Jackson Carvalho's passion for photography is endless. His work is intense and unique. He is in love with life itself and a worshipper of the unusual, full of enthusiasm and continuously striving for innovation. His name gained international recognition, after he won hundreds of prizes in various competitions around the world. 1X Photography is proud to interview you. Thanks for your kind collaboration and your time, Jackson.
Tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
I consider myself a person of simple habits and refined tastes, I like to travel, to get to know new places, people, cultures and customs. Outside of work I like to watch good movies and television shows, always in the company of my wife, preferably at home. Going out with good friends and family to a restaurant and enjoying a good dish and good wines are also always welcome programs. In partnership I I founded 24 years ago Intertotal - Inovação e Negócios, an advertising agency that has already won several awards in its area of activity. I also founded 10 years ago Arte Digital Studio, which works in the areas of film production advertising and photographic productions. But it is in photography that I feel fully realized and that gives me the greatest pleasure, it is as if something of me is being shared with other people and that it remains as contemplative elements well beyond my existence. It was also through photography that my name has gained international prominence, through the hundreds of prizes I have won in various competitions around the world, among them: Gold Medal at Trierenberg Super Circuit, Austria 2014, 2016 and two more Gold medals in 2017. 1 Gold Trophy and two Silver trophies at Graphis Annual Photography, New York 2016, PX3 - Prix de La Photographie 11 Gold Medals, 2015, MIFA - Moscow International Fotograph Awards, one Gold medal, one Silver medal and two Bronze medals , Moscow, 2015, Photographer of the Year in the Architecture category on One Eyeland Awards 2016. In addition there are several publications and international art exhibitions.
How did your life and history experiences affect your photography? What are your most important experiences that influenced your art?
My photographic art brings in a large part of my background. There are emotions, fantasies, dreams, illusions, wishes, , visions and many reveries too. My childhood, my youth, my adventures, my readings and my characteristic of being an observer of what surrounds me from my own point of view, grounded in my photographic aesthetic. But having started reading books, magazines, and comics during my childhood, they have no doubt helped my mind in the development of my photographic art.
What first attracted you to a photograph?
I started very early in photography. Even as a child I was six years old when I received 3 great gifts from my dear Aunt Diva. They were: Pleasure to travel; The good habit of reading, and finally a disposable analogue camera. The three presents promoted a fantastic convergence in my mind and this symbiosis is present to this day. This is what transforms someone in love with the image, and all the areas in which I act and act professionally, always orbiting around this my great passion: The Image.
Describe your overall photographic vision.
We have the freedom to create, to invent to provoke, simply by a click. Different points of view provide different compositions and harmonization of shapes, lights and shadows. Just as the word "success" is directly linked to the word "pain", a "striking" photo is directly associated with an "unusual point of view".
When we studied photography of the great masters, the great master painters of the Renaissance, we recognized their daring being put into paintings, mixed with an excellent technique that they had developed, but it was their distinctive point of view, their creative and interpretive ability that made them brilliant. Contemporary masters of photography, for the most part, teach us good techniques and good practices, but it is we who individually must develop our creative line, our trace.
Why are you drawn by Conceptual Nude Photography of Fine Arts?
The photography of Nude Fine Art has always seduced me. I have always been an admirer of the ability of a work of art of this category to hold the viewer's attention, to break taboos, to convey a message, or to allow the observer to interact with the work through its own creative and interpretative sublimity. In most of the photographs of Nude Fine Art, I use shape construction, subjectivity and expectation, lights and a deep contrast intensity as creative elements of expression. In particular the series "Bodies" and "La Ballerina", both rewarded with several international awards, and more recently the series "Sculptures". Most of the nude works were done in the studio, in the white magic box, as I usually call this space. When we arrive at it, there is only neutrality, but when we define the setup, we construct the approach with which we want to draw with the light, we insert the model (s), we add elements or not, we set the scene , we define the climate and the atmosphere, direct the cast and form the shapes, angles or distortions. And after all this alchemy the result can be art. This is magic! Some other works have also been done in outdoor locations with natural light. In both cases its direction, the unconventional use of lenses and other resources, result in a line of my own work. Perhaps because of all of this, I received the label of specialist photographer in that area, which gives me recognition, however my approach goes far beyond the naked fine art, and recognition for just this metier, is very rewarding and fills me with honour and pride .
What is most important to you, the humour / story behind your pictures or technical perfection?
Among the many functions of photography, one of the most important to me is to communicate. It is important that the climate, the humour of the photo transmits "truths". This "truth" can be recorded, in the case of photojournalism or wedding photography for example, or this "truth" can be constructed, as in the case of naked fine art, fashion photography or in the case of advertising photography a "pseudo-truth ". And for that to exist, the sensitivity of the photographer to understand and to drive it, through the directions for his cast, is fundamental. In this way the photo communicates with the public, and without that care, without that technical precision the photo is a "cliché", could be viewed as cheap, worthless and unattractive. To find this point, it is the arduous work of seeking the closest proximity to perfection. That's the big challenge for the photographer.
What is your relationship with the subject besides an observer?
When I photograph models in the studio, I try not to get involved in any aspect, I try to explore and discover the true potential of interpretation and emotional and corporal expressions of the model. When the scene requires an external location, especially the landscapes, before photographing, I usually familiarize myself with the place. It helps knowing small details, particularities. I like to photograph in a place that I have visited several times before and observed a lot, in order to extract its unusual .aspects, that have not been explored before.
Do you prepare the places where you intend to photograph?
I categorize by two scenarios, photography taken in the studio and that carried out in external locations. In the first case, yes. It is essential not only to prepare, but that this preparation is also the result of good planning, so that during the session, all efforts are focused on making the best shots. In the case of photography at external locations, such as hotels, farms, beaches, or nature, it does not need preparation, but just as in the first case, it is fundamental to develop good planning for the same reasons.
What equipment do you use (camera, lens, bag)?
I use a Hasselblad H4D 40 with lenses HC 28mm, HC 120mm with macro, HC 80mm and HC 50-110mm, and also use a Canon 5D SR with a wider kit of lenses, all of the line L with better optics, they are: 15mm f/2.8, 16-35mm f/2.8 USM II, 24-70mm f/2.8 USM II, 70-200mm f/2.8 USM II, 100mm f/2.8 with Macro and finally a 400mm f/2.8 I use for nature photos, wildlife and in specific cases I also used for nude fine art. Indispensable is also a good setup of lighting and light modifying accessories, such as snoots, soft box, strip bow, beauty dish etc. I use Profoto D1 500 W strobes and consider it an excellent lighting solution for the type of work I do in the studio and also at external locations when used with the support of a Honda electronic power generator, able to keep my 4 Profoto strobes active on location.
What software do you use to process your images?
I have basically used Photoshop CC and within it some panels like Retouching Academy's Beauty Panel specifically to optimize workflow in skin editing and other touch-ups that require correction of textures and chromatic tones with greater agility and practicality, making the work much easier and more organized. Now for cityscapes and landscapes and/or compositions, I use the 16bits luminance panel, Lumenzia Panel by Greg Benz, which generates precise 16bit masks in addition to chromatic, tonal and light controls in a practical and fast way.
Can you tell us more about your workflow?
I try to make it as simplified as possible, even in some situations when it involves a team of assistants, executive producers, fashion producers, hairdressers, as well as the model itself. But planning is the key to making everything happen, map the location or define exactly what will be done in the studio. Sometimes it is necessary to draw some sketches to present to the model and use this as reference so that the direction for the models in the scene is optimized. Make it clear to other team members what you are planning to do and when you click on template sharing with some key team members, that helps everyone to understand your intentions, get enthusiastic, and give themselves more of a purpose for the job. I like to take images to the point until it satisfies me, can be few clicks, or can be many. I only make a preliminary selection three to four days after the session. So I can analyse which were the best shots made, without the emotion of the moment of photographing still very much present.
What is your most important advice for a beginner in Conceptual Nude Photography of Fine Arts and how does one get started?
Notice a lot. Be bold. Be creative. Define your own stroke. To begin with, propose responsibly to click on your girlfriend, your cousin, your wife, your best friend. Someone you can respect and who can trust you. If there are resources available invest in a professional model. Another super important point for your professional career as a photographer of Nudes: Your photo has to be engaging, but you as a photographer cannot be involved. Regardless of who is in front of your lenses, you need to establish a relationship of trust and respect. Only then will you gain a positive professional concept in this area.
Who are your favourite photographers, and most importantly, how did your appreciation of your work affect your approach in your own photography?
American Ansel Adams, Frenchman Cartier Bresson, Brazilians Araquém Alcântara and Sebastião Salgado, as well as Spaniard Eugenio Recuenco. But standing out as a professional who influenced me in my photographic approach, the brilliant work of American Irving Penn.
Is there any specific photo of another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?
I am a great admirer of Irving Penn's work and it is quite inspiring to me. His unique way of working in black and white, especially in his Nude photos, brings a contrast intensity and while it is explicit in some shots, is also subjective in others, allowing an interpretation of the sublime for each viewer. His work “The Bath” (San Francisco, 1967)brings this ascent of interpretive sublimity. I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Metropolitan Museum in New York to pay homage to its centenary and diving into the universe of Irving was a fantastic experience. I recommend to photography lovers an immersion in the work of this great master of photography.
Describe your favourite photo taken by you and why is it special to you?
I have a great affection for the whole of my work. Each photo has a story behind it, a set of people, an inspiration.
On my website maybe I may have managed with great effort to synthesize this affection that I have for my own work.