Object and Subject


Photography has become one of the most widespread acce$$ible hobbies – both technologically and gear wise – therefore quite tortured by social media happy snappers.

I have nothing against family memories or record shots; “I was here”. At the end of the road they will be your most treasured and dear photos ever taken. I, myself, take a fair amount of these and share some with friends.

FB and Instagram accounts pride themselves in the amount of uploaded shutter pressings, sunsets, selfies, lippies (protuded lips), booties (human sitting cushioning silhouettes) and suggested boobies. How much of it is photographically decently executed? Well…

Arty or compositionally elaborate “records” are a different story. I chose to start the entry’s title upsidedown as often socially shared snaps are.

It should have been “Subject and Object”. Before pressing the shutter release you need to know what is the subject of your photograph and the object or reason for taking it.

Start from A to Z and you will find a zillion subject tags. Interrogate your subject so the shot gets to the object. 

First letter of the alphabet, “A” for “Aliens”.

“Repositioning”, A Street Shot.


“Street Photography” is one of the most difficult genres of the art. Not in vain it has as a reference such an enormous name as Cartier-Bresson and his “Decisive Moment”. That “split second” that makes the difference from a snapshot to a good photograph in its own right.

Two weeks ago I heard about a demonstration to take place in Montreal and decided to set off for it. It is perfectly legal, here, in Canada to photograph police officers at duty at public venues as long as it does not compromise their security or their assignment. 

My pre-set idea was to capture some close-ups, demonstration activists and photographers; which I accomplished. Yet, all that remained: documenting the scene.

I normally, when there is an interesting subject, take two, three – and sometimes more – shots. I saw this unit commander with a camera attached to his helmet with some sort of resemblance to Robocop. First, I thought of isolating him, but first photographers packing around, then passers-by the start of a gesture.

A lady passes by, wait, she passes past him, shoot. There it is. 


Spooky Dry

Spooky Dry

Planning photographs is quite a healthy practice. There are anecdotes of photographers visiting locations several times, sketching the landscape, dreaming it; light, clouds… before a single shot was ever fired.
However, there are shots that you come across – as long as your mind is set to looking for them – and you can’t resist and plan on the go. Our mostly digital era is lenient in this regard.
Got this one while raking leaves in the backyard. Most people associate Autumn or Fall – as your preference might be – with placid long exposed waterfalls or creeks ornamented with coloured leaves.
What’s the final shade of colour they will get before being dumped in leaf bags and disposed…
That’s what I tried to capture in a rather spooky way.Did I succeed?

The Story Teller

The Story Teller

When you hit the street with the idea of photographing people, your mind has to be faster than the shutter release of your camera.
Personally, I do not like persons being aware that they will become the subject of my shot. There are some considerations to support this choice:
1) If people notice that they being photographed they will change from natural mood to a pose.
2) They will turn their head away to avoid the lens.
3) They will cover their face or even scold you on your intention to photograph them.
All of these will kill a candid street shot. So, try to shoot from a distance with your longer lens and use shutter speed to freeze expressions and avoid motion blur.

In Camera

In Camera
The digital era has brought an easy to access dark room (computer and software) and unexpensive shooting experiences. 10 frames per second…
In a former post, I mentioned people with big cameras in auto mode. This one makes reference to people with no matter what camera and the hope that software will make the job they were not able to carry out, taking the shot.
“Worry not, I will fix it”! Means to me “Shoot happy-trigger PS will make the job”.
Try to reduce PS to the minimum. The closest your in camera shot gets to the idea you had, the best.
Did you happen to know that some photographers visit locations before actually carrying their camera and sketch the shot they have in mind?
Plan your shot, most important of rules. Hard to break.

My Neighbour’s Cosmos

My Neighbour's Cosmos

A week ago these beauties were radiant, full of colour and energy. They proudly stood in my neighbour’s garden. They gallantly moved to the rhythm of the wind.
Little attention was paid to them, by their owners, passers by and me.
I am glad I discovered them before the first breezes announcing “Jack Frost” arrived. They are now gone. Below zero evenings were more than they could stand. Now I will have to wait until next year to see their rebirth, growth and bloom. I promise I will pay them their deserved attention and some of my photos will be devoted to them.

Higher resolution @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/luisportelles/10039362305/

End of Season

End of Season

Photographic inspiration may come from different sources and even an impromptu may lead to a nice off the average or common shot.
I know that quite a recurring shot has to do with autumn colours. River/Lake side reflexions sound a bit like “deja vu”. It doesn´t mean they are not nice… but why not try something different.
The surface of the off-the-ground pool starting to freeze. It had almost stilled the twigs and leafs.
Thought it would be a different autumn photo.

Photo Contests

Photo Contests

Even though I spend a lot of time thinking about and submitting photographs to photography competitions, I do refuse to pay entry fees. It doesn’t mean that I belong to the stingy category of human mortals.
When it comes to public voting awards, most of the times, he/she who is best “socially connected” gets the award. When it comes to judged competitions, a name can make a difference if it has been awarded a given prize or if it has a certain visibility in the wanna-be-considered photographic world.
There is another consideration to take into account when someting is being judged by one person or a team of them. It’s called personal taste, aesthetic beliefs or vision.
Today I almost had a stroke while checking the results of the local Metro Photo Challenge. An image somehow similar to one I had submitted won one of the local awards.
When I first confronted the showing part of the image, I said to myself; “Looks like, but that’s not me”.
Aperture, less or more light coming into the sensor, exposure, how long it comes into the sensor; are two of the “must knows” when you take photography enthusiastically. A tad plus or less remains within anyone’s preferences and even if you are planning to make a decent print to decorate a wall; the wall color will incide into the post processing.
Mine, got past the judges eyes, even tought its straight vertical and horizontal lines, framing, sense of dimension and perspective (tree and wall) in contrast to the eye hurting over processed, saturated and exposed shot of the same place with a different angle and composition.
You can decide which you like best. I am happy and proud of mine.

The Child in Us

The Child in Us

It is said that the child in us never dies with adult age. I agree with that. No matter what group age we get into, we will continue to have toys and play with them.
You name it, sports, tools, collectibles, actual toys and even technology.
I always try to find new ways to inspire my photos. My youngest kid loves this ball and I often play with him with it.
Today, I saw it around and spinned it then I thought of taking a few shots at while spinning.
Maybe I am getting into Halloween a week in advance, you never know