I’m Ruben (@rubenmarrocos), 25 years old from Portugal living in the lovely city of Lisbon. I started taking photos when I got a broken Sagem cell phone from my brother when I was 14yo. I took it everywhere I go to take snapshots of my friend when we went riding BMX in the woods .
A couple years later I convince my parents to give me a 4mp Sony Cybershot on my birthday. I will remeber that day forever since it was a huge leap and my love for photography only got bigger. Two years later and after working on my summer holidays I finnaly bought my first real camera, a Canon T3i and it was game changing.
At age 17 I got in Sound and Image Degree and during the first year I started shooting events and making some money to get some better equipment. Bought that nifty-fifty, a M42 wide angle and a steadicam stabilizer and started getting into video too. Two years later decided to make the move to full frame and bought a Canon 6D and I was amazed with the power of a bigger sensor.
One day I got the invite to film a party called Vértice (in english apex) and they asked me to do a teaser and I went to the nearest industrial site and stacked building clips and it unlocked something in my vision, even if I couldn’t understand what it was. On the party day, I passed by the new EDP building in Lisbon and I was drooling all over. Took that corner look up shot and since that day I can’t pass by a building without contemplating all the details. Till this day, shooting architecture is the kind of photography that fills me the most.
I mostly shoot Architecture, not sure if I can say that it fit’s in that category because lot’s of my shots are flipped or inverted to create something that makes our brain and eyes working together to figure out whats going on. I like to have everything super straightand play with shadows, patterns and lines. Beside this, I shoot sports, some street photography and one year a go I got into portraits, which is something that I have been found to be really pleasant too because I can mix minimalism with people and create some cool stuff.
As for the equipment, I use a Sony A7S2 camera with a 12/2.8, 24/2.8, 50/1.4 Samyang Lenses and sometimes my 85/1.8 Sony. I don’t use any tripod or other equipment because I like to pass unnoticeable as sometimes I have to trespass some personal property to get that shoot. Besides that, I like to got out taking only one lens at the time, since that make’s me more creative and less worried about how it would look with that focal lenght. I just need to look deeper and find a good angle to shoot with what I have mounted.
On my creative process there are two ways to find cool things to shoot, first I walk or ride my bike a lot because that way I can see away more things than on a car. It’s healthier and you can stop wherever you want and take some reference pictures with my mobile phone. The second way is Google Maps. I spend so much time on it travelling the streets where I think there is potential. I do this almost on a daily baisis and when I go visit another country I even mark all the nice spots I find making it easier to see them all.
Taking the shoots can be super straightforward or a complete struggle. The most important thing is light. I have shoots that I had to retune to place 4/5 times to get those shadows/highlights on point because nobody likes to see a shot with a blown out sky or super dark shadows where you can’t see anything to have high contrast zone properly exposed. It takes patience and effort, but if it was easy it wouldn’t be so fullfilling. I try to frame it and make it as good as possibile on camera to minimize post processing work.
During post-processing, I do the basic corrections to my RAW files (I never shoot on Jpeg), curves, HSL, Lens calibration on Lightroom and then import them to Photoshop. This is where the fun begin’s. Ruler’s and transform tool are my best friend’s, sometimes I can have like 10 ruler’s on to make sure everything is completely straight. It can get a bit boring after half an hour fiddling with and Lens correction to try to minimize all the distortion and warp but in the end it feel’s so good to see it finished.
The best places I have been to shoot my kind of architecture photography are Berlin, Barcelona and London. They all have super cool and contemporany buildings all over the place, but Berlin is the one that stand out more, everything is so industrial and blocky. Looking forward to visit Rotterdam this year hopefully and Hong Kong and Singapure in a near future, those two are dream destinations without a doubt.
– Do your homework – study the light, pass by the place (if possible) sometimes to see if there is omething you can add to your shot if you take it a couple hours earlier or later.
– Forget about the gear – take one lens with you and focus on what you have with you. You can take amazing pictures equally with a wide angles or a telephoto, it’s everyhting on how you see things.
– Learn Photoshop basic’s – knowing how to remove distortion is esssencial on architecture photography since when looking up the lines will converge and make it look unreal. Sometimes it fits well in a shot and not so much in others. Having the knowledge on how to correct it will open so many doors on your work.
– Dont’ worry about other people work – the best thing about photography is that everyone see thing’s in their unique way. Of course you can get inspired by other people work, but don’t try to replicate it. Take your time, try, fail and learn and create your own vision.
Artists I like (on Instagram): @wesandersonplanet, @voodoolx, @canadaniel, @marcorama, @sim_sve, @benidorm_dreams, @chollewa, @veronang, @n.e.a.t.l.y, @elie.sand, @mrmagoorie, @brandalismo, @yat_ng, @reydshot, @fredrikthunberg.