Miguel Santos's photographs are full of Brazil's luscious and at times solitary fauna, enveloped in mists and vivid colors, remnants of a dark forgotten wilderness. Originally from Portugal, Miguel is currently based in Santa Catarina, Brazil. He works in graphic design and marketing as a freelancer, but photography has gradually seeped into it, turning his beloved hobby into a semi-professional activity. He loves traveling and hiking and particularly enjoys visiting lesser known regions where he can immerse himself in the surrounding nature, meet travelers like himself and capture his experiences through the viewfinder. He values friends and family above all things and human connections are indispensable to him. To find out more about Miguel and see the haunting Brazilian landscapes he has shared with us through his Windows themes, check out his interview below.
Introducing Miguel Santos
Miguel talked to us about the impact photojournalism and digital photography had on his work in a short interview:
How did you get into photography?
I remember being fascinated with old family photos as a kid and the stories held within those frames. In my late teens, I started learning everything about photography, mostly self-taught, through obsessive trial-and-error. It has been a path of passion and very rewarding one so far.
Everything inspires me really. I'm passionate about unpredictability. There are so many possibilities when framing a moment that I just let myself enjoy the unpredictable combination of the moment and my perception of it.
What type of camera do you use and what sort of post-processing software?
I started out with film cameras, which I still love, but I mostly use DSLRs now. When digital photography came along, I was very excited about it and experimented with all sorts of equipment and software. Many new techniques emerged, I felt very empowered and free to focus more on the creative process rather than on the limitations of the tools. So, I use whatever tools I can afford to get my hands on and just try to push myself beyond any limitations or preconceptions. Having said that, I often rent equipment at a local studio but, regardless, I always carry around my Canon 60D, a 50mm and a 28mm lens, a set of graduated ND filters, tripod and all sorts of weather protection gear. I shoot in RAW format and usually post-process using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Among the fine software I've used, I'll highlight Photomatix, which turned my passion for HDR into an obsession. I often use it for tone mapping as well.
What do you think was the biggest influence in your photography?
As I said before, I've always loved how photography is able to capture powerful stories in a single shot. I remember photojournalism having a great impact on me, as certain pictures spoke to me more than any language. I came to realize that when we capture something special, and we're honest about it, we're actually portraying ourselves and connecting with others through that frame. As soon as I felt I could do that, I was hooked.
Which photograph that you've taken are you most proud of and why?
There's no right answer. All of them are charged with different feelings. But I just looked through a few of them and there's one entitled Youth that fits into what I was talking about earlier. It's a simple moment in the streets, with a few kids riding their bikes at dusk. All I wanted was to capture the amazing sky and light that day and ended up with a great piece of story, at a time when Brazil's youth and their future were a daily topic on the news. Everything just fell into place in such a casual and special way.
So many things, so many places. I'll point out Mongolia, just as an example, because I have ancestors from there and I've always wanted to photograph its landscapes and lakes. Plus, I'd love to take a collection of portraits of the people and study the contrast between living in the city and living out in the great desolate plains.
What are your plans with photography from here on out?
Again, so many. One thing I'd like to do is a collection of works showing how we, as a species, have sometimes evolved our civilizations in balance with nature. Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer examples, but I'd like to somehow help show that there's a balance and harmony that we can still be a part of.
Enjoy Miguel's Work Through a Windows Theme - Download Links
Miguel has chosen to share with us some of his most haunting Brazilian landscapes.
COPYRIGHT: Miguel Santos. If you plan to use the pictures included in this theme for something other than your desktop backgrounds, you need written permission from their author.
Follow Miguel Santos & His Work
If you enjoyed Miguel's photographs and would like to see the rest of his beautiful Brazilian and Portuguese landscapes, you can follow him on Facebook, deviantART and Tumblr or purchase his prints and other products featuring his work on Society6.
We would like to thank Miguel for sharing his work with us and our readers and wish him the very best in all his future projects.