Filipe P Neto is an excellent photographer and long time 1x member. Filipe likes to convey simple compositions which do not leave the viewer indifferent to the aesthetic appearance, technical skills and beauty. Let us listen what this artist photographer has to tell about himself and about his work in this interview.
Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs, Filipe.
I am 50 years old, graduated in Electrical Engineering and I practice my profession in this area. As hobbies, I really enjoy reading, watching movies, and essentially shooting.
How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
As I have a background in Engineering, I see the world in a very practical and direct sense. I think my photographs, in general, reflect my personality. I look for simple, balanced and aesthetic compositions.
Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
I live in Porto, Portugal. When I started to dedicate myself more to photography in 2010, I joined other photographers and we made a group called "GO UP - Grupo Olhares Unidos do Porto".
On Saturday mornings, we used to walk through the city of Porto, while we were photographing and talking about photographic techniques. During these walks we learned a lot from each other. The city of Porto has a lot of recent architecture, such as the metro network and the "Casa da Música" (the building where I work is located next door). We started to explore these spaces a lot and I became an increasingly fan of architecture photography.
"1x" helped me a lot to improve my photographic compositions. Looking to the published images of so many excellent photographers made me trying to get my own photographs published. With this challenge and goal in mind, I continuously improved my compositions and editions.
What first attracted you to photography?
In my photographs, I can show others what I see and how I'm feeling and interpreting what I see.
Describe your overall photographic vision.
For me, photography gives the opportunity to the photographer to transmit his own approach of the world around him.
Why are you so drawn by architecture Photography?
When I find myself next to a building or in a certain space, I like to capture its lines and its shapes, looking for an original approach that surprises those who see the final result.
What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
As I do architectural photography, for me, in this case, technical perfection is more important, and I always aim to convey feelings of harmony and aesthetics.
What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?
Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
I think it is very important to know well the places where we do photography. As we get to know them better, we learn more about their secrets and find new and surprising approaches.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
To walk in town I have a Lowepro bag to wear on the shoulder, quite discreet. My camera is a Canon EOS 5D Mark III. As an objective, for architectural photography, until very recently I used a Samyang 14mm f / 2.8 IF ED UMC, but meanwhile I bought a Canon EF 11-24mm f / 4 L USM.
What software do you use to process your images?
I subscribed to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan. I start by using Lightroom and then Photoshop.
Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
I shoot in RAW format. With Lightroom I transfer the photos from the card to the computer, while converting to the DNG format. With Lightroom I do the primary processing (as with Adobe Camera Raw) - exposure adjustment, levels, lens correction, noise reduction, among others. Then I move on to Photoshop for image enhancement and local fixes. At the end, to convert the photo to black and white I use the Silver Efex Pro plug-in from the Google Nik Collection.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in architecture Photography and how do you get started?A beginner should start by looking at photo sites such as the 1x site, the images he likes best and, when available, analysing their EXIF information to see which camera parameters have been used.
Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
At first, I was greatly influenced by a photographer named Fidalgo Pedrosa who showed me the importance of the human element in architectural photography to realize the dimension and especially the reason for the existence of the photographed spaces.
Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?
I like to share a set of works of Fidalgo Pedrosa that inspired me and were very useful to find my photographic way.
Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
Since the beginning of this year, taking advantage of the low coast air tickets, I have made some day trips to other cities like Barcelona, Lisbon, Madrid on my own and focussed only on architecture photography. I really enjoyed this experience and intend to continue travelling for that purpose.
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
I really like the photo called “The gate”
It was taken at the Lello bookstore in Porto - one of the most beautiful book stores in the world and it also is one of my first photographs selected by 1x.
When I took it, first I was looking for the symmetrical framework and then waited for someone to appear, showing a person to enter the "magical" world of knowledge that we can get through reading.
What does 1x mean to you as a home base for your work, Felipe?
To me, 1x is one of the best sites ever, full of inspiring work from many excellent photographers.
I like the way the submitted photos first are scrutinized by a very demanding public before being the target of the curators' selection. It is very challenging to me to produce photographs which have a chance to be selected and published. 1X has been one of the main motivations trying to improve and perfection-ate my photographic skills.