Kodak Tmax Dev

I’ve never been a great fan of the Hp5+.

I mean, I’ve had some decent results with it but I always feel that it’s too cold. It lacks the depth and the spirit of the Delta 400 or Trix.

Kodak Trix 400 is like a sprinkle of cinnamon on a hot apple pie slice. It’s smooth, warm. It has depth.

Ilford HP5+ is like a lemon slush on a cold afternoon.

(I’m no photographer as you all know and I don’t know how to express myself using technical terms however, I use the films, I develop them, I scan them and I print them in the darkroom, and these are the therms I know to share my thoughts.)

On the other hand I absolutely love using HP5+ pushed to 1600 or 3200 or 6400! That’s when those blacks really start to show up. Well it all depends, of course, of what we want from our pictures.

I’m just saying that the HP5+ is not my favorite 400 ISO film, to use at 400, and despite being very good when pushed it is not, still, my favorite film to push.

Trix is still my favorite film and choosing from the two Ilford offers I like the Delta 400 more than the HP5+.

Please do take all of the above stated with a huge grain of salt!

Here are the samples.

Hasselblad 500CM
Ilford HP5+, Tmax Dev, 1+4, 7 min









Hasselblad 500CM
Ilford HP5+ @1600, Tmax Dev, 1+4, 11 min










There’s a short tale by Italo Calvino that goes (pretty much) like this:

“Once upon a time a man was crossing a road and all of the sudden he started to see things as they really are.”

These words always come to my mind every time I use my beloved pinhole.

The pinhole sees slower. It drags things throughout time and space and, to me, that’s where the magic is.

What if things really leave a trace?

What if things are not isolated snaps but a whole fuid action and we can only see a fraction of it at a time?

What if I add more tobacco to the mixture?!


Here are some images from the Zero Image 2000.

Zero Image 2000

Ilford HP5+
Tmax Dev
7 min








Hello guys.

The title of the post is a joke, of course, however I would like to try and write something a bit deeper about it, about ugliness.

I’ve been reading a book for the last 15 months, it is called “On Ugliness”. Being too simplistic it’s about The Ugly and The Ugliness in art. Of course the analysis go beyond the art world and into sociology and psychology. The perception of self and others.

According to the authors, coordinated by Umberto Eco, the Ugly or the perception of the Ugly is tied to the concept of “non conformity”.

We, as individuals and as society, look at non-conformity as Ugly.

We do that in order to protect our “group”, the ones that fit into “conformity” but in this case we are protecting a huge group, society itself.

The physical aspect of someone is the primary target of evaluation. Too tall, too short, too fat, too skinny… As society we tolerate some deviation from the conformity. We set the average point and go from there.

Being blind, missing an arm or a leg, being disabled, having scars, missing teeth, mental illness… Those are all severe deviations of the average, those are all ugly.

The homeless, the refugees… modern days ugliness.

Here’s an example. (Taken by Bruce Gilden)


Please keep in mind that there’s no judgement whatsoever about morals. Of course we all look at a fellow human and despite the fact he is different from us, we accept that difference. But that’s a process of reason, not a process of perception.

Perception rejects, reason makes it acceptable.

Some more “ugliness”. (Taken by Roger Ballen)



To accept the non-conformity we, as society, have to sit down and think about it. It’s all reason and, through the complexity of our societies, reason turn into laws and we all know the failure of imposing something that collides with our perception of the self and others.

Religious issues.
Race issues.
Sexuality issues.
Human rights issues.

Basically we can’t stand the person next to us on the bus.

We are narrowing down “non-conformity” to everything that it’s not “us” and the very few we find “beautiful”. The rest of the world is nothing but ugliness.


I went for the first photowalk of 2016 with some friends. It’s always a good excuse to go out and take pictures.

It was also an opportunity to take some portraits using a combination I like very much. The Hasselblad with the 120mm and the 21mm tube.

Really tight head shots with shallow depth of field. You can see some examples here.

I want to find out a formula or a way to do this right. I don’t like the distracting background and I don’t like using the lens at f8.

I’ve done this many time and I pretty much have an idea how to do it. Plain background, lens opened at f4.

Hasselblad 500CM
Zeis 120mm Makro Planar
Hasselblad 21mm extension tube

Ilford HP5+ @ 1600
Kodak Tmax Dev
10 min











The bottom line is… well, there is no bottom line.

These are all friends, these are all beautiful, they are all so very unique and it showed in that 1/500 of a second.

Unique is a good word.

As usual I apologize for my writing.

I will wrap up 2015 with this final post.

I had a great year, new challenges at work, my son is growing taller and taller and doing great at school, my parents and my sister are doing fine and yes, it was really a great year.

However I will remember 2015 for another reason, a very special one.

I met Marc, on Flick, about nine years ago and we finally met, in person, last October.

My friend, my brother, I wanted to take the most awesome picture of you and Helen but look at what came out!

I have a bloody blog about “cooking film” and all I can deliver is this… grainy thing?!?

Fear not my friend, get a haircut, trim your beard, we are going for round two! See you in 2016!

(Maree, Janine, Karine and Derek) 🙂


One of the things I like the most about my job is having the chance to meet some amazing people.

From football players to musicians to race car drivers, from artists to top chefs to amazing watchmakers. Some are low profile and some are public figures.

Last Monday I had the opportunity of meeting someone very special. ‪Someone that prefers to do things, rather than talking about them.‬

‪And what Garrett McNamara loves to do… is this…‬

‪I remember it clearly. A few years back I was watching something on the news about a surfer that fell in love with Portugal and in particular with a small village called Nazaré.‬

‪That surfer was Garrett McNamara.‬
‪Despite being a ‬layman about surf I admire the sport very much so the name McNamara was not totally unfamiliar.

‪According to Garrett McNamara, Nazaré has some pretty good waves and one, in particular, caught his attention. It is called the Canhão (Cannon)‬.

All of the sudden Portugal was focused on Nazaré and on this… down to earth, great guy, loved by everybody, that traveled all the way from the other side of the globe to find a special wave on a little fishermen village… in my country.

How cool is that?

In January 2013, McNamara broke the world record by surfing a 100-foot wave in Nazaré. The Cannon of all Cannons! Portugal fell in love with Garrett. Not just the fishermen of Nazaré or the kids who absolutely go crazy about him, but the whole country!

From that day on, people travel from everywhere in Portugal just to watch him surf at Nazaré.
If the word gets out that Garrett is in NazarĂ©, the whole hill facing the beach, near NazarĂ©’s lighthouse, gets crowded before sunrise.

And do you know why it gets crowded?
It gets crowded because, apart from his talent for surfing big waves, Garrett always stops for a picture, he always stops for a handshake, for a smile, for a group photo surrounded by kids. He is always available to people. I’m not just talking about surf lovers but families, kids, parents, grand parents…

He doesn’t talk much, clearly he prefers to be in the water rather than being on the news, but I’m sure that if you go to NazarĂ© and you run into him he will stop and greet you.

From the few hours I had the chance of talking to Garrett McNamara I can state that I feel proud that he calls Portugal home.

There’s just something… good that emanates from him and we, as a country and as individuals, need that. We need to embrace and to be openhearted to those who bring something positive and motivational into our lives. It goes beyond surfing, it’s about life itself and the way we live it.

Garrett McNamara has become a symbol of something positive and the admiration of the Portuguese people for him is absolutely unanimous. He brings people together for all the best reasons.

Hat’s off to you sir!

Holga 120 CFN

Kodak TriX 400
Kodak TMax Dev.
6 min.

Garrett McNamara 02

Garrett McNamara 03

Garrett McNamara 09

Garrett McNamara 11


Garrett McNamara 06

Garrett McNamara 12