great. Keep inspiring everyone with your work.
When I read the articles by all the critics and professionals lamenting the amateurs sharing their work on Instagram and Flickr, I like to picture them sitting in the living room of some amateur of yore, looking down their noses at personal photo albums and ranting about the damage being done to the integrity of the art.
In the cinema world, the burgeoning filmmaker, the amateur with the hand-me-down kit is glorified. In the photography world, that same amateur with an iPhone or a Canon Rebel would be vilified, their Flickr archives contrasted with Eggleston’s body of work, and the future of photography questioned.