My name is Pedro, I’m a 33 year old photographer from Porto, Portugal. I found photography about two years ago. I was practicing kitesurfing and in the middle of my resting breaks I would use a friend’s DSLR camera and take pictures of my friends riding. It was a basic Canon that had a small sports symbol and the results where nice, so I got interested. “Hmmm maybe I should learn how to explore this tool a little better and might actually get better results”.
This is a guest post by Pedro from Portugal.
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So as in everything I’m interested about in life, I started digging for answers in books, magazines and the internet. I found some websites with e-learning and started a very simple online free training course on how to shoot manual. I started going to the street, the beach, my house, pretty much everywhere and practice what I had read and seen.
I remember taking the first totally manually exposed picture that I really liked and thinking “wow, I really need to go deeper with this, cause it feels amazing!”
So i found a very nice deal on a Canon 5D. It was pure luck. I got it and started shooting with my friend’s lens and then bought a couple of nice ones as well. The quality was there but not regularly. I started to get really interested in composition, then black & white, then HDR, then just shooting with a natural feel and started really paying attention to the white balance of my images. I started using software and also dedicated quite a bit of time to editing at this point.
I learned that I was often shooting too slow (shutter speed) because I was afraid of raising the ISO.
I joined a training course for 4 months with a professional local photographer. Basically I kept feeding myself with different perspectives and types of photography. I also found portraiture to be interesting, I did a few model jobs but didn’t really like that…
I had the opportunity to travel to south america for 2 months in the beginning of 2015. This trip changed my perspective of photography and I blame it on the local people of Peru and Bolivia! These people had very simple lives, with very little access to modern equipments, technology, even electricity in some places. I started paying attention to their stories and lost a bit of my shyness and started approaching people directly to ask for a picture. If that picture could tell a story, I would fall in love with it for long periods of time. I still have pictures from south america that I absolutely love to this day! In the end, this trip changed me in a lot of ways and was very fulfilling!
Once I came back home, I wanted to keep challenging myself and telling stories. I also started looking at my city in a completely different perspective, much more aware of my surroundings. This made me fall in love with Street Photography.
After 2 years of photographing, I can now say my true passion is to able to capture images that will cause a reaction on whoever sees it. I started shooting less but much more accurately and I was always looking to portray some kind of message in my pictures.
Not long before buying the 5D though, things changed. A friend started “yapping” about a Fuji XT1… blablabla… And some features sounded really interesting. I once again googled and read everything i could about it and saw millions of reviews of the fuji X system – body, lenses, accessories, quality of the images, design, ease of use – i explored everything i could. After all, I was considering changing a 5D full frame camera for an APSC I had never tried!
One day I got my hands on an XT1… The manual feel of every aspect in photography, everything reachable with no menus, no pushing 15000 buttons to change the basic settings, the retro design, the quality of the images, the portability and lightness of everything, the richness of the colors and the contrasts of the black & whites… oh my god, those contrasts!!… I just got hooked straight away!
I have to mention the EVF… the fact that you can predict what you will shoot and change the exposure so easily made me improve my shots and my composition!
So eventually I made the leap and till this day I do not regret it! Photography continued to grow and scale on my list of priorities in life.
I’ve reached an inevitable point where I feel a deep calling from it. I have recently decided to go on the road full-time and look for stories that can be inspiring for my personal growth and that can make people feel something. I don’t care if it is love, compassion, hate, relief, pain, surprise, inspiration… I want people to feel something when looking at it. If I can capture someone’s attention and establish a connection through my images, that means I’m doing something good with my work.
I’m in the process of selling everything I own and leaving my city. I will start by traveling Europe with an RV, my 2 dogs, basic clothing, solar panels, spare car parts, 1 laptop and my Fuji gear! I have a road map of where I want to go and a few stories I want to get into.
January 31st is my last day sleeping under a roof. I have set that date in order to have some time to organize everything, spend Xmas with my family and set up a photo gallery of my south american trip before I leave for an unknown period of time.
These life changing big decisions I made… they are based on 3 things:
No 1. I’m passionate about traveling and meeting new cultures.
No 2. Photography. I need to shot on a daily basis to feel motivated.
No 3. I’m not afraid of trusting my instincts and jumping into the unknown. call it a leap of faith. I have done it in the past and i was always happy with my decisions!
Being a freelance is something I have never experienced. It is very odd not to depend on others and to give up a steady easy life. But to be honest, it would be the biggest mistake of my life to ignore this calling!
I do not have any support from Fuji but I am a loyal costumer. There are a few reasons why I don’t imagine myself changing equipment any time soon. 1st of all the quality of the fuji glass is top level. 2nd portability on the road will be amazing! 3rd it just feels right in my hands. It is stealth for street, its design and layout are old-school in the sense that you can dive into any basic controls without going crazy on the menus! It’s filled with direct knobs for everything you need! Can’t go wrong with that.
So stay tuned, the big countdown for February the 1st 2016 has already started in my mind. Actually my mind and soul have already gone. My body is just staying behind to say goodbye for a bit longer. 😉
I am using instagram as the main source to share my work. You can find it at https://instagram.com/thefujitraveller/