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José Carlos CostaPortugal9731pJoined 2011

From an early age I felt a compulsory need to express myself artistically. Only the discovery of photography as artistic expression has filled that gap. Photography is my passion … is the “place” where I climb mountains without feeling tired… where I spend 24 hours without looking at the clock… However, the camera and digital darkroom are mere tools (such as paints and brushes to a painter) to express the way I feel the world. So I invite you to see the world through my eyes. My photos are not meant to reveal the places I visit as any tourist can view them, but to express my feelings in those moments, to capture the essence of those places. I do not intend to escape from reality but to present a parallel reality, different from that split of a second that we generally call objective reality (if that even exists).

The use of long exposures allows me to focus on the essentials. Imagine a black canvas where the trifling is hidden, allowing the light to shine and shape the objects – that would be my picture. As more surreal and dramatic is the final image, closer I will be to achieve my artistic vision. Every step away from reality approaches me of my artistic essence. Each image created, since the vision, through the click, until the final processing, is soaked with a fragment of me, of my personality… of my soul! For that, I need to feel the place I photograph with my eyes, heart and mind open… when it comes the time to press the shutter the final image is already in my mind. The processing is the final step to put a piece of me, of my style, of my way of feeling that moment… in the work created. At the end I will be successful in my request if I was able to transform what I saw with my physical eyes into what I saw with my mind’s eye.

In my natural evolution as a photographer/artist, the black and white photos are gaining prevalence. As the master Ansel Adams once told “what I like about black and white photographs is that they are more like reading the book than seeing the movie”. The black and white gives wings to the imagination… by forgetting the direct appeal of colour we are allowing our mind to wander in quest of other realities, focusing only on the light, shadow, lines, shapes, textures…! However, I can never consider myself as a black and white photographer because my photography is like two sides of the same coin, they reveal two facets of my way of seeing life… sometimes bright and cheerful as the spring and autumnal colours of a landscape from “Peneda-Geres National Park” or mysterious and introspective as a black and white long exposure of the morning or ocean mist.

Being a scientist, this artistic vision may seem contradictory, but photography is precisely my escape from the stressful everyday life, is where I refuge myself in direct contact with nature and with my subconscious. You can also find in my picture all sorts of connections to science, from my favourite element (water), passing through the use of many different geometric shapes, lines, etc., until the attempt to represent four dimensions (width, height, depth and time) in a 2-dimensional printing.

Who was never near the sea and, closing his eyes, felt abstracted from everything around, focusing only on the gentle sound of the waves breaking? That moment, where time stops and where for a fraction of second, everything becomes ethereal, unreal and where we can by one moment touch the infinity… That is what I ultimately intend to capture in the photographs I create… that is the beauty of life…! Did I already achieve that? Probably not… but I will always carry on this quest by my Holy Grail… In the day that you feel, as a viewer, one slice of emotion while seeing one of my images will be the day where I feel accomplished as a photographer/artist.

 

AWARDS & DISTINCTIONS (SELECTED)

2016:
- “Illusory Venice” series (6 photos) – 3rd Place winner at International Photographer of the Year, 2016 in Architecture – Cityscape
- “Casa da Musica Study, 11” – Honourable Mention at Monochrome Awards 2016 in Architecture
- “Casa da Musica Study, 8” – Honourable Mention at Monochrome Awards 2016 in Architecture
- “Casa da Musica Study, 7” – Honourable Mention at Monochrome Awards 2016 in Architecture”
- “Casa da Musica Study, 8” – Gold Star Award at ND Awards 2016 in Architecture – Other
- “Casa da Musica Study, 5” – Nominee to the Black & White Spider Awards in Architecture
- “Palazzo Camerlenghi and Rialto Bridge” – Finalist at Siena International Photography Awards 2016
- “Places of Faith, 03” – Finalist at Siena International Photography Awards 2016

2015:
- “Casa da Musica Study” series (6 photos) – Honorable Mention at International Photographer of the Year, 2015 in Architecture – Buildings
- “Faith” – Honorable Mention at Monochrome Awards 2015 in Landscape
- “Ad Lib” – Honorable Mention at Monochrome Awards 2015 in Landscape
- “The Ghosts” – Honorable Mention at Monochrome Awards 2015 in Fine Art
- “Ponte dei Sospiri” – Honorable Mention at Monochrome Awards 2015 in Architecture
- “Casa da Musica Study” series (3 photos) – Honourable Mention at ND Awards 2015 in Architecture – Buildings
- “Somewhere Over Europe” – Honourable Mention at Pannonia Reflections 2015 – Slovenia in Landscape

2014
- “Places of Faith 3” – Honourable Mention at Monochrome Awards 2014 in Architecture
- “Water Streets” – Silver Medal at the 3rdInternational Photocontest and Exhibition to the Day of Fidelity – Hungary in Architecture
- “Gateway to the Sea” – Honourable Mention at the 1stInternational Salon of Photography My Favourite Photos 2014 – Serbia in Monochrome
- “The Ghosts” – Nominee to the Black & White Spider Awards in Fine Art
- “Water Streets” – Nominee to the Black & White Spider Awards in Architecture

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017:
- O Som do Silêncio, 7. Bragatruthotel, Braga
- Uma Viagem pelo Gerês, 6. VIA XVII Espaço Artístico de Adriana Henriques, Braga

2016:
- O Som do Silêncio, 6. Escola de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade do Minho
- Uma Viagem pelo Gerês, 5. Ecomuseu de Barroso – Vezeira e a Serra (Fafião)
- O Som do Silêncio, 5. Museu D. Diogo de Sousa, Braga
- O Som do Silêncio, 4. VIA XVII Espaço Artístico de Adriana Henriques, Braga
- Instantes Mágicos, 2. VIA XVII Espaço Artístico de Adriana Henriques, Braga
- O Som do Silêncio, 3. Galeria Cónego Cândido Pedrosa, Bom Jesus (Braga)

2015:
- O Som do Silêncio, 2. Torre da Cadeia Velha, Ponte de Lima
- Uma Viagem pelo Gerês, 4. Centro Interpretativo das Minas da Borralha – Salto (Montalegre)
- Uma Viagem pelo Gerês, 3. Ecomuseu do Barroso – Casa do Capitão, Salto
- O Som do Silêncio. Biblioteca Lúcio Craveira da Silva, Braga
- Uma Viagem pelo Gerês, 2. Livraria Centésima Página, Braga
- Fragmentos de Luz, 2. Biblioteca Fundação Jorge Antunes, Vizela

2014:
- Fragmentos de Luz. Biblioteca Municipal Prof. Dr. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Celorico Basto
- Maravilhas de Portugal. Auditório do Prado, Celorico de Basto
Instantes Mágicos. Space Feng Shui Braga
- Uma Viagem pelo Gerês. Clube de Ténis de Braga

PHOTOS ACCEPTED IN INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY SALONS:

- 2016, 1st Atlantic International Photographic Exhibition – USA (FIAP 2015/035) – 5 photos selected
- 2015, Pannonia Reflections 2015 – Slovenia (FIAP 2015/398) – 5 photos selected
- 2015, II Xativa’s International Photography Contest – Spain (FIAP 2015/199) – 3 photos
- 2015, Spring Fotosalon BARDAF – Slovakia (FIAP 2015/241) – 1 photo
- 2015, 12thInternational Photographic Festival of La Gacilly 2015 – France (FIAP 2015/114) – 2 photos
- 2014, Omni Candid 12 Digital – Belgium (FIAP 2014/318) – 4 photos selected
- 2014, 3rd International Photocontest and Exhibition to the “Day of Fidelity” – Hungary (FIAP 2014/296) – 7 photos
- 2014, Marmaris International Photography Festival – Turkey (FIAP 2014/287) – 1 photo
- 2014, 1st International Salon of Photography “My Favourite Photos 2014” – Serbia (FIAP 2014/054) – 11 photos
- 2014, 68th Bristol International Salon of Photography – England (FIAP 2014/034) – 2 photos
- 2014, 3rd Port Talbot International Salon – Wales (FIAP 2014/023) – 4 photos
- 2013, 38th Algarve Photo Salon – Portugal (FIAP 2013/146) – 4 photos

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