Everybody cold

I saw this scene this morning.

Someone found a glove on the ground and put it there to make it easier for the owner to find it.

Or the fence was protecting itself from the cold.

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Only to say that…





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For breakfast

As I was walking around Mouila by the morning before preparing the aircraft for another flight I found this place with these tasteful fried breads. Very good ones!

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We arrived


It is the beginning of a new and exciting project. Two small airplanes re-assembled on the other side of the Atlantic.

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Street Photography–Portraits of Porto Ferreira

I must confess I haven’t completely made my mind about a sensitive aspect of street photography: should people authorize being photographed or not? I think one decisive distinction is between a group of people or a particular one. If you are walking on a street and you’ll be photographed without knowing about it, it is completely different being only one more person in the crowd or being the very subject of a photo. But I know this discinction doen’t solve the whole puzzle. Many very beautiful street photography show only one or two people and make them the subject of the photo without becoming sort of an intrusion into their privacy. Another question, then, regards the generalization of the portrait. Is it about “someone running in the sidewalk” or is it about “loo what THIS person is doing!”? The way you show the person’s face in the picture makes all the difference here.


Above you have only one person in the picture. But who is this guy? Is he happy? Is he sad? It just doesn’t matter. It is a “non-young” man riding his bicycle in one of the main streets of Porto Ferreira, in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. I just wanted to capture the mood of the moment and clearly I am not violating the privacy of this man.

Then I kept walking around and met these two workers who I thought had nice faces for a portrait and, in this case, the only solution for a nice picture would be to ask them for a photo. The result would not anymore be some “flagrant of a moment in life” as the picture above. But I like doing this kind of photo too and the brief conversation it leads to.



Usually people seem to get both puzzled and and delighted when I approach them and ask “can I make a portrait of you?”. Puzzled by wondering why on Earth would some stranger get interested in them and delighted, nonetheless, by the very same fact: “Hey! Well… some stranger IS actually interested in me, for some reason!”.

Experiencing these reactions is one of the great pleasures I find in photographing people.

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Milton Cruz, the Tin Man

This afternoon I went to the Paulista Avenue to meet some friends. On Sundays, this central avenue transforms itself into the stage for virtually dozens of musical bands and it is also a place for sellers of various products…. among them, I met Milton Cruz. I couldn’t resist but stop when I saw this replica of the 14-bis – the airplane with which the brazilian Alberto Santos Dumont flew in Paris in 1906. Cruz was smily and full of jokes. “It’s R$50, but the tank is empty… With gas it’s R$80!”.

He builds car and motorcicle models as well. “If it is not here, bring a picture and Ican build the vehicle for you!”. He told me some jokes, ones hard to translate to English because they use some double senses or sonority of Portuguese words. All the models are build from material that would go to the trash. He uses mostly oil cans and reshapes them into his models.

“Some people ask me why I don’t make modern car models. Well… you can see a modern car right there in the street! I think I can do better by bringing some of the past back into existence.”




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Rodrigues and his accordion


I had just watched an Almodóvar movie, Julieta. So, I was definetely in a good mood. Not that the movie is in itself happy. But to reflect at the depth of life from the intense upheavals one finds in such movies brings some sort of good feeling. And this is the state of spirit I was in when I heard the unmistakable chords of the Amelie Poulain movie theme. It was still impossible to see anyone ahead but there was, for sure, someone with an accordion there ahead. Live music. Street alive.

Of course I stopped by to listen. And after that usual small tip, there I was taking some pictures. It was cold and already late at night. So after another song, the player stopped to warm his hands against each other and saluted me. We talked and I learned a bit of his story.

He started to play early in life, aging only 6 by then. At that time he lived thousands of miles away from this big metropolis, in the northeastern part of Brazil. It is a poorer region and Rodrigues, like many others, would later migrate to São Paulo city looking for better opportunities of study and work. Which he found, but life wasn’t easy. He was completely away from the accordion for around 25 years. I ask him “how was it to stay away so long from the instrument? Did you miss playing or have you just forgotten the accordion during this time?”

“Oh no… I couldn’t forget it. It was such a pain. When you learn to love something as a child, and then you are away from it… it hits deep in your heart. Hurts. Really hurts. I was aways listening to some music. I always felt my childhood was a happier moment, because I had the music with my by then. Then I finally could play again, but the instrument was angry with me! He wouldn’t let me play the same things I used to play… It took a while for us to become friends again.”

Once again he complains about the cold air against his fingers, making it harder to play naturally. “In this cold air, you want your fingers to do something but they just won’t go.” And from this I start talking about this whole thing of playing in the street. He seem to love it.

“Someday it’s good for the money. But someday, even when you don’t make that much of money, people stop and look happily at you. Admiring. And some talk to me. Look at you here, now. And there are such different people! And they are so nice… It’s like I have never had so much friends. Never thought there could be so many. And they feel happier because of my music and then I feel happier too. I only gets better. And sometime they ask some different song… Usually when it’s from a movie there’s a good chance I didn’t know it before, if I haven’t seen the movie. Then I need to watch the movie. Not only to learn the song… but one needs to know the emotion. If it’s a happy movie, but a sad scene… Or a sad movie, but then the song is from a happy moment. It’s important. And it comes from people in the streets… I learn a good new song. But I discover some very good movies, too! See? It is a lot more than money.”


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