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.

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.

Anatomy of a Photomontage

"How fast do you want to go?”

 

Step 1: dig up an old (and boring!) photo taken at Marvão (Portugal)

Marvão, Portugal

Step 2: throw it into Photoshop and beat those pixels up until you squeeze the speed out of it!*

As Frederick Van Johnson, host of the This Week in Photo podcast often says “pixels were born to be punished!"

*(in this case, motion blur, noise, contrast, saturation) 

speed road

Step 3: photograph a cool biker

Biker

Step 4: join them together and… BAM!

speed bike photomontage (composite)

Raquel


One of the things that makes an athlete a special breed of model is the ability to bring intensity to an image.
Besides having a sculptural body (which is something many other models have), they can pull off poses of such elegance and power that I have a hard time believing we're even from the same species…

And if I need to fine tune their expression, all I have to do is ask them to remember their last training session or the final stretch of a competition… determination will become written all over their face!

It’s not by chance that a lot of the sports stars become photographic models, take Cristiano Ronaldo and Nelson Évora, for example.

Raquel used to be a high class gymnast and although it’s been a while since her last competition, and she’s a bit “rusty” (her words, not mine!), she still looks absolutely superhuman to anyone who can’t take their nose to their toes!

Bruno

Sometimes, photographing someone is so much easier if you can add something that is a part of their life. Like a motorbike.

Bruno is a great chef and I’ve shot him in the kitchen several times, but when he told me that he rode a beautiful white Ducati… well, you know… it just had to happen!

By the way, he works at QB Essence in Oeiras, you should really check it out! ;) 

Cool Pet Photo

Smiling Dog Portrait

"Pet portraits? What do you mean?!"

As many of you, I've had pets for as long as I can remember. Actually, when I was a little kid there was a dog that waited for me outside my house and followed me around. It was my "street dog".

I've had dogs, cats, parrots, hamsters, fish...

Pet Photography can be a challenge if you're the owner of the pet...

As I became more and more interested in photography, It was only natural that I started photographing them, of course. Only one small problem… have you ever tried to photograph your own dog?… What happens as soon as you kneel to get to his level?… That's right, he comes straight at you to play!

So… I love animals + I love photography + it's hard to get a decent shot of your pet… hum… Cool Pet Photo in born!

Now I get to photograph different pets all the time! It's sort of like being the uncle that has all the fun with the kids and leaves when things start to get ugly…!

And if you think photographing kids is a challenge, try a cat…

Making the cat look at you at the right moment takes practice and patience


If you want to know more about Cool Pet Photo, head on to our website at http://coolpetphoto.com and join our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/coolpetphoto

Using studio lighting in Pet Photography