Photographer Spotlight: Hudson Rodrigues

Can you tell us about your background?

I’m 33 years old and live in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I’m majored in Graphic Design and work in a publishing office. On weekends, I work for wedding photographers here and there. I walk through two different realities: the wedding pictures and street pictures, where I spent most of my time shooting. The contrast between those two environments helps me a lot, but it also hurts, because those are such different lifestyles and situations. It’s a powerful experience.

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I like to say I take the camera out for walks with me. When I go out, I always have my basic equipment, but I don’t worry about shooting every time. I’m part of SelvaSP, a street photography collective that is a big family, where everyone has their own unique style and way to see the streets. It teaches me a lot, and I’m very glad to be a part of it and be among people whose work I admire so much.

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What got you started with photography?

I don’t know for sure. I think everyone wants to express themselves somehow, occupy themselves with an activity. I’ve always been attracted to images and shapes and I love stories, so photography would have been a part of my life one way or another.

My history with photography is kinda crazy. I’m from a family of musicians, so I always lived around art. I studied drawing for a few years when I was little and tried to play the drums, bass, and guitar, but those weren’t for me. I was too flustered and impatient.

At the time, I had a bunch of friends who were always doing something in the streets–skateboarding, walking around the city–and each one had such a particular and interesting story. It caught my attention, so I thought: “Wow, I want to shoot this stuff, show others how I see the street, and how I see those people who are with me.”

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In 1999, I tried to buy my first camera. I worked at a warehouse and saved up some money to get it. At the time, digital photography was just starting. I couldn’t afford it, because it was way more expensive than what I had save. So I settled in and observed the world around me: I’d see a scene and picture in my head how it would look in a photo.

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In 2005, I bought a little point shoot camera, but as I was leaving the store, I wondered if I was ready to have a camera, if I would be able to show everything as I wanted to depict it. Photography was always something pretty personal to me. I was so scared I actually went back to the store and returned the camera. From 2005 to 2007, I read everything I found about photography on the internet, especially technique, and I did two online courses, everything still with no camera. Then, one day, I felt ready and I bough my first DSLR in the middle of 2007.

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What fascinates you about photography?

A lot fascinates me in photography, but I think the power to bring back the sensations from the moment when you took the picture is magical. Seeing some of my photos, I can even remember the smell at the moment. Sometimes you forget how, behind a photo, there’s someone seeing it just like you saw it, not how he saw it! It’s a game of lies and truths.

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My pictures are a mix of street and the totally personal environment where I hang out. I don’t believe I have a specific style. Nowadays, I think a lot about exploring photography in other ways, but it’s still something I’m studying and discussing with myself. I’m in a process, and I think I always will be, so I don’t think about style now.

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What is your favorite aspect of Flickr?

Flickr has so many great photographers in so many different styles, and great illustrators, besides other works of art. I got to know a lot of people through Flickr and made great friends. The invitation to join SelvaSP happened because of this social network and they got to know my work here. I got to know the website in 2007 because some friends used it; I liked it and started publishing. At that time I didn’t know any other website with the same value proposition as Flickr.

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Which other Flickr members and Flickr groups influence you?

I’m influenced by a lot of people with different styles! Some of the main ones are chrisfriel, Johan Jehlbo, Andy Komoll and Maximilian Sheldon.

What is your favorite photo from your portfolio?

I like all of them, but, at the moment, I have a special fondness for this one:

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This photo is a mystery to me.

What are your 3 favorite photos from other Flickr members and why?

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This photo is so beautiful, I can look at it for hours. The look on the girl’s face, the movement in her hair.. you can feel the wind.

La Habana Fumador

This one looks like a fashion editorial in real life, the street has a lot of those things.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/im_foto/14081279153

This one I like because I think it’s fascinating when a picture takes me somewhere else, to a intimacy that I can feel even if I’m a long way from the subject. This picture does that for me!

What kind of gear do you use? Do you use any special equipment?

I use a Canon 60D with 35mm and 50mm fixed lenses. I like the fixed lenses because of the size and optics. Nothing special.

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What is your post processing workflow? Do you use any filters, techniques?

I post randomly, I don’t follow a pattern. I take a while to transfer the photos to my computer, I only see them some days later. I have a lot of pictures standing by, and I don’t rush to post them. There are times I post more, sometimes I take some time to analyze the images better. I use Lightroom and have some presets that I like. I adjust them according to the lighting in the picture and the mood I want to convey.

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What else do you enjoy besides photography?

Music, staying at home watching movies, going out with my friends and playing videogames (but that last one I stopped a bit, I was playing a little more than I should a couple years ago).

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If there was one secret to photography you could share with the Flickrverse, what would that be?

Tell true lies, feel things, make a diary of images to your eternity and don’t forget to bring your camera when you go out with your friends — the photos can help you remember the night before.

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In 5 years I’ll …

… keep registering the places where I go and try to be better than before.

Thank you for the interview, Hudson!

To learn more about his work, you can go to his Instagram (@hud_rodrigues) and Facebook account, the SelvaSP Facebook and Flickr, and, of course, take a look at his Flickr account and follow him to always check his new pictures.

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