Finding Order in Chaos

There are few things I enjoy more than going to a sports event with my camera in hand, free to capture whatever I like.

And although I can never turn away from a classic action shot, I also find myself looking for a more abstract type of scene, where the athlete, never ceasing to be the key element, shares some of his/her spotlight with other aspects of the image, like the landscape and the equipment.

While organising my recent photos from Crossfit and OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) competitions, I also found that by grouping certain images the resulting sets (of 3 photos) became much more interesting than the individual photos.
This is common practice in the editorial world, but nonetheless fascinating. It’s like finding order in chaos.

 

Wild Challenge Cascais 2016 - Obstacle Course Racing

 

Wild Challenge Cascais 2016 - Obstacle Course Racing

 

Wild Challenge Cascais 2016 - Obstacle Course Racing

 

Loures Urban Obstacles 2016 - Obstacle Course Racing

 

Wild Challenge Cascais 2016 - Obstacle Course Racing

 

Manz Cross Games 2016 - CrossFit

 

Manz Cross Games 2016 - CrossFit

Lifestyle, Travel & Photography

One of the upsides of being a people photographer, is that you get to meet very interesting people, like Karl-Heinz Limberg, who I photographed last year at the stunning Palácio Belmonte, in Lisbon.
His interest in travel, fitness and great atitude towards life in general made us friends on the spot!

He recently featured an interview with me in his lifestyle blog, talking about photography and some of the life decisions that lead me to becoming a professional photographer.
If you are at all interested in lifestyle, fitness and travel, you should definitely check out what he is up to.

 

        Karl-Heinz Limberg at Palacio Belmonte

Incredibly Sweet Photography

(Forgive the pun, couldn’t resist it…)

No Ponto (Portuguese expression meaning something like “just right”) is a project that aims to thoroughly document Portuguese confectionery, and Cristina Castro, the mastermind behind the project, invited me to make the images of the individual sweets that will be published in a book series.
For more than a year now, we have been gathering and photographing Portugal's sweets, which will be distributed throughout several books and this year the very first one comes out: sweets from Northern Portugal.

Besides the books, the project lives online, with a blog - On The Road - that describes the travels and a number of videos with interviews on the website No Ponto and Youtube channel. You can also follow this adventure on the Facebook and Instagram accounts.

I can hardly wait to see and share the final results, but meanwhile, here is a sneak peek...

 

Clarinhas de Fão - Esposende, Portugal

Clarinhas de Fão - Esposende, Portugal

Melhor Bolo de Chocolate do Ribatejo, Portugal

Melhor Bolo de Chocolate do Ribatejo, Portugal

 
Valencianos - Valença do Minho, Portugal

Valencianos - Valença do Minho, Portugal

Especialidades Clautrais - Santo Tirso, Portugal

Especialidades Clautrais - Santo Tirso, Portugal

 
Foguetes - Amarante, Portugal

Foguetes - Amarante, Portugal

 
Amores de Viana - Viana do Castelo, Portugal

Amores de Viana - Viana do Castelo, Portugal

Rochedos - Alfândega da Fé, Portugal

Rochedos - Alfândega da Fé, Portugal

 
Rebuçados da Régua - Peso da Régua, Portugal

Rebuçados da Régua - Peso da Régua, Portugal

Where to Train Next?

 
 

 

An athlete needs the ocasional change of scenery to train, right?...
So we planned an operation to infiltrate the Electricity Museum (Lisbon), so that Vanessa could ride in an epic location!

Needless to say that she had to come adequately dressed and have proper makeup done!

Team Ninja
model: Vanessa Pereira (5x Portuguese long distance triathlon champion)
hair & makeup: Dulce Monteiro and Carolina Ribeiro
photo: Gonçalo Barriga
photo assistant: Renato Melo
bts video: Miguel Barriga

Many thanks to the whole team and to the Electricity Museum for making these images possible!

 
 

Life In a Box - Photographing CrossFit Athletes

“I have a good feeling about this”. That’s what I thought when I walked into a CrossFit box for the first time.
I was looking for a theme for a sports related photography project and had found it!

 

 

CrossFit has all the ingredients that I was looking for: the intensity, the interaction between people and the raw quality of the environment and the equipment that enhances the emotional charge of the images.

Also, I had a free pass to shoot, thanks to the amazing friendliness of the instructors and members at Ironbox, who have been putting up with me for the past few months!

 

I had seen (and felt) some really strong fitness programs before, but this was a whole new level, mostly because of the variety and high intensity of the workouts.

“What is CrossFit?” is answered in many articles all over the internet, including this one (in Portuguese), on the In Shape website. But I prefer to use photographs to show the dedication, the intensity, the sacrifice and the power of these athletes.

You can see more of my CrossFit photos in this gallery - Life In a Box - which will be updated as I go along.

Vanessa Pereira - The girl behind the athlete

 

It was a great day, the one I met up with Vanessa for a cup of coffee to discuss “making a few pictures for her”.

Not only did the (5x) triathlon national champion give me total creative freedom, but she also agreed to let me turn this into a longer project, with several sessions in different situations, that would illustrate the girl besides the athlete. An irresistible challenge for me!

Over the next few weeks, expect to see a lot of triathlon photos both here and on my social media. So get ready!

 

Dozens of climbers light up the Matterhorn first ascent route

This video shows what can be achieved when a company has the right vision and spares no effort in showing it. In this case, Mammut decided to prepare for the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Matterhorn’s first ascent, by creating an epic image.

The Matterhorn is one of the most famous peaks in the Alps, with 4478m, and in the photo, the red headlamps of dozens of climbers illuminate the route that the Edward Whymper expedition took back in 1865.

Btw, if you would like to have their image as your desktop wallpaper, they were nice enough to make it available here.

The Matrix

 

“There is no spoon..."

Some places literally beg to be photographed, and this elevator at LX Factory (Lisbon) had been asking for it for a long time…

I had just finished a studio shoot with Elias for another project (if you’ve been following this blog, you guessed it - athlete’s portraits) and we decided that there was time for a few more photos, “Matrix style”!

Totally nailed it, didn’t he?…

Funny thing is that Elias is the most cheerful, less sinister person you will ever meet, which just goes to show that he is also a good actor!

 

Men and Horses


Been interested in photographing horses for a long time and recently I met some great people that are totally into this lifestyle. One thing led to another and I found myself shooting the show jumping competition at the Golegã High Performance Center for Equestrian Sports (after spending all morning at their amazing property watching horse training).

Technically, this wasn’t the first time I’ve shot this sport, but let’s say that this time I took it a little more seriously…
I’m very happy with the results, love the way that man (or woman) and horse flow together in a mass of elegant power.

An athlete’s portrait can take on unusual shapes!

Gonçalo Barriga - Sofia


For one of the most recent sessions of my ongoing project of athlete’s portraits, I invited Sofia who, among many other things, is a fanatical kitesurfer.

We were still warming up, you know: “so this is what were going to do today”, when she pulls off this twist that turns her poncho into a big black disk! A few takes later, to adjust leg position, facial expression and the shape of the disk and we had what ended up being my favorite shot of the whole session!

Sure, it has nothing to do with kitesurf, but it has everything to do with Sofia...