My work and career featured on Luminous Landscape!

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José Ramos Senior Member • Posts: 1,855
My work and career featured on Luminous Landscape!

Hello there my friends!

I couldn't let the opportunity pass, to let you know that I had the huge honor to write an article for Luminous Landscape, describing my career, technical choices and sources of inspiration. I got quite carried away and wrote a lot, hope you enjoy it!

You can check the article here:

Here's an excerpt of the text, where I speak about my camera choices:

Years passed by and during my 4th year of college I decided to get on board of the new digital photography “movement”. It was an exciting time and smartphones had no shooting abilities yet. My first purchase of a digital camera had no artistic intentions behind it and was rather just an exciting new way to be able to record significant snapshots of my life. I started with a 2.0 megapixel Konica Digital Revio KD-220Z and soon, as a broke college student but also a technology addict, I got hooked on learning new things about digital cameras. A few months later I decided to sell my KD-220Z and switched to the then famous Pentax Optio S, the most compact camera of its time and marveled with such technological achievement. Until then, cameras were just snapshots making devices to me and I definitely spent too much time looking at specifications tables. Fortunately, it wouldn’t be long until I started carrying my camera for the occasional strolls around national parks or along the magnificent Portuguese coastline. I was spontaneously shooting landscapes that looked out of the ordinary and mostly focusing on sunset time. In an almost unconscious way, photography was working as a bridge to reconnecting again with Nature and allowing me some breathing time among the dozens of hours of weekly study and class attending. Some months passed by and these special images stayed silent on my hard-drive until one day a friend told me I should start uploading them to Deviantart. This site was one the most thriving online art communities at the time and although I initially resisted the idea of publicly sharing my works, one day I finally ended up submitting two landscape images. To my great surprise, I got very positive reactions to the images and this motivated me to learn more about the community, know other photographers, participate in the forums, learn about technical aspects and comment on other works. To sum it up: I got hooked!

It progressively became clear I had finally found my new favourite mean of artistic expression. One that would put me again in close contact with the outdoors. It was allowing me to rediscover the pleasure of searching for landscapes where one would feel positively “lost”, far away from the urban chaos of everyday life, with plenty of space for inner reflection and contemplation. As years passed by I started realizing that I was no longer “just” a doctor, but also a photographer.Technically speaking, after my compact Optio S, I finally got my first “real” camera, a bridge Konica Minolta A2, a true legend in my book with an incredible lens and great ergonomics. I learned a lot with that camera and resisted for a long time to upgrade to a DSLR, as that always sounded like a huge step back in ergonomics. I was a fan of the “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” philosophy of bridge cameras and an optical viewfinder with no live view sounded like a shooting nightmare for landscapes. Everybody spoke about the wonders of an optical viewfinder and DSLR quality back then, but I was quite happy with my camera and very far from knowing that there would be a time when EVFs and Live View would be fully accepted. Not only was I reluctant about the “upgrade” to a DSLR, I also had strong budget problems. Since I started shooting I always had to make the most out of my equipment and could only afford to start thinking about an upgrade when my equipment was seriously limiting my output. Portuguese wages have been terrible since the European economic crisis and some years ago every purchase had to be seriously considered, made after months of accumulated savings.

The only factor that made me jump to the DSLR world was ultra-wide angle lenses. If there was a single thing that I wanted to capture in my landscape photos, that thing was to recreate that feeling of the vast expanse of scenery that is seen with the eyes. As the 28-200mm lens of the Konica Minolta A2 was no longer enough for some of the compositions I envisioned, I finally decided to move to a Pentax K10d with a Sigma 10-20mm f4-f5.6 lens. This was a killer combination, extremely reliable and the Pentax sensor made wonders in low ISO long exposures. Using 100mm ND filters with this lens, after previously trying the good old Cokin P filters with the Konica Minolta, freed me up to evolve a lot in my landscape shooting. Some years later, I finally had the opportunity to combine the best of both worlds and return to my beloved WYSIWYG style of shooting, made possible by the first Sony SLT, the Sony a55. Being able to use live view and compose with 10 stops full ND filter in front of the lens, while still using an ultra wide angle lens, was a dream coming true and that made me a big fan of Sony, long before it got all the deserved recognition it has today. After the a55 I bought a Sony a77 and right now I’m using a Sony a7R.

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Pentax K10D Sony Alpha a7R Sony SLT-A55 Sony SLT-A77
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