Mamen Saura » Blog - - A perspective of the world

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One of my favorites images from Cuba. She just passed me as she was walking towards her classroom and I asked her to stop for a second and pose for me facing the wall. One of my friends tried to move the chair out of the frame and, when I told him to keep it there, both of them looked at me quizzically. Even so she obliged and helped me to get the photograph I had imagine just a few second before.

The old, passive and rusted side by side with the new, assertive and beautiful youth. An absolute dichotomy, just like Cuba!

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Uno de mis imágenes favoritas de Cuba. Ella pasó por delante mío mientras caminaba hacia su salón de clases y yo le pedi que se detuviera por un segundo y posara para mí de cara a la pared. Uno de mis amigos trato de mover la silla fuera de mi composición y, cuando le dije que la dejara allí, los dos me miraron con curiosidad. Aún así ella aceptó y me ayudo posando para que yo pudiera tomar la fotografía que había imaginado solo unos segundo antes.

Lo viejo, pasivo y oxidado al lado de la nueva, asertiva y hermosa juventud. Una dicotomía absoluta, lo mismo que Cuba!

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  • Teju - February 23, 2015 - 10:36 am

    One of my favorite pictures – the contrast of the old and the modern is striking – there is such a timeless quality to this picture

    Love the minimalism and simplicity of the shot.

  • Richard - January 14, 2015 - 3:44 pm

    Fantastic image Mamen. Nice to see your web site again.

It all started when I visited the Phahto Tharmyar Temple in Bagan (Myanamar). For some reason beyond my understanding the image of the Buddha at that specific temple filled up all my senses as I stood there mesmerized by the image and the light, for what it felt like an eternity. And when I came back to my senses I knew I had to take a different kind of photograph. One that could convey all those feelings flying through my mind and heart. At first, I tried different points of view, this angle, that angle… but nothing was working. Here is one of those first images:

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As luck will have it, I was traveling with Winslow Lockhart, one of the leaders of the Within the Frame Adventures and she, being such a perceptive human being, sensed my struggle. She suggested trying something different. Something I had never tried before. Use a long exposure and shake the camera to change the perception until the image represents your feelings. I will be forever grateful to her!

It was a fascinating moment as my mind started to think about different approaches to that challenge. For the longest time I have learned the rules of photography: what you are supposed to do (or not) and how you are supposed to do it (or not). And then, in a single instant, I learned how to break free of those rules. Don’t get me wrong, those rules are important and a necessary knowledge everyone needs to acquire and practice. In fact I do not think I could have taken the picture below without having mastered those skills just because in order to break the rules you need to know, understand and work on them for a long time. I also have to admit I never felt the need or the confidence to break them before and it was special to be with someone like Winslow at the right moment to push me to imagine something different.

And here is the final image. The one that I believe represents what I felt from the moment I went into that temple. A Buddha within a Buddha. The “detail” and the “whole” all together. One and multiple images all at once.

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Even thought it looks like two images merged in photoshop, this photograph is just a single shot. 4 seconds at f/22. ISO 2500. The camera was set to record the whole figure for 2 seconds and I zoomed in (really fast) to record the other 2 seconds on the close up image.

And that is how “Motions & Dreams” began.  Myanmar became a journey full of impressions and intuitions for me…

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  • Teju - February 23, 2015 - 10:33 am

    This photo is such a spiritual one. The serene pose makes you feel calm when you look at this picture.

Motion

The action or process of moving or being moved. Director command (someone) with a movement of the hand or head.

Dream

A series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep. A state of mind in which someone is or seems to be unaware of their immediate surroundings. A cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal. A person or thing perceived as wonderful or perfect.

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Movimiento

Acción de mover o moverseCambio de lugar o de posición de un cuerpo en el espacio. Estado de un cuerpo mientras cambia de lugar o de posición.

Sueños

Serie o sucesión de imágenes y sucesos que se imaginan mientras se duerme y que se perciben como reales.

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  • Teju - February 23, 2015 - 10:38 am

    These don’t feel like photos at all but like walking into an art gallery. These definitely capture every mood.

It is a real privilege when an organizations where I have volunteered recognize the work I did, but I would like to dedicated this article about my work  to all the women I have met in the slums and villages around the world, the real heroes who have to deal with such adverse conditions everyday and still smile and embrace life with unbeatable energy. They are the real inspiration in my life.

Woman who inspire change

Mujeres que inspiran cambios

Es un verdadero privilegio cuando una organización con la que he trabajado de voluntaria reconoce la labor que he realizado, pero me gustaría dedicar este artículo acerca de mi trabajo a todas las mujeres que he conocido en los barrios de chabolas y pueblos de todo el mundo, las verdaderos heroínas que tienen para hacer frente a esas condiciones adversas todos los días y todavía sonríen y abrazan la vida con una energía insuperable. Ellas son la verdadera inspiración en mi vida.

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  • Teju - February 23, 2015 - 10:39 am

    Fabulous composition.

  • Melissa Della Gatta - June 27, 2013 - 8:24 pm

    This is an AMAZING photo. You captured so much. I love these women too.

  • Angeles S. - April 6, 2012 - 7:35 pm

    Mamen, eres un orgullo para tu familia. Admiro tu arte pero mas aun tus valores y tu manera de ser. Enhorabuena por tan magnifico reconocimiento ¡Te lo mereces! Un afectuoso saludo

During the weekend, I had the opportunity to experience (from a safe distance on the beach) the high surf warning for the north and west facing shores that was in effect this last weekend on the island of Kauai. The swell was in the 20-30′ range yesterday. I could have spent hours just looking at the big waves… wait, that’s exactly what I did!

Oleaje

Durante el fin de semana, tuve la oportunidad de disfrutar desde la playa y a una distancia segura, la advertencia que estaba en vigor de olas gigantescas para las costas norte y oeste de la isla de Kauai. El oleaje estaba dentro del rango de 6 a 9 metros ayer. Me podría haber pasado horas simplemente mirando esas olas colosales … y eso es exactamente lo que hice!

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I should have been working on another project, but the light and the colors were just unreal right after the rain. I just couldn’t resist the temptation! Now back to work!

Una explosion de color

Debería haber estado trabajando en otro proyecto, pero la luz y los colores se volvieron irreales cuando termino de llover. Simplemente no pude resistir la tentación! Ahora, de vuelta al trabajo!

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  • Mamen Saura - January 24, 2012 - 7:26 pm

    Gracias Aisha. Let’s try to do more like that together

  • Aisha Kothari - January 24, 2012 - 6:39 pm

    I like those pictures!!!!!!

  • Teju - October 14, 2011 - 9:41 am

    Mamen,
    The drops of rain so vivid that they look like miniature glass paper holders.. There is transparent water and a shimmer of silver on many of the water drops..

    You have captured each texture so beautifully – I can “feel” the
    fuzziness of the purple and the tautness of the red and each ridge in the green leaf.

    You have brought out the orange portion really well in the red flower- I am not sure if your raindrop and the light reflected off it made it orange or if the flower had orange and red hues but definitely the magic through your lenses highlighted it.

    It is amazing of how you have brought the tropics into the bay area. I have a vision of “warm” humid Singapore like temperatures. I will keep this memory of the rain when it starts to rain here and it is 40 degrees outside..

    Amazingly well captured. I am glad you took the time to do this.

  • Richard - October 12, 2011 - 3:47 pm

    I particularly like image #7 Mamen, but they’re all spectacular. Macro photography is another world and it’s a lot of fun to get lost in it from time to time. Glad you’re trying it out, no doubt you’re going to come up with some great images.

  • Mamen Saura - October 12, 2011 - 1:55 pm

    Dale, those words coming from a master are truly appreciated! you made my day!

  • Mamen Saura - October 12, 2011 - 1:54 pm

    Dilip, the pictures were desaturated 10%. Can you imagine the original color?

  • Dilip Muralidaran - October 12, 2011 - 11:08 am

    ooof! color overload! 😀

  • Dale Allyn - October 12, 2011 - 9:43 am

    Wow! Mamen. What a beautiful series. I’m glad you skipped out on work for a while and captured these beautiful images.