Los Nevados

“Los Nevados”

A journey through the paths of… spikes to the wind, roots of our land!

I would like you to enjoy the following video in which I show a little part of the grandness of my country, Venezuela. I made this video as a memory of an excursion we (my wife and I) took five years ago, and that, without expecting it at all, it deeply changed our life.

This was our first real driving, horse-riding, and trekking mountain adventure but, suddenly, something extraordinary happened along the way. After three days of riding and walking around that majestic scenery, surrounded by the highest picks we can find in our land, and meeting such extraordinary people we were physically destroyed but with our souls  full of joy, sense of belonging, admiration for nature and, specially, an indescribable fascination for the mountain.

So it was as I saw it:

(Music: “Compai Eliodoro” played by Violines Típicos Andinos)



After-Before Friday Week 15

The photo I posted this week was taken in the rural small town of my country, called “Los Nevados”. This picturesque village is located in Merida State, in the middle of the “Sierra Nevada National Park”, in the Andina Mountain Range, at 2700 m height.

Not big effort in edition (as I often do); besides the basic routine of levels and contrast adjustments, this time, I practiced trying to recover some details from the deep shadow, produced by the strong contrast, using layer mask:

  1. I applied my normal adjustments in levels and contrast.
  2. Duplicated the final layer and created a mask.
  3. A new considerable level adjustment to lighten up the darkest zones and get some textures in the porch of the house as well as in the faces.
  4. Applied the brush to the mask over the rest of the image to get back the previous levels.
  5. Finally, I cropped the image to straighten it and focusing the attention mainly in that porch context.

I hope you enjoy this one and the rest of the submissions to this week  ABFriday Forum, wonderfully hosted by Stacy Fischer at Visual Ventury.

My Photolanguage – Virtual Blog Tour

This post is in response to Stacy Fischer’s invitation to participate in this kind of social chain, called Virtual Blog Tour, where people are asked to answer  four simple questions about their work. After reading Stacy’s and some other previous post, besides my own one, I’ve realized that the information given, by answering those questions, is not only enough but accurate to fulfill any About Page. So, as our About Page is already done, time ago, this will work as its perfect complement.

What am I working on?

Dough I sometimes (two or three times a year) am paid for making the photography for two dance schools, Photography is not my way of making a living; so, I’m just an enthusiast of this visual art. I’ve been formed in this feel through free workshops from 2002 till the present. I have recently finished the last one, which was based on “Photo Essay”. So, I’m working on selecting and organizing my definitive sets of images that will take part of this work. I hope posting very soon an excerpt from it.

Apart from that, and as the other main reason of this blog (hence its name), I continue learning a language that is not my native one. Yes, I intentionally chose English language for my blog on porpoise, just for me to be forced to practice it. I am a Spanish native speaker and, having academically studied English language, I’ve never had the chance to be exposed to it; so, at least in reading and writing, I’m improving my skills (at least, I think so!).

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, I think my blog is just another one among hundreds of photography blogs in WordPress, and with no great pretensions between the large amounts of immensely talented photographers who expose their work here. What I consider, not really different from others but, at least, characteristic of my blog content (and my photographic work in general, as well) is that I try not to post just snapshots but photos that truly tell a story; the story I want to tell. I mean, “How” I see the world, or “What” I see from the world. They can be a photographic series about a specific theme (what I like the most) or a single photo that tells the whole story, as for the different photo challenges and forums where I participate.

       2B   8B   B

From my previous post Inspiring

Why do I write/create what I do?

I do photography just for my entire pleasure. I’m not  professional and (I think) I’ll never be. My photos are not for sell and I’m not seeking for awards or fame as a photographer; even when the artistic environment in which I develop, some times push me to participate in some exhibit events. I’m a completely visual person, I don’t like to read so much and I feel the need for images. I can’t imagine my life without a camera and without enjoying images from anybody else. Mainly, those photos of others are what inspire me to produce my own ones

How does your writing/creating process work?

As I’ve said before, my intent in photography is to capture and show my vision of the world. In that sense, I don’t try to create a world different from the one I live in, I just go out to find it and catch it. I often question my creative capacity because I don’t like arranging the setting for having shot. Only when working with a model (hopefully it’s very once in a while) I’m obliged to, but, actually, I don’t feel very comfortable. Besides that, I don’t really enjoy too much working on post processing images; I do it just for necessity.

Then, how is that it works?! Well, I definitely think that all has to do with the process of seeking for, finding, capturing and, most importantly, selecting the image (or images) that truly reflects what you actually wish to share, and, finally, determining the way you think is the best for your work to be shown. I consider that the keyword for my creative work is the discourse. Definitely, to me, the consistency and coherence of the visual discourse of the images is what really matters in photography. I hope that, at this point, some of you understand why I’ve been so critical and also I’ve awarded, and celebrated, some of your photos. I believe that constructive criticism is the best tool we have in this media for our work to improve (or even for confirming we are doing well).  That’s why I don’t use to just like a photo or a post but, instead, I always comment why, or what, I like or dislike. And I expect the same from you in return (as some already do)!

1B   9B   14B

From one of my first posts Rhapsody in Blue

And the Tour goes to…

Now that you’ve known a bit more about my work, I’d like you to meet other bloggers that I really admire and thoroughly enjoy their work. I’d like to introduce you to:

Nicole Melanchon, of Thirdeyemom. I love the way this talented and experienced lady promotes and practice volunteerism and goodwill. For sure, as me, you’ll learn and enjoy other cultures trough her magnificent posts full of wonderful images which truly reinforced the message that she intents to send.

Eleanor Marriot of An Enchanted Eye. Never has it been said better: Eleanor owns “An enchanted eye”. Visit your blog and check it out for yourself. Mainly street photography, her work is brilliant; beautiful, delicate and full of content. You’ll find pictures that will make you think of more than one amazing story.

Both, Nicole and Eleanor, are posting their response on September 1st,;so, stay tuned to know more about them

I really appreciate you’ve taken the time for reading this post and, in consequence, I’m open to hear about any concern, critic or suggestion.

After-Before Friday Week 14

This time I posted a photo of a representation of a very traditional popular festivity, here in Venezuela called “Diablos Danzantes” (Dancing Devils). This is a Religious festivity celebrated at the Corpus Christi Day. They are named according to the location, being the Dancing Devils of Yare, in Miranda State. In this case, the photo is from the Dancing Devils of Patanemo, in Carabobo State. For more information about them, just in case you’re interested, click here.

The edition for this photo follows the same basic steps I used to do, as it is new levels and contrast/bright layers. Additionally, I incremented, just a little bit, the color saturation and, this time, I used a layer mask in order to get back some details and textures that were lost when getting brighter the highlights, especially in the white-crocheting-veil of the mask.

I hope you like it as well as the other submissions to this week ABFriday Forum at Visual Ventury!

After-Before Friday Week 12

For this ABFriday Week 12 event, I submitted another photo from Manaure, in Cabo de La Vela, Goajira region, Colombia.

Nothing extraordinary about edition, just my basic procedure for almost all of my pictures: Adjustment of level, contrast and saturation, in this case  to highlight the contrast of that combination of cold and warm colors, and accentuate a bit the textures in the sky and in the muddy ground.

I  “cleaned” a bit the scene by removing some of the solid waste on the ground with the parch tool and, at the end, I also decided to remove the man going by at the left, in the background, in order to get the image more neat, and having no more complementary elements in the context but the boats. With that, my intent is to center the attention on the workers control booth and the bikes. Honestly, I’m still not very sure if I should remove him or not; at times, I think that he is an important element to complete the reading of the image.

I’d appreciate any opinion or suggestions in that (or any other respect; so, feel free to let me know your thought!