Don’t be an island, be a tree

I have written this before and I will stand by it: I don’t participate on photography forums, I don’t belong to any Facebook photo groups, apart from Cooking Film of course, and I run away from every conversation about photography. Better said, I only talk about photography with some people.


Well… it seems that everything is a reason for starting a war.

Film vs digital, film vs film, digital vs digital, editing vs not editing, digital printing vs darkroom printing…

In every photography forum or Facebook group what starts to be a simple post or question, rapidly turns into a crazy fight about crazy stuff.

I’m not taking any side, I just stay away. This is my insignificant corner on the web and that’s it.

I embrace everything I find inspiring and I do what what I feel like doing.

That being said, I ended 2014 in the most amazing way. I really needed something positive after my surgery and my mom’s.



Amazing news #1: Got an iPhone.

Yeap, from the most anti-cellphone kind of person to an iPhone fan. Got a cheap iPhone 4s and let me tell you that the camera on that thing is brilliant. It is indeed a great creative tool.

I know I might sound like a Neanderthal to most of you guys but… hey, here it is, the official Cooking Film selfie session!

2014-11-26 18.55.27

However it’s kind of addictive to use the phone’s camera, specially when it delivers. iPhoneography photographers, I bow to you all!

2014-12-16 08.32.22

2014-11-26 09.07.05


Amazing news #2: Photo session with a digital camera.

I borrowed a friend’s (thank you Pedro) Canon 5D for shooting Gérard Depardieu and I felt like using a digital camera to shoot Joana and Mary on our usual end of the year photo session.

I toke a Canon 60D and the cheap 50mm f1.8.
The camera delivers what most digital cameras deliver, I believe, in it’s class of course. Fun to use and the lens is absolutely wonderful! What a great lens for a jaw dropping price.

I know nothing about digital gear but it was fun to use.

Here are some samples.






I love Mary’s eyes and this happens every time I shoot her. A tiny light change can make her eyes become darker or lighter.

Here is the same situation a couple of years ago. That time I was using a Contax 645 AF with the 80/f2 lens, shot on Ilford Pan F.


On a very personal note… You know that little “bip” digital cameras make when they nail focus? I LOVE that! I think it’s a brilliant, brilliant idea and a great help.

The act of taking a picture can now include sound! Awesome. 🙂




Amazing news #3: Simon Larbalestier agreed to answer some questions for Cooking Film.

I’m a huge fan of his work and he’s the reason for my passion for photography. Also his partnership with Vaughan Oliver made be become a graphic designer so… huge respect.

Thank you Simon and, please guys, do check out his work.






Amazing news #4: Got the sweetest email ever!

Thank you dear Anna. Thank you so much for your kind and beautiful words. I don’t know what to say. If Cooking Film was ever inspiring to you in any way, I feel absolutely happy and honored.

Thank you a million times my dear.





Amazing news #5: Got back into the darkroom.

Spent all afternoon with a friend printing some negatives in the darkroom. These will be my late Christmas presents and I’ll be sending prints everywhere in the world. Today was round 1.

I love printing, love being there, love watching a process that still resembles alchemy.


It’s amazing adjusting the print to our vision using the available tools. I got two boxes of Adox photo paper today. I’ve used it before and it’s a great paper. I got the MPC 312 RC both in glossy and matte.

The pictures look beautiful and the Adox paper has a great touch, love it, however I left the prints drying in the darkroom and I will share some more about it.




I toke a friend along and I learned a lot, it was a wonderful afternoon. Thank you again Pedro.




So guys, make photography, not war. Take whatever “weapon” you like and use it. Capture the world and enjoy. Loving a medium does not mean I have to hate all others. Be open to other visual approaches and creative tools.



So… taking the chance of saying something very stupid… don’t be an island, be a tree.

  1. Great points which make me want to get back into the dark room. I have to admit that it is hard to resist the siren call of the iPhone.

    • I was away for too long my friend.
      Bought 2 nice boxes of 24x30cm paper and the prints look beautiful. Being able to set the contrast, making some simple masks.. we do get the feeling we’re creating something with out hands. Love it.

  2. Great, great post! Makes me want to be a tree. (Also, makes me want to go back to the darkroom.)

    Keep up the great stuff and the amazing attitude – it benefits us all…

    • Thank you so much Alessandro.

      I have to say that being able to use a digital camera for the last couple of months made me lazy… I don’t like that.

      So, I decided that I would print a picture for every friend as a Christmas gift. I’m working on it! 🙂

  3. Concordo.. há demasiado ódio por aí, completamente desnecessário!

    Um bom ano Paulo, estou curioso por ver essas fotos 🙂

      • Ah, obrigado!! 😀

        Nem cheguei a comentar, mas aquele momento do casal a despedir-se ao pé do comboio está excelente.

        Olha, apagaste o facebook? Como é que posso falar contigo?

      • Tou lá, fui expulso ou hackeado ou assim, e tive que criar uma cena nova.

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