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Photographer's Note

Time to get back to my theme about the TE members I admire. To know what this is all about please read the introductory notes on the first post of the series.

Luko. Probably, there would be no need for any introduction from my side because he must be one of the most – if not the most – well known members of this site. But I’ll take my chance; I don’t any of you to overlook this talented man.

Some admire is art of writing. Some his technical expertise and knowledge of the photographic medium. There are people who like his strong personality, there are people who don’t... Finally, there are people who think he is only a theorist and his photography isn’t that special. Well, they’re wrong. They are very very wrong.

You want a proof? Ok… just one would be easy, so I give you three out of my favorites hand: one, two and three. With one, he gives us a class on the refined art of composition. Three bicycles sleeping on the floor, three pairs of people, three backpacks, all enveloped in a nice vignette, concentrating the light and the eye around those trios. It may look nothing special at the first sight, but believe there’s a lot of art in here. The second one is all about light. And the absence of it. And I’ve been always amazed about the way he controls his exposures. The 5D in his hands always makes me jealous and praying to Child Jesus for a new one next Christmas. I’ve learned a lot studying his exposures and the way he never accidentally blowns highlights. He’s very fond on shadows and likes to present them as they are perceived by the human eye and that has taught me to keep them dark instead of always open them. In the final third one you can see one of my favorite characteristics of his photography: color. His color awareness is simply amazing. Look here what he has done with just yellows and a sip of black. And if you browse his gallery you’ll find several examples about this color care. He has a very aesthetical soul and his color has always a real cinematic feel.

In his intro he says HCB influences the way he shoots. I can say the same about him. For me, he is one of the best travel photographers on site. Because travel photography is a discipline on its own and follows certain elements I always look for when looking to pictures like in this context. To present a travel destination with a sense of discovery and humanity isn’t easy. But Luko’s ability to capture the daily life culture at the same time he present us the beauty of a place is a striking – and not easy at all – one. He don’t like close portraits, he prefers to show us the people and the environment. And to me, he is a master balancing all the options this challenge poses.

But Luko is also known for his ability to write critiques. Good critiques. Let me do some math here. His useful critiques ratio is 76%. Mine is 28%... And I strive to give "long" and meaningful critiques. A great part of my TE time spending is done reading his critiques. You would be amazed how much you could learn just doing this. It’s like a free course on photography… It’s really incredible the amount of knowledge that man has in his head. And the good thing is that he doesn’t mind sharing it. Remember Luko’s USM method? No…? Please check here

Regarding the picture I am offering today, I know that it doesn’t meet his high standards – like my pictures almost never do... – but somehow it reminded me his fabulous series on Indian Women. The way the light shines from her face and the row of colorful silk scarves enhanced that feeling. But besides any comparison – I have to reaffirm that that’s not the purpose on this theme – this is just my humble way of saying thanks.

So, as always, final words for you dear Luko. Thanks for all the insight and for replying all my doubts. It’s not always easy to find a person that doesn’t mind to share its knowledge just for the sake of it. We both know that this world and site can be more jealous that it shows, but every time I asked you for something you were there to teach and share till I was satisfied with the answer. Thanks for the support, really. Hope that the next Pudim d’Ovos comes out perfectly. If not, we can always go through with it with my Mum. :)

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Additional Photos by Luis Afonso (luisafonso) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 213 N: 243] (862)
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