portrait

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!

 

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!

 

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)

Professional Photography

 

Horror story for photographers.

A few years ago, I was shooting for a commercial client, when I heard a snap inside the camera and felt like something had come loose. The shutter seemed to work, but there was no image, something very wrong had happened!

One of the components inside my Canon 5D, the mirror, had come off and was literally jingling in there!

I carefully removed the lens and it fell onto my hand! At the time my only thought was “this can’t be good…"  

With a smile on my face but trembling inside, I asked my subjects for a minute. (“My camera’s gone, my camera’s gone…! Well, no one here cares, deal with it later!”)

Went over to my bag, grabbed my backup camera et voilà, the session continued.

I found out later that it was a product defect that Canon had already acknowledged and they were repairing these cases for free. Whew!

“But why don’t you have your equipment insured, Gonçalo?”

Because, amazingly, there is no company in Portugal that will do it! (Please let me know if I’m wrong)

To this day my client doesn’t know any of this happened. What he does know is that everything worked out and he got the photos he needed.

Being a professional photographer isn’t just about making great pictures, it’s about solving problems. Better yet, anticipating them. It’s not cheap having two cameras instead of one, but it can save your skin!