“Marx reproached philosophy for only trying to understand the world rather than trying to change it. Photographers, operating within the terms of the Surrealist sensibility, suggest the vanity of even trying to understand the world and instead propose that we collect it.”—Susan Sontag
“A work of art is good if it has sprung from necessity. In this nature of its origin lies the judgement of it: there is no other. Therefore, my dear, I know no advice for you save this: to go into yourself and test the deeps in which your life takes rise; at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create. Accept it, just as it sounds, without inquiring into it.”—Rilke
I love film. During shoots, I always use both film and digital. However, due mainly to cost, I shoot only a small fraction of film relative to digital. On top of that, the majority of the film I shoot ends up in box, partly for the future, but also partly again to cut down on costs. I realize it sounds overly stingy, but keep in mind I shoot a lot. Shooting a lot is part of the reason I do photography. I’m hoping if I do this enough, I will be in a place where no one else has been before. (This is the same thinking behind being an academic, of course).
There are two things I love about shooting film. The first is that it slows me down. This makes me think more and see better. The second thing I love about film is the “moodiness” and the “defects” of the physicality of the process. The first aspect of shooting on film — this mindfulness — is something I am good enough about transferring over to the digital process. At the very least it is something I work on and improve at every day. The second aspect — the moodiness — however, is something I feel I’m constantly and hopelessly fighting against.
In other words, what I dislike the most about the digital process is its accuracy and cleanliness. Today I had a bit of a revelation (which I don’t doubt is not a revelation to anyone else): why not make the printing process of digital images a more film-like error-prone moody-wet process? I would take as many photos as I needed and do as many shoots as I can manage, at no cumulative cost. But then, upon selection, and perhaps some editing, I would surrender to the beauty of real life chemistry. To some degree, this is all that printing is already, of course. But the printing that we know is, by design, much more straightforward — without any of the messy wetness of the darkroom. So I guess I’m asking, do you know if something like what I’m describing is available Today?
Hello! I'm a big fan of your art and I wanted you to ask if you please could upload a picture, you did not edit. I love your filters, did you created them or do you use Software like VSCO?
Thank you. Let me see if I understand. You would like me to upload an unedited photo. Presumably to compare it to that same photo edited? I can see how that might be useful/interesting for some. The thing is, I don’t usually use filters or presets — certainly not by anyone else (I haven’t heard of VSCO). Except for a few saved tonal curves, I more or less edit each photo individually. But I have considered doing a separate blog where I show the edited and unedited photo, and then provide a Lightroom preset at some minimal cost. Would that be of interest?
Eduardo, you still are my favorite photographer around these days. Your work is natural, authentic, and touches the souls of your subjects. I highly look up to you. Thank you for your continual inspiration and humility. Cheers from Seattle, Andre.
Hello, your pictures are getting really better than they were in 2012. I find it very interesting to compare them. Your last ones are really sensitive and have a personnal touch in eyes, mouths, colors... I think you know what I mean because it is a lot of work to achieve. Great ! I love your work.
Hei there. Thank you very much for the comment and the kind words. I actually went back and compared, and it’s definitely interesting to see the differences. Working day in, day out on photos, one photograph per day, one rarely feels any change, but I guess over a couple of years the changes accumulate, and it’s rewarding to step back and notice the trajectory at that scale. Thanks!
Okay so I'm in a photography class, and for our final we have to write an essay on a famous photographer, and while you may not be entirely famous, I really like your photos. Is there any information you could give me to include?
Hei, that’s wonderful to hear. If you check out my archive, you will find there are more or less two kinds of posts: my photos and answers to questions; every once in a while there’s also an interview. I’m willing to bet you’ll find there more information than you’ll need for your essay! And if it that’s not the case, I would be more than happy to answer any other questions too. All the best.
I recently found your photos on Facebook because you shot a friend of mine. I liked your emphasis on natural beauty, but I was somewhat taken aback by the lack of diversity in the ethnicity and body-type of the models. It's great that you "tend not to pay attention to ethnicity", but wouldn't you acknowledge that beautiful women in Bloomington do come in many different colors and shapes? Would you consider using your talent to show this?
Yes, I love the diversity of Bloomington. I only wish more people would be up for shooting! So send me a message if you are interested :). I consider people of any size, any ethnicity, any age. Although I’ve never turned anyone down, this project is most certainly not about cataloguing colors and shapes. I love how everyone sees beauty differently. This is how I see it. I’ll leave the Bloomington census art project to others.
Eduardo, You're work is absolutely amazing. You photography flawlessly, the lighting and shadow is sheer perfection. As a fellow photographer, I couldn't be more jealous, nor more inspired by what you get from the women you photograph. Would love to grab a cup of coffee next time I pass through Bloomington and pick your brain for 10 min, Excellent work!
Hei, that’s wonderful to hear. Thank you! I’m all up for coffee. Just let me know.
Your photography is awesome. Pretty inspirational! I'm always trying to develop my own photographing skills, so I got some questions.. Which objective do you use? How do you light your models? How do you edit them? Have you any tips concerning taking "interesting" photos? Best, Vivien
Hei Vivien, thanks for the wonderful comment - always encouraging to hear. I use a 50mm f/1.4 lens. I shoot indoors using natural light from windows. I edit them in Lightroom, playing around with the curves and sliders here and there, nothing too special. Interesting photos!? I have no idea. I shoot what I am in love with. Photographing is itself my process of finding interestingness in the world.
Besides curves do you play with ; fill light, exposure and brightness. I try to work with curves and my photos tent to look gray. What would you suggest?
Yes, I play with a little bit of everything — whatever makes the photo feel good. I’m not sure what the gray thing could be about, sorry. I’d have to know more details and have a chance to play around with it myself.