Tuesday, 30 March 2010


I correct exams without stopping to be ready at the beginning of Eastern. Dozens of CDs, with photo exercises, are stacked on my desk. At the same time, my cat Canela (Cinnamon) takes the arrival of spring to come into heat. Their merciless meows seriously impede my concentration. I take a moment that she goes out the window to close it and leave her a good time on the terrace.

Poor little thing. She looks sad, doesn’t she?


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More and more people keep telling me. I will end by taking his advice. On Saturday I was biking in Barcelona, down the Ramblas to the Barceloneta. I have never noticed it too much, but photographers have a kind of chip that connects all of a sudden when we see an image that draws our attention. In this case it was the statue and the light the responsible. There was a light mist and the backlighting from the sun in the morning produced a remarkable effect. "What a pity I did not carry a camera" I thought. But then I realized that I did. Precisely because I was going to a practical class, next to the beach, with students from IDEP. I went with the bike and waited to catch some interesting character, though it would only appear his silhouette. Once satisfied with the photo, I went to learn more about the statue. It was Ròmul Bosch i Alsina, a statue made by Robert Krier in 1992. Bosch i Alsina was a physician and the owner of shipping companies, including Pinillos which made trips to Cuba. He was also mayor of Barcelona.

How much you learn taking pictures!


During the filming of the documentary The Shadow of the Iceberg on the Robert Capa’s most famous photo, Death of a Republican Soldier, its directors asked me my opinion (reflected in the acknowledgments at the end of the film). This is what I answered, "I always had some further questions about the authenticity of the photo. The argument of "knowing Capa it would have been impossible that him had to tried to pass that image for what it was not" do not serve me. Precisely, a poker player like him, if he had encountered with a bluff with large bets on the stake he would have continued without batting an eyelid, making believe to the others that he had a poker of aces instead of a couple of twos. But my biggest doubts about the authenticity of the photo came to me after reading the book by Susan Sontag’s book, Facing the pain of others, that was published in Spain in 2003. I want to stress that I totally agree on two assertions of capital importance of Ms. Sontag:

1) On page 67 she writes (my edition is the British one, Penguin Books): "The point of Death of a Republican Soldier is that is a real moment, captured fortuitously; it loses all value should the falling soldier turn out to have been performing for Capa’s camera”.There are many people who felt that the image is a symbol against fascism and that their role and importance is the same whether the photo is mounted or not. I repeat: "Not to me!” Curiously Richard Wheeler, the historian of Capa, called fascists, Raul and Hugo Riebenbaur Domenech, the producers of The Shadow of the Iceberg, for exposing their doubts about the reality of the photograph.

2) Page 31: "Capa, the most celebrated figure in a generation of politically engaged photographers whose work centered on war and victimhood.



Page 69: "What assured the guarantee of authenticity of Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed film re-creation of the Omaha Beach landing on D-Day in Saving Private Ryan (1988) was that it was based, among other sources, on the photographs taken with immense bravery by Robert Capa during the landing.”


I am not worried about the history of the photo. I would mind if the whole myth of Capa would rest solely on this picture. But besides it, they are all the other images captured by his camera, the founding of Magnum, and his death in Indochina "with the boots on." My admiration and consideration for Robert Capa remains the same.


More paragraphs of the book in which Susan Sontag doubt on the picture. Page 42: "The suspicion that Capa’s Death of a Republican Soldier titled The Falling Soldier in the authoritative compilation of Capa’s work-may not show what it is said to show (one hypothesis is that it records a training exercise near the front line) continues to haunt discussions of war photography".
Page 54: "The Spanish Republican soldier has just died, if we may believe the claim made for that picture, which Capa took at some distance from his subject".

And one of the main arguments: Page 29: “Capa’s already much admired picture, taken (according to the photographer) on September 5, 1936, was originally published in Vu on September 23, 1936, above a second photograph, taken from the same angle and in the same light, of another Republican soldier collapsing, his rifle leaving his right hand, on the same spot on the hillside; that photograph was never reprinted. The first picture also appeared soon after in a newspaper,París-Soir."

What was happening in Cerro Muriano? Was Capa photographing the Republican soldiers beeing shot by pairs?
For me, the ultimate proof would be in the negatives or tear sheets of that image. But, curiously, they never appeared.

And finally, a thought of the Catalan National Geographic photographer Tino Soriano: "Ever since I saw The Shadow of the Iceberg I didn’t had the slightest doubt that the controversial photograph “Death of a republican soldier” was a fitting.


Sandra, 32 years old is the director in Barcelona of an important publicity agency.To photograph her for a magazine assignement, I used a strobe through a translucent umbrella to soften the light.


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This is an attempt to leverage the Internet to a solidary aim. I’ll tell you the story. Marisol is a young woman, and a “mileurista” ( meaning she earns less than 1000 Euros a month) as the 63% of Spanish workers . She struggles to make ends meet, living in an apartment without an elevator, in the district of La Ribera in Barcelona and has a cat, Dixi. Dixi, a few days ago fell into the street from the terrace of the building. Unfortunately I know what that is. I have a cat Taca, which I call the flying cat that fell twice on the street from the height of eight stories and one in an inner yard. Someone told me that cats have no memory, though the end up learning. Taca is the living proof. It’s been eight years since her last fall, and now she walks like an expert on the ledge. It is indisputable proof of Darwin's theories.
Marisol picked up his badly injured kitten, and without hesitation, took her to a veterinarian. Dixi was more than a week under observation, and the vet x-rays her, and made analysis and surgery in her left leg. Result: a bill similar to Marisol's monthly salary that, of course, she can not afford.
It occurred to me a possible solution. I made a portrait of Marisol and Dixi and we sold over the Internet to pay the vet bill. 100 copies numbered and signed by me, the portrait at a price of 10 Euros.

Enough time has passed and the story worked out. Marisol paid the bill and Dixi, cured, soon will have kittens.


NIKON D 700, 50mm NIKKOR F.1,8, 3.200 ASA, 1/30 F:2,8

Here is some examples of photos taken on my recent trip to South Africa with the Nikon D700 and my opinion about the camera. In this picture we see a lion cub, part of a lion’s pride starting a hunt at night besides Kruger Park. It is an impossible picture almost for any other camera. The darkness was total, and two all-terrain vehicles followed the group. The animals of the park have become accustomed to cars and act as if they did not exist. The lion is illuminated by a torch from the vehicle and I photographed it with a 50mm f: 1.8 at a speed of 1 / 30 and 3200 ASA. The incredible capacity of the D700 to shoot, with little detriment to the quality, at ISOS so high, as does her older sister and much more expensive D3, is a major revolution in photography.

NIKON D700, 300 mm NIKKOR F:4, 1.600 ASA. 1/500 F:4

NIKON D700, NIKKOR 300 mm F:4, 200 aSA, 1/500 F:4

The Nikon D700 camera is very solid and sturdy, easy to use and incorporates new developments that were of great help to me as the dynamic AF area autofocus with which the camera automatically detects the subject and selects the focus point. It is very useful for moving subjects and was crucial to photograph this couple of impalas. It was 7 am and there was little light, the power to shoot at a 1600 ASA was key. In continuous shooting mode you cab take up to 5 per second photos. Later in the day, the light grew, and I was able to photograph this family of warthogs at 200 ASA.

NIKON D700 ,NIKKOR 28 mm F:2,8, 3.200 ASA, 1/15 F:2,8

Dinner outdoors in Makakatana Bay Lodge, inside the natural reserve of St Lucia. On similar occasions, with another camera, I would not have taken the photo. After getting up so early in the morning, and a whole day of work, you want to relax and quietly enjoy the delicious food accompanied by a good South African wine without disturbing all the guests. I could have used a strobe, with the power reduced to a minimum but, even so, I would have destroyed the warm and intimate lighting. If I had to take the picture I would have used the tripod with all the hassle involved, but with the Nikon D700 I simply adjust the sensitivity to ASA 3.2oo and shoot.

NIKON D700, NIKKOR 20 mm 2,8, 1.600 ASA, 1/30 F:4

It was my room imitating a Zulu hut, although much more spacious, in Stewart's Farm. If not within the story, sometimes I take the photo and others I don't. I need to mount the tripod, level it ... It takes your time. Here, as in the previous photo, I just set the ASA dial to 1600 and shot with a 20 mm. lens. Because the D700 is full frame, the 20 mm covers a very wide angle. It is incredible: it seems that the photo is taken at 100 ASA.

This is a very small sample of the possibilities of the D700, but the best images are saved up to the moment to be published in the magazine that has the rights.



Mossos d’Esquadra’s Agents, the Catalan Autonomous Police, came in the early hours of this last Saturday in the two largest Catalonia’s prostitution centres, Riviera and Saratoga, and closed them, as a precautionary measure.
In 2000 I photographed inside the Riviera, using a hidden camera, for Public magazine in which I was the Head of Photography.

I don’t like doing this kind of photography, always related to investigation subjects. Early in my career, I did many of these photos for Interviú magazine. I think someone had to do it and I did. They were very valuable as a news but not as photographs. I entered inside the Riviera together with the publisher that had been previously. I used a F80 Nikon, with 28mm f: 2.8 wide-angle, loaded with colour negative film Fuji 800 ASA. The camera was hidden in a dark raincoat, rolled on my right arm, where the lens peeked by the sleeve. I shoot in an automatic program, without looking at waist high, with my left hand holding a beer, politely rejecting the proposals, more or less attractive, from the ladies approaching me.

When I run out of film, I went to the toilet and put another one. In the two rolls there were many shots that did not turn out well, but a few were suitable enough such as those shown here. Before publishing the story, I consulted Josep Cruanyes, the UPIFC lawyer, which certainly is the person in this country who knows more about image rights. Clients and prostitutes can’t be recognizable - said Cruanyes, what it was neither my intention nor that of the magazine,- because they could sue you. As for a possible demand from the Riviera -it was another possibility that I was concerned about - you must know that places hasn’t got image rights pointed the lawyer-. After that information, we published the story in the October 2000 issue and titled it Pimp connexion. Powerful organizations controlle the multimillionaire business of the big sex centres.

Monday, 29 March 2010



First of all, I must make clear that I am not a super analyst but a professional photographer with some experience. For lovers of thoroughly done laboratory tests I recommend you to consult the website of DoX Mark (it’s in my links). I would be more in line with Ken Rockwell (another web I consult fairly often), a professional photographer who tests cameras and lenses in the field, with a lot of common sense, and who does not care to ensure that a 500 Euros camera gives better results than a 3000 Euros one, if that is the case. I tried the D90 for taking pictures of the Els Tres Tombs horse parade. The resulting images were of high quality with vivid and saturated colors. The camera is easy to use, with all the controls close at hand, a fact that not always happens with other models of the competence. For the ISO test I photographed a tangerines still life (my favourite fruit) and where we could not miss a tomato (indispensable in a Catalonia house to prepare the famous pa amb tomàquet). The lens used in the D90 and D80 was a 28mm f: 2.8 Nikkor. The still life picture with the D700 was different, but serves for comparison, and in this case I used a 50mm f: 1.8 Nikkor.

The results were as expected, completely in line with the study done by DOX: the Nikon D700 is unbeatable at high ISOS, it has a score of 2303 out of a 2526 total, while the 977 of the Nikon D90 beats the 679 score of the excellent Nikon D300, well over the 524 of the Nikon D80. With the Nikon D90 we can work at 1600 ASA with excellent results.


NIKON D80 1.600 ASA

NIKON D90 1.600 ASA

NIKON D700 3.200 ASA

NIKON D80 1.600 ASA

NIKON D90 1.600 ASA

NIKON D700 1.600 ASA

NIKON D700 3.200 ASA

Okay, we can not compete with the Nikon D700 at ISOS such as 3200 and 6400, but we professional photographers do not usually work with such high ISOS, as l Ken Rockwell said, working under poor light conditions we add light (strobes) or, as I would say, we use the tripod. Is it worth paying the triple for the Nikon D700 or almost 10 times more for the new 24 megapixel Nikon D3x? Of course, both cameras have a more solid construction and a full frame sensor, but we can use the money left over (those who still have it in this times of crisis) to invest in lenses, for example. The Nikon D90 is placed eighth in the best world cameras ranking done by DoX Mark (the Nikon D700 is in the third place and the Nikon D80in the 29th). The Nikon D 90, which has a next-generation sensor, gets a better ranking than the Nikon D300 (placed 13th in the DoX Mark ranking) and besides, we can take video wit it.
In a few words: a great camera at a very fair prize, about 900 Euros.

Saturday, 27 March 2010


I didn’t really see what happened. I just saw this image. I imagine there was a kind of accident and a vehicle, perhaps a public bus, loose some oil.

Friday, 26 March 2010


If I don’t see it I could not have believed it. Not only all humans are taking photographs now, but also the birds. In this video sent by my friend, El Periodico’s photographer, Albert Bertràn, we can see British naturalist David Attenborough showing it. It turns out that this Australian lyre bird is able to play, to perfection, any kind of sound. It imitates the songs of other bird species that are completely deceived. But the surprising thing is that it mimics the shutter of a camera, motor drive included. To end its amazing show, why not a chainsaw?

Saturday, 20 March 2010


Time flies. A year ago in this blog I published pictures of the popular chocolate party, in La Barceloneta quarter, organized by the Santa Luisa de Marillac social organization on occasion of the feast of her patron. I have explained on several occasions that I collaborate with them and I have only words of admiration for the work developed towards the most disadvantaged in our society. Disadvantaged, in increasing numbers, hit by the lethal effects of the severe crisis we are suffering. This time I photographed in black and white with a Nikon D80 and a 20 mm f: 2.8

Friday, 19 March 2010


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It is an image that will disappear soon. This detail of the branches of the London plane trees without leaves, just below my window, will be short lived. We just got into spring and soon this vision will give way to the green newborn leaves.

Thursday, 18 March 2010


From a distance it appears that the top of the island is snow. A strange phenomenon in spring and at sea level. But the approach discovers a surprising sight: thousands of gannets have chosen these islands of Bretagne, forming the natural reserve of the Seven Islands.

I tell the story that goes back to my childhood. I believe that, at least in my generation, the readings of our childhood and adolescence marked our future. In my case, I was an avid reader, the novels of two British writers, Richmal Crompton, author of the books of William, and Enid Blyton. This last wrote several series, but the one I liked the most was the first. Four boys, inseparable friends, George, Jack, Dolly and Lucy, lived many adventures, hence the name of the series. They were all nature lovers. Georges had a special gift with animals and Jack had a passion for ornithology. He photographed golden eagles in Adventure in the castle and enjoyed the sight of seabirds in Adventure in the island, an action that occurred in the Orkney Islands in northern Scotland. Since then, my dream was to visit one of these places.

Time passed and I was about to achieve this while, with my friend Albert Cañagueral, we did an article for the Sunday magazine of El Periodico on the Lofoten islands in the Arctic Circle on the Norwegian coast. We embarked, to see one of these islands, but the waves and currents prevented the boat could cross a narrow strait and out to sea, and i missed my chance.


A few years later, Delphine Martins, who heads the press office of the West of France in Spain,representing the regions of Bretagne, Poitou Charentes and Pays de la Loire, invited me in the spring of 2002 to a trip to Bretagne for the Sunday edition of El Periódico. Then I discovered that the program was scheduled a visit to the reservation of the Seven Islands, a place about which I had read a lot. Luckily, the day of the visit wore a bright sun and I could see and photograph the show of some 30,000 gannets, and also puffins, razorbills, guillemots and a infinity of gulls of varied species.


A few days ago I saw Delphine, who came to Barcelona to present the program that offer the western regions of France that she represents in Spain, for the coming months. And I remembered the story.

Thursday, 11 March 2010


It is an image very rare and should be exploited to the series of pictures from my window. Referring to the series, I took a similar photo on January 7, 2009, in which also snowed, but only in the Collserola mountains and not in the city of Barcelona.
Looking at the composition one might wonder whether there was a better frame. It is true that I followed the rule of thirds in which the horizon has to be at two thirds or one third, as in this case, to give more dynamism to the image. Usually, if we place the horizon in the medium, the composition is duller.

But why give more prominence to the sky when the most interesting is ithe snowy mountain? The downside of taking pictures from a fixed place, in this case my window, is that you can change the lens, in this case a 300 mm telephoto, but not the point of view.
Here is the reason I framed only one third of the mountain.