Saturday, December 12, 2015

End of a long year

2015 is coming to a close. Today it is very warm but it took some time to raise the temperature. For instance, it was quite cool and windy in the Rambla, during the San Felipe y Santiago street race. The athletes flew past my lens in the dusk.

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I went to the Prado, the big beautiful park around the Miguelete creek. Many people were doing exercise and walking. If only the Miguelete were cleaner!

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The classic fishing boats are still around in Buceo, swaying in the sun.

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I would like to end 2015 in color! How about Flamenco dancers in an amateur show?

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Thanks for your patience during 2015 and all the best for the New Year!

Technical: B&W was Pan F+ in Beutler (shot in a Retina IIIc). Dancers, from a Canon G12.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Heritage day in Montevideo harbor

Last weekend we had our Heritage Day. The event was heavily weighted toward buildings and architecture, so I chose to visit the harbor instead. A lot of people had the same idea.

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Sunday morning, weather was not very fine. Well, it rained lightly. To the right of the Zabala entrance, the harbor is mostly used by large container ships (with the occasional cruise ship).

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The Graf Spee anchor is still there in the memorial. Nowadays very few people come to look at it.

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People come to the harbor to work, to fix ship and machine parts, and of course to serve the vessels. It looked a bit crowded in the tugs area.

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Almost all of our Navy was there, saving fuel and looking smart.

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On exhibit, there was the helm of the gunboat Calvo Sotelo, which I believe is the same little ship that fought in one of the rare Spanish Civil War naval actions back in 1938. I do not know how the helm came to Montevideo; it might well be an interesting story.

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I liked the tones in these chains, which will end the post of today.

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Thanks for looking. Technical info: Spotmatic with 35/2, FP4+ in Beutler.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


No words needed.

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The guys were proud of the catch.

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No-name 18-28 zoom in the old Pentax ME, FP4+ in Beutler, what else.

Friday, May 01, 2015

The test routine

There is a circuit in the city for testing old cameras. At least I have found one.

It starts in Buceo harbor, near the fishing boats and tugs.

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Then the nice Holocaust Monument, which is a fitting subject to visit 70 years after the liberation of the concentration camps.

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I have photographed the olive tree at the end of the rusty rail track in the monument area a lot of times. It gets a little bit higher each year. I keep trying. This is an artsy effort.

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The old Rodo Park is a good place to finish the roll - many odd subjects. The park has become an attraction for Sunday-morning photo clubs and courses - which is good. This carousel has been turning around in the park since I was a child. I do not think that current children will show too much enthusiasm for these old sleazy attractions. This one looks like the future seen in 1950 or so.

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Next weekend we have elections for the city government. All candidates promise changes, but I would be very much surprised if change finally comes to this old park.

Technical: Yashica-12 (no longer in my hands), Pan F+ in Beutler. Some dust in the negatives, I am getting careless. Thanks for looking! I have reached 100 entries in this blog, which is more than I thought I would.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Alferez Campora

About 60 years ago, a group of four young naval ensigns (Messrs. Costa, Nader, Firpo and Campora) started planning for a trip around the world in a small vessel. In 1958 they got their boat - a seaworthy yacht, the "Achernar", built in Holland back in the 1930s. They refurbished the boat and started living on board, in order to train themselves.

Before the trip, they decided to have their appendix removed, as a precaution. Unfortunately, one of them, Mr. Campora, died from the operation. The boat got his name - "Alferez Campora", "Alferez" being our equivalent to "Ensign", i.e. the initial step in the career of a naval officer.

The other three sailed on in 1960 and came back in 1962, after completing the trip as close to the Equator as practicable. A lot of fuss was rightly made in the press at the time. You can read their whole story in Spanish in the quaint site made by the Uruguayan Navy. Most remarkable, one of them (Mr. Firpo) was the boat photographer. I must find out what equipment he took around the world. Maybe his pictures are still around somewhere!

Why do I write about this? As a child, I remember reading the news about the "Alferez Campora" stopping all over the world. The name was a household word. And later I got to see the three sailors in person in school- the Navy made them tour the country and talk to children, a good PR idea. Now, only the bow remains from the boat. It is displayed just outside the Naval Museum.

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A bronze plate nearby tells people why that bow is there.

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The "Alferez Campora" started and arrived from Buceo Harbor, one of my favorite places in the city - this is how I noticed the bow there, some years ago. The boat had been parked in the harbor already in the late 1950s, when it was bought for the trip.

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Maybe some of those yachts in the background have done similar trips. But the first one to carry the flag around the world is still watching them.

Technical: Konica III, Fuji 200 film.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Piriapolis in January

Vacations have come and gone. This year I went to Piriapolis area for a few days. Not really my best year there.

Weather did not cooperate much. This storm alone was worth about 45mm of rain.

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In the harbor, my favorite place, the authorities had decided to remodel the fishing dock in the harbor - my dearest subject had a forced break this year.

Downtown, there was a remodeled Rambla, from Piria avenue up to the Argentino. Why, oh why some urbanists won't keep still? Here you can see first the beautiful and simple old style design, similar to Nice or Salerno, and then the remodeled section in the downtown area.

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I don't usually criticize local authorities, but, to say it diplomatically, the new design stinks. Traffic has available only two lanes instead of the previous four, and it shows - the Rambla was a 24-hour traffic jam. The very needed and always full parking spaces along the Rambla were wiped out, with the pretext of setting up a few blocks of bycicle trail which nobody uses - who would cross several blocks of traffic jams to do 600 m of a trail crossed by pedestrians every few seconds?. Worst of all, the area looks like a concrete wasteland.

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I hope that those in power will change their minds about this "improvement". Many people would have preferred that the investment had been made somewhere else in the area. For instance, recovering or at least conditioning for visitors the old Piria church, long abandoned, now collecting graffiti and apparently occupied by a wood logs distribution business.

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To get out of the depression mood, let's see the harbor and San Antonio hill in a panoramic parting shot. Water always gives me hope.

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Thanks for looking and all the best for 2015!

Technical information: Horizont camera, FP4+ in Beutler.