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Category : The Portofolio

Ravine Zen

Recently, I had been waiting for some surgery. True, it is not the one thing one usually waits for and although not fatal it does mean going to a hospital and getting mildly cut open. Not 1960’s style where they would cut you like a roast. No, in fact quite the opposite. Very minor. In at 7:30am and out by noon. Is it serious? Somewhat.

Either way, since it is still a bit stressful, I found myself taking a long stroll by my hood’s parks. You know, to think, relax and get my mind off needles and doctors. I took my camera and simply try to let nature speak to me. Since it is still quite cold outside, it really didn’t tell me much except perhaps to get my ass indoors.

However before that desire got to strong, i decided to externalize the zen vibe I was trying to achieve internally. So I walked to the creek at the bottom of the park and simply sat on one of the rocks and let a few minutes pass me by. Nothing happened, except for the streaming sound of the water from a nearby waterfall.

Then, deciding to take my zen in to my own hands, I fished a rock from the cold creek and tossed it as far as I could without tripping. I snapped this shot right before it hit the water. Yes, it reminded me of what I was trying to achieve.

A few days later, I am writing this as I am on painkillers. “Ouch.” Damn… they haven’t kicked in yet.

Photo was taken, with a Nikon D700, 50mm @ 1.8f

Firenze & Sunset

While travelling in the North of Italy, one of the key cities to visit was of course, Florence. The old town of the city, like most ‘old towns’ seemed to cater to tourists but with a twist. Although Firenze was guilty of the same, it was not like other cities, where their core is utterly shock-full of ‘tourist stores,’ selling nothing more than trinkets and cheap “I was in Roma” t-shirts.

Their core is full of classic architecture, churches and museums but meters away you have vibrant, if posh stores. Name brand stores, shoulder to shoulder to cafe’s, pubs, 1950’s inspired cafes. All while people go to the nearby grocery store along with church goers, hardly a tourist store to be found. This is a neighborhood, an actual functioning part of the city, not just a tourist trap. Like say, Niagara Falls.

The city is full of beauty, of history, a single visit does not do it justice.

This photograph was taken from the Piazza Michelangelo, atop a hill which overlooks the city. Photos from his viewpoint abound however, I specifically waited until sunset to make my way (on foot, no less, for that extra added touch of adventure) here, in order to catch something a little more mundane than this gorgeous city during midday. 🙂

Capture was taken with a D700, ISO 200Nikon 17-50, 35mm (for focus) @ f/4.0 Tripod

Trapped!

Trapped! by The Torontonian
Trapped! a photo by Mauricio Alas.

While playing a support role at a wedding. As I too was part of the wedding and a full-time photographer had been hired to the bulk of the work, I nevertheless decided to linger around and get a few good shots.

Lacking an external flash, I was challenged by the poor lighting since escalating to a higher ISO is always ill-advised when you want your captures to stay as crisp as possible.

Luckily, at one end of the hall a set of track lights and a shiny hardwood floor helped to reflect some extra lighting.

So as the party dissipated, the bride was asked to assume some poses for me and a few of the guests with cameras. Side by side, family stood near providing ideas which inspired me to take this particular capture. Along with the bride’s facial expression, her eyes portray subjugation with a hint of coyness. Add to this her white dress contrasting the two faceless figures standing ominously at both sides, one cannot escape a mounting sense of claustrophobia. While never forgetting that she, ironically, just tied the knot.

Taken with a Nikon D700, 50mm, ISO 6400, 1/640

Looking Up The Vatican Spiral

As part of my ongoing photography work, this capture, was taken at the entrance to The Vatican Museums. The Spiral staircase or Double Helix as it is sometimes referred to, is arguably one of the top 10 most know in the world and one of the most photographed. As such, like in anything else, capturing this beautiful piece designed by Giuseppe Momo required skill and the right timing.

Luckily, the random group of tourists photographing at the bottom while the staircase was (surprisingly) empty during my composing added a sense of exclusivity which is rare to achieve in a building always teeming with people. Specially as the Vatican is extremely conservative and protective about providing permits to shoot any of their assets. Particularly their art. I do not blame them, as it is a way to protect what they own and also a source of income.

As far as the photo itself, it was shot with Nikon D700 with a 17-35mm lenses. Handheld as again, due to traffic, the use of tripods is forbidden. This shot was taken minutes after they opened their doors to the public.