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Luís Quinta

In the sea, where real adventure lives, without boundaries and full of surprises, is where everything is almost possible in the animal kingdom.

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Featured Photographer

Luís Quinta

About

Since I was a child, I have lived in the country surrounded by animals: farm animals (chicken, rabbits, cows, ducks, etc.) and wild animals, mainly birds and reptiles. Later, when I was 13, I started to do snorkelling every day for weeks, during the summer holidays.
When I discovered photography, I found the perfect tool to share some of the moments that I experienced in the underwater world. The passage for spearfishing, allowed me to get familiar with the Portuguese coast, the Sea, the fish and everything that was related to the Sea world. Jacques Yves Cousteau and José Rodriguez de la Fuente were both responsible for my growing taste for the natural world.
Today, besides photography, I also work with video. My two biggest fans live with me: my son “Shark” Martim, and my daughter “Mermaid” Íris.

Websites: www.luisquinta.net and www.lusitanicus.blogspot.com

Interview

Why nature photography?
I started early to do underwater activities, first with spearfishing and then scuba-diving. I always lived in the country or nearby. I grew up watching and living with animals, the natural world above and below the surface. When I developed the taste for photography, my line of work was obviously defined... wildlife photography!

What's best about it?
To be able to be out there in nature for a long time, not only for short periods of time or on vacations. I love to watch animal behaviour, describe it to scientists, document it and share it with the general public. In the sea, where real adventure lives, without boundaries and full of surprises, is where everything is almost possible in the animal kingdom.

What's worst about it?
At this time in my career, what really bothers me, is dealing with people, asking for all the permits to photograph here or there. To ask for permission to photograph certain animals, fill in the paper work, make reports, answer question forms and pay for absurd taxes. It really bothers me to see some people feel like they owned wild animals that in most of the cases, are just spending a few days, migrating or nesting on their farms or backyards. People get amazed when I spend 10 hours, three days in a row, in a hide and I always tell them that it is nothing compared to the 3-4 months that I have to wait for a simple permit.

What's in the bag?
Uuuu....! In the bag... a full photography store. Several lenses from 10.5mm up to 600mm. Several camera bodies, flashes and underwater strobes, underwater housings, tripods, diving equipment, camouflage accessories, several hides, etc... I always use binoculars and my emergency kit: Nikon D200 + 17-35mm and 300mm.

Your specialities / skills?
I started to photograph exclusively underwater. For ten years I just photographed fish, whales and underwater landscapes. But due to long periods without action, and without being in contact with nature, I started to do some bird photography (my 2nd passion) and then reptiles and amphibians. Recently, I’m entering the “world” of bugs and small creatures.
Basically I like to photograph everything that is an animal, in its different habitats. From the tiny ant to the huge Blue Whale.

What will you do in your next life?
If I come back as a human, I would like to be a painter or a musician. Nature photography as a hobby.

3 tips for beginners
1) Passion, heart and some common sense.
2) Training, learn with other visual arts and practice in the garden or backyard before going to remote locations.
3) Always respect nature and remember that animals are our friends.

Mission

The country where I will do my mission is awesome! With a rich and fantastic biodiversity.
I will walk through several kilometres and through various spots on the southwestern Portuguese coast. This is a protected area and it is part of the Costa Vicentina Natural Park. Because I know the area where I’ll do my mission, this will be a HUGE challenge, as I have to produce totally different images from the ones I have been making in the region. I have a few ideas of what to do and only the weather will have a say in the worst or best of my success.

Best Picture

Best Picture
Humpback Whale

I can’t choose a single image as my best. I have photos that I love and photos that have lovely stories. This image is for me, a mix of both worlds: surface and underwater. A great traveller (Humpback Whale) that visited a sea oasis (Azores) and that is a symbol of power, force, freshness, space and liberty.

Could it be better?
Yes! If I could have a silhouette of an island in the background and a softer light.

Behind the Scene
This Humpback Whale stood in the area for about three weeks. The goal of my mission in the Azores was to photograph the Great Baleen Whale. However, I could not let this individual pass me by, and when I was returning to the harbour, I used to pay a visit to this friendly whale!

Date: May 2003
Location: channel between the islands of Faial and Pico in the Azores.
Gear: Nikon F90x + 28-80 f2.8 + Provia 100 + natural light.

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