Inside this issue
Born in 1972 and currently based in Lisbon. Since 2008, Luis has photographed exclusively natural landscapes and some of its inhabitants. He likes to photograph in his country, in places with which he can develop a long-standing relationship. He is more keen to show the intimate view than the big vista as he believes that nature photography can and should represent much more than just “this is what I saw”.
Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.
Luis was an early subscriber to our magazine and I've been an admirer of his photography for quite a while. After seeing a recent project, an homage to Monet using scenes from his local area, and also reading some of his excellent writing in his Perspetiva magazine, I was very keen to feature him in On Landscape.
Can you tell me a little about your education, childhood passions, early exposure to photography etc?
I grew up in a small town in the centre of Portugal. It is still a major railway hub and the home of the national railway museum. My father worked for the railway company, so I guess my first passion was about trains. I remember asking my parents for an electric model train for years in a row. I guess I was already a teenager when I got my first one. That passion still lingers, although nowadays, photography takes all the “free” time I have, and so locomotives remain mainly in the shed.
When I was young, photography was not an activity that my parents pursued. The only camera available in the house was a very basic Kodak 110 film camera that was used very rarely. I have only a dozen photos from my early years. Only when I got into university to complete a Computer Science degree I was really exposed to photography. One of my roommates had an old Cosina SLR and transformed our shared bathroom into a darkroom. I discovered the beauty of making photography, not in aesthetic terms but as a mechanical experience: operate a camera, hear the click and process the film until a photograph appears, by magic, on a wet sheet of paper.
After graduating, during an internship in Austria, I felt the need for a camera to capture the beauty around me and so I bought my first one, a Canon EOS 500N. In the first years, in the late 90s, my favourite subjects were architecture and street photography. I loved the pulse of the big cities and the people that lived in them. People's relationship with the city always provided endless photographic opportunities. In 2005, my first child was born, and I decided I no longer had the time nor the stamina to venture the streets - street photography is very consuming from an emotional point of view - and turned to nature. I was very connected to nature since my younger years so it was like a comeback now with a camera in my hands. Since 2007 I have been solely devoted to landscape and nature photography.