Ciao Eduardo! I just discovered your work by way of an article on natural light portraiture. To say I was moved can't adequately describe what has just happened after viewing your images and learning a little more about your approach and methods. My personal ethos has always been to keep learning, always. The lesson I've learned today, stop fixating on flash and strobe lighting. I just wanted to say thank you for tickling my brain just enough to help me break out of my self-imposed limits!!
Hei there, this is really wonderful to hear. Thank you for the kind words and for saying hi.
I am still waiting to see a video of you working and how you interact with the girls. Will continue waiting :) and then when I see it I will be complete
haha, you are too kind. Thank you. Besides all the academic work, my main two goals right now are: (a) to publish at least two pictures per week (I was doing once a day last year), and (b) to finish the book I’ve been working on. As soon as I get the book done, I promise to look into doing a video of a shoot.
Tu Trabajo impresionante, muy inspirador para alguien como yo que empece con film a los 12 anos, luego anduve digital por unos años, conocí lomography y me Volví a enamorar de film, tengo 18 film cameras. Ahora vuelvo a digital y me interesan mucho los retratos y aprender a hacerlos tan bien como los tuyos. Un par de preguntas, siempre usas solamente luz natural? Y, que tanta post-edición llevan tus fotografías?
Gracias por el comentario. A mi me encantan ambos medios, digital y film - siempre que puedo trato de experimentar con ambos. Acerca de la luz: Si, utilizo solamente luz natural. Cuando comencé, experimente con luz artificial y: (1) no me gusto el proceso - mi atención se perdió hacia como yo quería las cosas, y menos a observar la belleza del momento, y (2) no me gusto el resultado, la luz natural produce unas gradientes y unas oscuridades que para mi son esenciales. Acerca de post-edicion. Si, yo edito las fotos hasta que me producen un buen sentimiento de satisfacción. Usualmente solo hago ediciones globales, ajustes de color, temperatura, exposición, highlights, etc. Esporádicamente hago también algunos ajustes locales de ‘dodging and burning’ - pero alrededor de solo una de cada diez imágenes. Usualmente hago dos o tres copias de la foto con diferentes colores y tonalidades, y luego escojo la que mas me gusta. Saludos.
Your works are incredible. I don't know if it has been asked but how do you go about shooting people? Can you tell a little about the process?
Thank you for the comment. The question of how I shoot people is a little too broad/vague, I’m not sure how to answer it (or perhaps easier to answer in conversation in person). Perhaps you can turn it into one or a series of more specific questions? I’d be more than happy to answer more concrete things.
Hello, Eduardo. Nice to see you are using film. I recently retired my film camera and shifted to digital. It's actually funny, cause it was by observing your 5D pictures that I started paying attention to some details, like the way you tuned the vibrance, then I managed to approach my digital ones more to the film look I love. You, in the other way, moved to film and got a look very similar to your digital pictures. Kinda confusing, hope I made myself clear. Anyway, congrats, amazing results!
Haha. Thanks for the comment. That’s all very interesting. I actually almost always shoot with both film and digital. It’s just that I rarely ever develop the film - so I have a few boxes stacked with shot but undeveloped film. The main reason for developing these recent film photos is because I recently did a few shoots with only 35mm film. Not because I wanted, but because I was traveling for a conference and I didn’t have any expectations of shooting, so I only took my Canon AE-1 for fun. I ended up getting in touch with a couple of people who knew about my photography, and they suggested a few really cool people to shoot.
Hola Eduardo, acerca de las últimas fotos que has publicado. Las tomaste con una Canon AE-1, dándome un rol por MercadoLibre, me tope con un precio muy accesible, cerca de 2,000 pesos mexicanos (equivalente a 150 dólares). Me parece realmente sorprendente como has podido conseguir un resultado similar (en mi opinión mejor) que con la Mark que usas habitualmente. Por último que equipo usaste para escanear el negativo?
Gracias. Si, la Canon AE-1 es bastante accesible. Es una cámara muy fácil de usar. El negativo fue escaneado en una Noritsu por IndieFilm.
In your opinion, what would make your photographs perfect?
Perfection implies an end goal. My focus is not on the final product. Most certainly not on some measure of its perfection. I’m much more interested in the process. I’m concerned with making photographing something that I enjoy - all parts of it, from arranging with my subjects, to shooting them, to selecting and editing and sharing. I even try to make organizing the photos, and keeping them well archived something that I enjoy - and weirdly enough I do. I guess I believe that if I do everything because I love doing it, and if I put my heart in every little aspect of it, then something of genuine interest will be portrayed in the finished product.
Hi, I believe I've said this before but I really love your work, do you have any expositions? or have you ever been able to show your work somewhere else besides social networks? I wish I lived in the states so I could see it live and big and with the right lighting or maybe even see a session, anyways, thank you for your amazing work its always a pleasure to come across your photos :)
Hei, thank you so much for the kind words. I haven’t had any expositions. But I am working on self-publishing a book. I’ll be announcing it in the next month. I’m making sure the quality of the prints in the book are absolutely perfect. So as far as experiencing my work, the book is probably the best way to go.
im so amazed by your photographs that they inspired me so much to draw them. I was wondering if i could draw some of your amazing work, and ill give you credit by telling is your work that im drawing. Im so inlove with them, you are truly a fenomenal true artist. Espero tu respuesta :) -Elena
Hei Elena, thank you for the kind words. I would absolutely love to see your drawings of any of my work. Keep me updated!
Do you ever travel to Chicago to shoot? Bloomington isn't too far away.
I love visiting Chicago, but mostly just to walk around and enjoy it. I haven’t really shot there. If you have a cool space where we could shoot, then I’d definitely consider it. Why don’t you send me a message to discuss.
Eduardo, your work is stunning. As a budding filmmaker, I'd like to ask you a personal question of your commercial success. Feel free to ignore, but I have a feeling you wouldn't mind answering, in fact you might enjoy sharing your experiences. Your shots oozes passion. Are you doing well financially pursuing your dream? - Robin.
Hei there. I don’t do photography commercially. In fact, I deliberately make it a point to not make a profit with it, even when I’m offered. I make a living as a scientist - my other passion. I consider myself lucky to be able to do photography divorced from profit. As far as I can tell, this is the only way I would be happy to do it.
ps. That I am an academic should give you a hint that I do not pursue financial aspirations, in general. I’m in this life purely to derive joy from attempting to produce genuine contributions to the arts and sciences.
Is there a reason you don't photograph many women of color?
No, there isn’t. Regardless of what ‘color’ you categorize yourself as, if you are interested in being photographed by me simply send me a message. This project for me is about raw, natural beauty - regardless of anything else. One thing this project is not, however, is the census.
I wish you lived in or closer to Texas...I love your photos and although I've never seriously modeled before I'd love to do so for your work.
:) Thanks for the kind words. Austin is most certainly high on my to-visit list. About working together, there’s a certain rawness and sincerity about working with people who haven’t modeled before that I love. So I’m always glad to have the chance to work with non-models.
I am excited to announce I’ll be making a second book, partly to celebrate 4444 likes over on the old Facebook page - as I had promised. I enjoyed and learnt so much from making the first one, 3333. I’ve been brainstorming a bunch of ideas about how to make this second one a lot better. The book will be a really beautiful linen hardcover. It will contain 44 of my all time favorite photos - about 90% of them will be from existing published work, and 10% will be photos that I have never shown before. I will also include some text that explains a little bit what this project is about for me and why I’m doing it. I will make more copies this time (I only made 2 copies of 3333), but still a relatively small and limited amount. As with 3333, I will keep the first copy and give away the second. I will sell the rest of the copies, signed and numbered, for a price that will be as close to the production as I can make it. So, as soon as things calm down, I will make an announcement with more details about the book. In the meantime, thank you so much for the love and support of this project. (And I guess next time I’ll have to set a goal based on a tumblr metric instead :).
The situation continues to worsen in Venezuela. Over the last 7 days students and others have taken to the streets to protest against the government. There are many concerns, but they all revolve around, or are the product of, a regime that is too powerful. The situation has been tense for the last 15 years, but over the last week it has gotten worse quickly. Amidst the growing number of reports of military violence against protesters on the streets, including several deaths, there are now also reports of patrolling and violence towards individuals in their private property. The persecution is being executed not just by the government’s military and police, but also by a series of well-known seriously armed paramilitary groups. Beyond the violent oppression, two of the most worrying things are the incarceration of one of the main leaders of the opposition, and the lack of serious reporting by the media (as with most other branches of power, the media is now also largely at the service of the government). The government has made it clear it will not back down, nor will it engage in serious dialogue with those who oppose them. To circumvent conversation, they’ve adhered monotonically to the line that any opposition is merely the product of imperialist forces.
Unless you are Venezuelan, there is a chance you are not aware of the human rights violations occurring there now. Indeed, there hasn’t been much coverage from the international news outlets, which is understandable within the context of all the also serious violations going on in Ukraine, Egypt, Yemen and Nigeria at the moment.
So besides worrying for the safety of my family and friends, I go back and forth between being cautiously optimistic and being completely disheartened. There are many examples of peaceful struggles overthrowing regimes. But in the thick of it, practically, it all seems so hard to organize. And for every peaceful struggle that ended successfully, I wonder how many other struggles failed by either turning violent or simply being oppressed. In the meantime, Venezuelans are out on the street fighting back.