Born in the small village of Pontével in Portugal, Ricardo began with his first photo exhibition when he was only 15 years old. His rich experience in photography and film, as well as his involvement in many art projects are fascinating. We requested Ricardo to try the new Petzval lens with his Canon camera, and asked him about the experience. Read on for the full interview.
Name: Ricardo Quaresma Vieira
Camera: Canon 5D MII
Please tell us about your first experience in photography.
My father is a photographer and since I was a little boy I remember learning from him the whole process ofanalogue photography, both color and b&w. I even have odd but cool pictures of my birth at home that my father took – without my mother’s consent. Later on I went to university to study film (fast photography). My first professional experience was doing film and photography and I still love and use both. From short films, stop-motion, fashion editorials, advertisements, portraits and exhibitions, I think now I’m in the real school, learning every day a new thing almost at the speed of light!
What is most challenging about working as a photographer and artist for a living?
I think that at the present time we are actually living in the future. The society is becoming addicted to image consumption, with some help of new technologies like smartphones and computers; it’s the new age for digital images. Internet evolution was dramatically fast in the last years and nowadays images – both still and motion pictures – are a big presence in everyone’s lives. Now it’s happening—-the real democratization of photography, which is what Eastman Kodak wanted to happen almost 100 years ago. I believe this is an era of transition for photography, like it happened with the transition from painting to photography, or from b&w photography to color and recently from analogue to digital. It’s time for communication without borders where image plays an important role, almost as big as back in the beginning of writing.
Tell us your experience with the Petzval lens. What advice will you give to those who are just trying the lens for the first time?
I was impressed with the detail you can get with this lens. I know it’s perfect for portraits, but I wanted to explore it in all ways I could. I did some stuff like portraits, magic Lisboa light, surf at Guincho beach, and so on. It’s an unusual lens but very well made, robust, like an object of desire. It can be hard to focus at f/stop 2.2 but you can get used to manual focus, sometimes you can even get an image with a result similar to a tilt-and-shift lens. Shooting in the studio with strobe light at f/stop 8 the image detail was superb. I even did an experiment inverting the lens and holding it with my left hand in order to use it as a macro lens, the results were impressive. This lens has “cinema” written on its soul and, like in films, you have to know how to make the best out of it with your own inner creativity and cinematography (almost ancient) technique.
Which is your favorite picture taken with the lens? Why?
Difficult question… maybe the beach landscape. It’s a quiet image, reminds me on the beautiful afternoon at Praia do Guincho with some good friends.
What do you think are the pros of shooting choosing film over digital?
People think twice before clicking to the first thing that appears in front of them when they shoot with film. It’s a different rhythm to the “modern times”, it makes you think a bit more… But there are no boundaries anymore, analogue and digital live together happily ever after! Photons are there all the time, no matter what .
And lastly, what’s the strangest, funniest, hands-down greatest, or most “unusual” photographic encounter that you have ever had?
Stereoscopy was the strangest, funniest, hands-down greatest, or most “unusual” photographic encounter that I have ever had.
The Lomography x Zenit Petzval Lens is now available for pre-order in the Lomography Online Shop! They will be delivered on a first come, first served basis; so don’t miss out on securing your piece of photographic history and your place in the pre-order queue!