Full contrast photos of winter trees and hand embroidered pins to match and forgot the cold winter days.

where are my art history books when I need them most?

Yesterday, after work, I took the afternoon and visited the exhibition Primitivos Portugueses, that will be closing next Sunday. The exhibition is about portuguese alterpiece paintings from the 15th and 16th century, where, of course, religious themes prevail. Having studied art history, I felt at ease with most the concepts and painting techniques explained during the visit, that reminded me of the long hours reading art history books and taking notes during Professor Carlos Moura's classes.
When I visit these kind of painting exibitions, where Annunciations, Cruxifitions or Nativity scenes are abundant, what I usually look for are small and interessting everyday objects that highlight and distinguish each painting in it's foreground or background. I was amazed with the following details:

In these scenes, where the Virgin is laying in bed, it was painted in the foreground this arrangement: pomegranate seeds in a bowl with an ivory spoon; small glass jars with a cloth over the top and very small inscriptions. One thing for sure is that, in all religious themed paintings, every object represented has it's own purpose and meaning: 
pomegranate seeds are a symbol associated with the Virgem;
the ivory spoon associated with the african discoveries and the import of ivory products from Benin or Sierra Leoa;
glass jars are in fact jam jars with the recipe written on the cloth covering. Jam is related to the use of sugar that was also an imported product and used as a remedy in convalescent situations.
Interesting, don't you think?

chaos runs in the family

I have always enjoyed the chaos of my grandparents house. Unfortunately for me, it runs in the family. Yesterday I spent the day unpacking and replacing stuff where it should be after being almost 3 weeks away from home. Unfortunately again, this state of order will only last until next weekend because in March we'll be moving out... but we'll still live in the same house.

PS: i seem to have inspired someone...

pinhole positives

Here are some of the final results of the pinhole workshops. We tackled with rain, wind and clouds (typical weather in Esposende), with long exposure times, sometimes even 10 minutes and plenty of patience. In the end, I think everyone was surprised and still a bit doubtful about the whole "take a photo with a tin can" thing.
I'm hoping to be able to do more workshops soon, in Lisbon and in Esposende. I'll keep you posted...  

pinhole negatives

fresh out of the box for your viewing pleasure:

tin can



small cigarette box

cookie box

meet Jaime...

... he's 7 months, does his share of kicking and hopefully didn't feel as much cold as mom on his first official photo shoot. The sun was just right and the beach was perfect. 
For me it was an interesting first experience as a photographer and mom made things really easy with her natural good looks and motherhood sensuality! 

PS: I like the goosebumps on her arm!

pinhole cameras

The pinhole workshop is coming along great, everyone seems to be enjoying themselves in spite of the slight disappointment when some of the photos turn out blurry or just plain black. I explained them the principles of this alternative photographic technique and at first, no one really believed me... they had to see it to believe it. 
The museum's basement became our darkroom and I help transform cans, boxes, matchboxes and even one of the museum's trashcans into pinhole cameras with the help of black spay paint and lots of tape.  
The results are in their water bath and tomorrow they'll be dried and ready for scanning. 

diy paper pinhole camera

FACT: all great photographers used very simple cameras.