16 Questions about 1 Photo with Gustavo Minas


1. Please introduce yourself. Who are you? What do you do?
I’m a photographer and journalist based in Brasília, Brazil. I photograph mostly daily life in big cities for my personal work, but now and then I also do some documentary work or portraits on assignment.

2. How long have you been into photography, and what drew you to it?
I’ve been photographing the cities I happen to be in since 2009, when I took a year-long course with Brazilian master Carlos Moreira. But I bought my first point-and-shoot back in 1998, when I was in high school, and learned the basics of analog photography in the early 2000s, when I went to university to study journalism. I guess I have always been interested in some kind of record of my own life and my surroundings.

3. In one sentence, please describe what you captured in this shot.
Passengers on a ferry boat at the sunset in Istanbul.

4. What style of photography would you describe this as, and do you typically take photographs in this style?
Street photography I guess, or boat photography, hehe. This is my favorite genre. I love being out and about just watching other people’s lives, especially when the sun is out.

5. When and where was this photo taken? 
Istanbul, October 2022. This city had been on my wishlist for a long time, so I was more than happy when I was invited by the Istanbul Street Photography Festival to teach a workshop and photograph the city for one week. I was fascinated by the ferry boats crossing from Europe to Asia, and I took a lot of them randomly during my stay, just to photograph and enjoy the sea breeze.

6. Was anyone with you when you took this photo?
No, I was traveling by myself.

7. What equipment did you use?
A Fuji GFX 50R camera with an adapted Nikon 50mm f1.8 lens, then Capture One to process it.

8. What drew you to take this photo?
The beautiful light cast by the sunset on the glass, illuminating these women in a very special way.

9. How many attempts did it take to get this shot? How long did it take you to get one that you were satisfied with?
I was moving around the boat quickly because the sun was setting, and I didn’t want to bother the passengers for too long, so I just took 2 shots of this scene, in roughly 10 seconds, before I moved away.

10. Did you edit this photo?
Yeah, I shot it in RAW, so I had to do some minimal adjustments in contrast, preserving the details in the highlights and bringing the shadows up.

11. What encouraged you to share this photo online and with others?
The light was beautiful, their expressions were interesting. I think it was a nice addition to my Istanbul series, which you can see here.

12. Did you learn anything in the process of taking, editing, or sharing this photo?
I can’t say so, it was all very fast.

13. Do you remember what you had for breakfast (or lunch or dinner) the day you took this photo?
I had my breakfast at the hotel, so I probably had feta cheese, red peppers, olives, pita bread… not my usual breakfast, but very tasty.

14. What would you like people to take away from this photo?
To be honest, there isn’t any deep message behind it.

15. Is there any feedback that you’d like to get on this shot?
I’m just happy if people can appreciate it.

16. How can anyone reading this support your work?
Well, they can buy a print here: https://www.gustavominas.com/store
Or take an online course.
Or buy my books: https://www.gustavominas.com/publications


Gustavo Minas was born in Brazil in 1981. He studied language and history of photography with Carlos Moreira in São Paulo. Since 2009, he has been photographing the daily life of the cities where he lives. He launched his 1st book, “Maximum Shadow Minimal Light”, in 2019. In 2023, his project “Liquid Cities” was shortlisted for Leica Oskar Barnack Award


Check out more of Gustavo’s photos right here on Flickr

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