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Bruno Candeias

My first experience using a Rolleiflex to capture the beauty of vintage timepieces

Photo by Author

Mechanical watches and analogue photography have a lot in common. Much like the way a watch keeps time, a mechanical film camera uses gears and springs to measure the fraction of time needed to record an image, all without requiring batteries.

These similarities were what led me to watches for the first time: coming from a background in engineering and photography, these small and intricate objects fascinated me. From there, I went down the rabbit hole trying to of learning their history, eventually coming to photographing them. …

Let’s skip bokeh to create richer and more interesting images — you better focus on this one!

Photo by Author

Bokeh is everywhere.

With the introduction of larger sensor digital consumer cameras in the early 2000s, making blurred backgrounds became a common technique in the amateur photography universe. What used to be a trick reserved for professionals with expensive cameras is now available to everyone — it’s even possible to replicate this effect on the iPhone!

Using a shallow depth of field to isolate the subject comes at a cost, though. In this article, I’ll explore some of the disadvantages of using bokeh, and present some alternatives to create beautiful images with added depth and story.

Ain’t nobody got time for that

Photography with a shallow…

How Rolex became the world’s leading watch brand

Old Rolex dial macro with gilt logo and spider (cracked) texture
Old Rolex dial macro with gilt logo and spider (cracked) texture
Photo by Diogo Costa / Assis&Sons

If I ask you to name a luxury watch brand, what is the first one that comes to your mind?

Most likely, Rolex.

Even though most Rolex watches are priced at a mid-range luxury segment, wearing one is seen by many as the ultimate sign of wealth and success in life.

It is not a simple matter of perception, though. The brand dominates the watch market, producing over one million units per year and holding a 25% market share of the watches sold in Switzerland in 2020.

But how did this company become so ubiquitous in our society, and does…

A story about music, marbles, polymaths, and creativity

The Marble Machine (Photo by Wintergatan)

I still remember watching the original Marble Machine music video, published by Wintergatan back in 2013.

The founder of the band, Martin Molin, built this fascinating Rube-Golberg-like creation that used 2000 marbles a hand-crank to play a complete song with a wide range of instruments. Its debut video got insanely viral, with over 174 million views at the moment of this writing.

But Martin’s creativity didn’t end there. In 2017, he decided to scrap the original machine and design a new version from scratch — the Marble Machine X.

Objectively speaking, no luxury watch is worth its retail price, and mechanical watches became obsolete with the introduction of cheaper and more accurate battery-powered pieces. But that doesn't mean that a person can't find joy in having a nice watch, for several personal reasons.

Sure, some people buy them to impress others, while others see them as symbols that reflect their personality, a way to join a community, something with permanence in a disposable society and a token for future generations.

These little things can bring joy to life, even if I'm sure that I'll never be able to afford my dream watch!

How a point-and-shoot camera from the 90s cured my gear obsession

Fujifilm GA645W (Photo by Author)

With the current camera offerings in the market, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the choices and spend countless hours searching for that ‘perfect’ camera.

This endless process of researching, buying and testing cameras— also known as Gear Acquisition Syndrome — is a common problem within the photography community and steals your time and attention from what matters most: producing memorable images.

While I don’t believe that creativity and artistic vision are constrained by the tools you choose, it’s indeed quite impossible to create an image without using a camera.

Going through the inevitable trial and error process has taught…

5 stories that ‘bridge the gap’ between the worlds of Horology and Civil Engineering

Photo by Nicolas Lysandrou on Unsplash

Iconic bridges throughout the world, such as Golden Gate, Tower Bridge, or Sydney Harbour Bridge, represent a perfect blend between form and function — some of them are even considered to be true monuments and works of art.

Being both a civil engineer and a watch enthusiast, these two areas have always drawn my attention. In this article, I will show you that the two share more in common than you might initially think.

Without bridges, there would be no watches

The 18th century marked the start of a new era in watchmaking, thanks to the inventions of brilliant minds such as Jean-Antoine Lépine.

Back then, pocket…

Behind the scenes of my favourite photoshoots, with some tips and tricks to take your product photography skills to the next level.

Photo by Author

In these times of uncertainty and boredom-inducing confinement, I decided to share three images I took recently that made me quite happy and unveil some of the secrets and tricks that went into making them.

In this article, I will avoid talking about gear since most of the current cameras can take perfectly fine pictures for social media. Instead, I’m going to focus on what makes a photograph stand out and how you can try to improve your creativity by approaching product photography more artistically.

I think a good starting point (and something to keep in mind while reading this…

Why accepting noise and adding grain can improve your images

Photo by Zach Vessels on Unsplash

As photo geeks, we obsess over image quality. We read countless reviews before buying a camera or lens and examine our images at 200% magnification before sharing them. From this standpoint, it’s reasonable to assume that an image should be as clean as possible and free of any visible noise, right?

In this article, I’ll go against the flow and try to present to you some of the advantages of doing the exact opposite — adding grain instead of running away from it.

What is noise, anyway? Digital noise consists of random pixels scattered over the photo, producing a similar…

Let me guide you through the exciting world of Photoshop and composite photography, from importing to the final result!

Before / After (Photo by Author)

Two years ago, I took an online course about product photo editing that completely changed the way I approach the photographic process. Coming from an analogue photography background, I have always been very “purist” about the whole process, trying as much as possible to preserve the original image by only making slight adjustments on light and contrast. …

Bruno Candeias

I take photos, drink coffee, watch watches, and write about all of it.

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