Iván Martínez Segovia

Ivan started working as a professional photograher 12 years ago. When reading through his résumé, you realize how much experience he has at creating reports and how he’s been able to join his two passions: photography and music.

I met Ivan by chance, thanks to a beautiful volunteer work that Carmen Hache and Rosa Martínez are developing. It’s a charity project that was born in 2013 in order to create conscience and support against the domestic violence. “Butterfly Woman” contributes with the Foundation Ana Bella, where women who suffered domestic violence help others to get over it. “Butterfly Woman is a movement formed by women that fight the adversity and are able to get up after fell down, women that unfold their wings.”

Stitched Panorama

I joined their photo exhibition opening this year, and among all the shots I saw, my eyes were straight to Ivan’s. After I bought it to contribute with the project, I discovered all his work and why he did this photograph.

Ivan had a very serious bycicle accident back in 2014. The injuries were so bad that he had to leave his work for four months. During that time, he reconsidered his whole career and what he wanted to achieve with it. He decided he wanted to develop a more personal side of his photography, so after he fully recovered he did a few more courses to gain confidence and improve the criteria of his work.

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His first exhibition after the accident has been Buttefly Woman. Now he regained his illusion and excitement and is planning to do some more shows.

All photos within this article are his and are from his more personal portfolio. His work for Butterfly Woman is already in my living room as an important part of my collection from emergent photographers.

I wish you all the best and hope I can join your next exhibition.

Here are the links to Ivan’s work and the Butterfly Woman project.

Oficial Web: llamaranta.com




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Filippo Lippi and his Madonna pearl brooch

Let me show you today a jewel inspired in one of the Filippo Lippi’s most emblematic paintings. A small pearl brooch that the Madonna wears in Madonna and Child. It’s a 135 cm. tempera on panel the Renaissance artist created about 1645. Today it’s part of the Palatina Galery Collection, in Florence.

Filippo Lippi’s story

He was from a very humble family. In 1421 he joined the Santa Maria del Carmine monastery in Florence, very close where his family lived.

Therefore, the young friar had the chance to admire the frescos that within the 1420’s decade, Masolina and Masccio painted in the Brancacci chappel, in the close church. That experience was crucial to encourage Lippi to pain. Some said once the Masaccio’s spirit was dancing inside Filippo Lippi.


It was in 1434 when Filippo left the monastery to move in to Padua.  By the end of the decade he had already his own studio in Florence, where he could show his talent soon enough. In a letter from April 1st 1438 to Piero de Medici, Domenico Veneziano mentions Filippo Lippi and Fra Angelico as the best artists in the world (by the time).

Filippo made many religious paintings with smart and elegant symbolism: the “Pietá” (piety) theme and the Annuntiation as well as portraits. From 1440 Filippo evolved to a courtly sytle, with brighter colores, soften lines, more complex and more spacious around his main characters. That was the style wished by those who ordered a painting from him, mainly the Medici family and close friends. He also painted the communion table for Cosimo il Vecchio (before 1459).


Between 1452 and 1466 Filippo focused on his most ambitious project: the frescos of the Prato Cathedral. During his stay in Prato he fell in love with Lucrezia Buti, who lived in the Santa Margarita convent. Through the Cosimo de Medici intervention he got Lucrezia out of the convent in order to marry her. The couple had a child, Filippino, who followed his father’s steps as a reknown artist.

In 1467, when he was ordered the fresco “Scenes of the life of Virgin Mary” he moved to Spoleto with the whole workshop. He worked on this project until his death in 1469. Later, where Lippi was buried, Lorenzo il Magnifico made a monument to the artist, designed by his son Filippino.

Among his pupils and contributors were Fra Diamant, Filippino Lippi and Sandro Boticelli.





María Vintage Photography

“Janus a principio ad finem”

A Still Life is the modern name for the “dead nature” art: a painting or a picture that represents animals, flowers and other objects that may come from the Nature (fruits, groceries, plants, stones or shells) or built by the human being. The purpose of this part of Art is producing an effect of calmness and confort by using a special composition and playing with lights.

And this is exactly what I’ve decided to study this year.

The still life paintings have a long story behind, since the Egypt era, when they were used to decorate tombs. The Egiptian’s believed these groceries would be real beyond life. Later, Plinio the Old painted animals and shoe shops, barbers or other kind of places. That’s why he was called “the artista of the common things”.

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We also find still life art in the old Rome, in mosaics from Pompeii, for instance. During this time it was a tradition to use a skulls in paintings as a symbol of mortality and fugacity.

From 1300 onwards, Giotto and his supporters resumed the still life through religious paintings, although it was a minor habit until the Rennaissance.

With Leonardo da Vinci, the still Life art was separated from the religious meaning. Leonardo studied the Nature through his watercolor system. Jacopo de’ Barbari stepped forward with his Partridge, gauntlets, and crossbow bolt  (1504). Religious relations had already been diminished in size.

During the 16th century the interest for Nature considerably rised including great spreads of still life material with figures and often animals, due to the New World disconvery. Natural objects began to be appreciated as individual objects of study and collections.

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In the 17th century, Caravaggio played an important role, since he was one of the first artists who painted dead nature as a Wall art. He also applied his naturalism art to the still life. His Fruitbasket (1595–96) is the first painting using only dead nature.

My inspiration this year will be the still life masters from Caravaggio onwards: Frans Snyders, Osias Beert, Clara Peeters, Jacob van Es, Willem Heda and Pieter Claesz, Samuel van Hoogstraten, Cornelis Norbertus Gysbrechts, Georg Flegel, Juan Sánchez Cotán, Zurbarán, Blas de Prado, Mateo Cerezo o Antonio de Pereda, Juan van der Hamen, Juan de Espinosa, Antonio Ponce, Francisco Barrera or Ignacio Arias, Francisco de Burgos Mantilla, related to Velázquez; Pedro de Camprobín and Pedro de Medina, Alejandro Loarte, Juan van der Hamen,  Valbuena, Tomás Yepes or Juan Fernández

Also genius at flowery still life like Jan Brueghel the Old and Daniel Seghers in Flanders, Mario Nuzzi or Margarita Caffi in Italy and Spain, Pedro de Camprobín, Gabriel de la Corte, Juan de Arellano and his son-in-law Bartolomé Pérez de la Dehesa, will join me during this 2015.

These artists were inspired by the Greek sleights of hands, which I’m willing to study in detail in order to try to reproduce the work with my Nikon, my illumination equipment and the many old objetcts I’ve been gathering at home over the years.

I’ll be inspired by the “vanity” painting, the one where fruits and flowers mix with books, jars, coins, jewels, paintings and devices, always accompanied by symbolic pieces. I’ll use the meaning of decadence by picturing dead nature scenes. Each month will be different, but always with a given style behind, a style and an inspiration that I won’t say until the end of the year, so you can guess.

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12 Baroque still lives, 12 still even (according to how they called them back in the 17th century in the Netherlands. I rather will call them this way, instead of “dead nature”. It has a special meaning to me and gets much better what I’m lookinf for.

Many evenings studying, reading calmly and composing photographs are ahead. I’ll focus on lights and shadows. I’ll be entering in a world I love.


Images: María Vintage Photography

Richard Avedon

One more month with my project “The Magic Lens”. Time passes by so quickly!

Our protagonist this month has been my friend Araceli Calabuig who chose Richard Avedon as our master photographer to replicate in July. And Monica Giannini has been one more time my adorable model. Without her this challenge wouldn’t have been possible.

Richard Avedon was the photographer who made us witnesses of 70 years of history. He was a revolutionary fashion specialist who made his models myths of the history. After his work, fashion photography never was the same. The best fashion magazine are inspired in his artwork yet today.

From his life’s work I choose the elegance and essense of his portraits. He knew how to suprise with something that looks so easy like having someone posing with a white background. Hamphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando or Marilyn Monroe were some of his many models.

I’ve read the way he used to get the essense of his protagonists was easy and very effective at the same time: exhaust them, not only psychology but also physically. Sometimes, over four hours of work in front of the camera was enough for the model to show the real personality.

Richard Avedon was a great artist able to surprise not only by capturing the luxury and glamour. His work with social class injustice has been the cover of many newspapers worldwide.

Richard Avedon passed out in October 2004 as a result of a brain hemorrage he had when he was working. From then onwards he has been beating records. One of his photographs, the most emblematic, was sold for as much as 840,000 euros a few years ago.

Let me show you now the images Monica and I selected and copy, during a very hot summer evening. A white background, a non-stop spotlight and a huge wish of learning and learning… I hope you like them!
















Toni Catany

June ended and I’d like to close this month with this very special post.

My photographic proyect in El Objetivo Mágico (The Magic Lens), where we have to replicate a different master of photography every month, has had Tony Catany as a protagonist. And he is my favourite artist. I chose him for this work, and the time came when I had to start digging deeply in his work art in order to try to reproduce it.

So the month for this hard job had finally arrived. Tony Catany changed the way I felt the dead nature art together with the way I used to take pictures. I don’t think there is any other master that left such a mark on me…

He was a Mallorquin (from Mallorca Island in Spain) who lived in Barcelona from 1960. As a good self-taught, he only did a short correspondence course when he was very young. He published his first photo reports in 1668 and from 1978 onwards he started being recognized all over the world. His knowledge of how to apply lights and shadows is excellent and the elegance he treats colour with is just exquisite.


His work is plenty of sensibility, armony and also melancoly. I found out about him a few months ago in a course I was doing at Encandilarte, and I fell in love with his art straight away. I liked it so much that I started looking up in the Internet all his photographies, trying to purchase one of them. I ended up with three of them over my hands thanks to Blanca de Berlin, an art gallery director in Madrid, who happened to be selling some of the Catany’s photos.

The core of his work is the still life, naked human bodies and gorgeous landscapes.

Toni Catany showed his work for the first time in 1972. Then over 200 more came after. In 2001 he won the National Photography Award by the Ministry of Culture and the National Award of the Fine Art (Catalunya).  He was considered within the 100 best photographers in the world by Life Magazine.

Tony tested with the oldest developing techniques all over his career. Finally he jumped into the digital photography “because that let him treat the color in the way he was looking for” (according to his own words). He used a half professional camera for many years, exactly the Sony 828.

His art is captivating, moving and will please you for sure, due to his sensibility and elegance.

I right now am declaring myself an inconditional fan of his whole work and his way of seing beauty. I’ll never forget one of his quotes, that I from now onwards will do mine:

“To me photography is a way of showing my feelings, my mood and my emotions. I don’t photograph for others, but for myself, just for the pleasure of taking photos. I fon top of that, people like my work, the satisfaction is then amplified”.

Toni Catany

 I’ve enjoyed this proyect very much. And this is the result of several sessions of Dead Nature trying to emulate the work of a great visionary.

I hope you enjoy that much with my work as well!









In Forcall, two surprising things happened to me

In Forcall, two surprising things happened to me. The first was meeting Pep Orti. Pep stopped me in the street, it was 9:00am and I had been taking shots of the small treasures I was discovering around the town. His invitation was direct: “if you like photography, perhaps you would like to photograph my museum”. After passing by the hotel for breakfast I quickly returned, I soon found myself inside a small premise on the street of with traditional town houses of this area.

Pep’s small museum had been created upon his father’s (Florenci Orti) initiative. A wide space with very high ceilings, and a dim and subtle light that encased each piece, different tools of all types and periods including traditional farming tools, which Florencio had been collecting and restoring throughout his entire life. Pep told me how the majority of the pieces exhibited there had arrived in his hands; through small exchanges and bartering with the neighbors in the area. A lifetime of compiling and restoring all sorts of tools traditionally used for slaughters, grapevine cultivation, transport, shoemaking, farming…



Florenci, now retired, is an espadrille expert as was his wife and parents. All of them created the traditional “espardeñas” (– a traditional canvas shoe with a hemp or jute sole secured to the foot by straps). These shoes, worn by all in Forcall and the rest of the region, were used for both parties and work. Pep continues and maintains this tradition, sporadically doing workshops for those interested in this shoemaking craft. That exact same weekend he had planned to do one, and had prepared all the material ready to receive his students who were each going to leave with a beautiful pair of espadrilles handcrafted by them.

The top part of the premises accommodates a very complete exhibition of tools used to treat the fibers and all other tasks carried out by an espadrille maker. Pep’s father’s, mother’s and grandmother’s work seats are all exhibited there, like a small display of espadrilles from different periods.

I left with a fantastic feeling, excited to see how someone had had the sensitivity to select, compile, and classify all those elements that had formed part of the work, culture and life of the town with so much care and attention. It is these little stories that are able to make me happy and give sense not only to one day but to a whole trip. These small stories are the ones that reach me deep inside and it also excites me to hear about the main characters in them.

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I leave you with some images that I captured while Pep explained to me, in full detail, the history of each and every piece displayed there upon his father, Florenci’s, initiative.

Many thanks to Florenci for compiling and ordering all these small testimonies of the life and work of his region, and also to Pep for maintaining, caring for, and spreading his legacy with so much careful attention.

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Grand Hotel

–          Year of production: 1932

–          Director: Edmund Goulding

–          Actors: Greta Garbo (Madame Grusinskaya), John Barrymore (The Baron), Joan Crawford (Flaemmchen), Wallace Beery (Preysing), Lionen Barrymore (Kringelein),Photography: William Daniels.

Edmund Goulding, William H Daniels, Wallace Beery and Joan Crawford- filmfoodie.blogspot.com

This film depicts life inBerlin’s most expensive hotel, and the coming and going of its guests and employees. It’s an adaptation of the novel “Menschen im Hotel” written by the playwright Vicky Baumm. The writer based the story on real events that occurred in a hotel where she worked between a shorthand writer and an industrial magnate. She used her own experiences as a chambermaid in two renowned hotels inBerlinto write her novel.

“The people come and go. Nothing ever happens” this is one of the quotes from the film that best describes it. A baron, an old war wounded doctor, a humble worker on the point of death, an aggressive industrialist, a very beautiful Russian ballerina, a rather liberal secretary and other endless characters are mixed together to create and tell various tales. The clients register at the hotel, share their lives and then leave.


Their lives merge in a way that reminds us of many current films and series. At first, when we start watching it, it seems that we find ourselves before one of those comedies that depicts an optimistic and light-hearted way of life. However, we immediately realize that what is before us is actually a drama. It is a film that speaks to us of honesty, generosity, friendship, ambition, pride, respect, and falling in and out of love.


I am not going to tell you the film’s plot, as it is one that is complicated to tell and better to see. The staging is impressive: the hotel lobby, the staircases, the corridors and the rooms. All of the decorations are extraordinary. The scenes in which Greta Garbo crosses the hotel lobby like an authentic diva, followed by a group of bellboys loaded with flowers, are exquisite.

The stories are cross-linked, a formula that was greatly used after and that has been given the name of “Grand Hotel formula”.

My personal favourites are Joan Crawford and Lionel Barrymore. In her role as secretary, Joan Crawford is splendid, elegant, mischievous and coquettish. Lionel Barrymore plays the role of a tender, honest and reliable old man. For me, Greta Garbo is too distant and cold, although extremely beautiful and very elegant, she does not manage to captivate the spectator.



The film received an Oscar for Best Film in 1932 and again in 2007 by the National FilmPreservation (I previously explained what this award is here).

Curiosities and Anecdotes:

  • The film includes endless anecdotes, curiosities and legendary parts, such as the fight between Garbo and Crawford, not sure whether real or produced at the time to promote the film before its release. This type of thing continues to be done and also to give good results at ticket selling time.  The question remains to why the two divas never appear together, some say that it was so that one did not take the spotlight away from the other.
  • It is the only film with an Oscar for Best Film that did not manage to receive any other nominations.
  • Wallace Beery turned down the role offered to him at first, only to later accept it on the condition that he would be the only actor with a German accent.
  • Greta Garbo requested that the set be decorated with red lights, so as to give the rehearsals a more romantic atmosphere.
  • Greta Garbo’s line “I want to be alone” is at number 30 of the 100 best American Film quotations according to the AFI (American Film Institute), and it was used by Groucho Marx in “A Night at the Opera”. Also HerculesPoirot in “Murder on the Orient Express” said that: “Some of us, in the words of the divine Greta Garbo, want to be alone”.
  • In the scenes of the hotel foyer where there were so many people moving about, it was ordered of all the actors and extras that they wear socks over their shoes so as not to make so much noise. Two hundred pairs of woollen socks were used everyday.
  • The tickets to the premiere cost $1.50, an enormous amount for cinema entry at the time.


  • In the change of shots in one of the scenes with Garbo on the telephone, the telephone appears in the opposite hand.
  •  Sweat marks are visible on Garbo’s dress in one of the most passionate scenes in the film.
  • The steering wheels of all the cars are on the right. InGermanythey drove (and still drive) on the right, in which case the steering wheels should all be on the left.
  • The wall shakes when a drunken Mr. Kringeley knocks on the door of his room.


I leave you a trailer for the film that was made later on as, according to the imbd.com, the original has been lost.

The film’s trailer (according to imbd.com, the 1932 original is lost):

A classic film that takes second place on our list of iconic films.


Wikipedia, 24 veces por segundo blog, Tcm.com y los ojos de cain scoom.com.


Vivian Maier

One hundred and twenty images presented as “Street Photographer”, however, they are only one tiny part of Vivian Maier´s (1926-2009) photographic legacy. We can see them displayed in Valladolid until July 8th. It is the first time that this anonymous portrait artist (nanny by profession) is being exhibited in Europe.

I discovered her thanks to Beatriz Garcia Couriel in one of her online photography courses. Vivian’s plain and simple work takes you straight to mid twentieth century Chicago and New York before you even realize it. I fell in love with her work from the first moment.

Vivian developed her reels in the bathroom of a house where she was working as a nanny, finally accumulating hundreds of them. The majority still haven´t even been revealed.

Vivian´s legacy was discovered six years ago by total coincidence when, after an auction in Chicago, nearly 100,000 negatives were found. John Maloof, the owner of the material auctioned in 2007, still hasn’t managed to bring all of her material to light. The auction took place two years before the photographer´s death and it was carried out in order to help her pay off her debts, and come out of the precarious financial situation in which she found herself.

They are street prints, people from everyday life in Chicago and New York: prostitutes, beggars, tramps, children… They are simply everyday scenes bursting with magnetism.

One of the photographer´s series that most caught my attention from the first moment were her self-portraits. They´re reflections in mirrors or glass in normal every day places taken during her Sunday strolls. They are a series of self-portraits in which you can see a serious Vivian with a reserved, shy and secretive look about her. This is the feeling that these particular photographs transmit to me. The exhibition´s commissioner, Anne Morin, has named it the “never-ending search” for herself, “perhaps because of the real exploration of who she was”.

Street Photographer, after passing through Valladolid, will travel through Belgium, France and Sweden, amongst other countries, for the next three years.

During the month of May I carried out my first amateur photographic project. .  It consists of 31 black and white photographs of the “Barrio de Salamanca” in Madrid “31 Moments to Remember“. The last image of my project is a small tribute to this great artist.

My 13 reflections of my area.

You may have already guessed that I plan to go and visit the exhibition. I think that it is a unique occasion to enjoy this artist’s work and I probably won´t have another chance to see it in my lifetime.

I will tell you about my impressions…

Images: © Vivian Maier, Maloof Collection, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY