I met Ace at the opening of the new Watch Garage/Atelier do Relógio space. It was obvious from the start that our shared passion for horology was what brought us together to that specific place but just five minutes into the conversation were enough to realize that there are people who have passions and then there are people who are truly passionate — Ace Noguera falls into the latter category.
Photographer, videographer and content creator, Ace relocated from Atlanta to Porto, a move that proved to be a boon for us. We need good people and talent around here. Ace is also the mastermind behind the project watchsocial.co, which I consider a very pragmatic take on horology, with his unique way of communicating that resonates with me.
But let's put aside watches and work for now. I want to talk about cameras.​​​​​​​
I boasted about my choice of the Leica Q2 as my primary camera while Ace was grappling with medium format systems, mainly Fuji and Hasselblad.
With too many decades spent on photography forums, I know the famous phrase "gear doesn’t matter" isn't entirely true and after too many years of life, I also know the equivalent "size doesn’t matter" isn't true either. Pun intended!
The idea is quite simple: no matter how great the camera's specifications are or how appealing the object seems, if it doesn't provide a sense of complement to our vision and if ergonomically it doesn't feel right in our hands, then it doesn't work for us. For a photographer a camera is more than just a tool; there's a strong tactile relationship — a nearly umbilical connection.
So, "gear does matter" up to a point.
As for size, it's even simpler. The larger the sensor the more information it captures and basically everything is better! I have an archive of thousands of negatives, and the difference between a 35mm and a 6x6 or a 6x4.5, for example, is like looking at a postage stamp versus a small painting. So I totally understand Ace's struggle moving on up that special step to medium format and the task of choosing his weapon of choice.
I didn't know that Ace also had a knack for poetry but at one point a small poem slips: in a few weeks I'll be heading back to the United States to pick up my Hasselblad X1D.
I've never used a digital Hasselblad but I spent two decades using the famous analog 500CM model so I was naturally curious to see some results.
And so it was, Ace returned to the States and shared the results of a chill lifestyle session with his friend and visual artist, also from Atlanta, Erik Petesun.​​​​​​​
The images are wonderful — the light, the detail, the framing, the use of the depth of field, the composition, the gorgeous cinematic feel. 
They're truly photographs worth seeing full screen or printed big scale. The Hasselblad X1D is a precious gem and in the hands of a talented photographer, it simply shines.​​​​​​​
Of course, equipment doesn't make the photographer, nor do models make the photographs, but when all three are in harmony and energy flows, moments like these happen.
Hats off to Ace and Erik.​​​​​​​
All images in this article © Ace Noguera

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