João Cabrita Silva

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine December 2017


This month’s Picture Perfect photographer is João Cabrita Silva (29). Although the Portuguese João has always been keen on photography, he never had the money to get into it. “So when my friend got a camera, I joined him on adventure trips; we’d go out camping to shoot the stars and I’d help him setting up lights,” he explains. “That’s how I learned, so once I got my first camera at 18, I already knew a lot about taking pictures.” Apart from two semesters studying analogue photography at university, João is self-taught. Being a surfer and living in Praia da Luz, he’s always had a connection to the sea.

“The ocean inspires me, it’s my main subject. I want to show the good times you can have in the sea, whether it’s surfing, swimming or jumping into the water.” For João, the journey is at least as important as the destination. “What I like most about photography is the experience, connecting with people and ocean. For me it’s not just about pressing that shutter, it’s about what it takes to get the images: walking through nature, swimming out to the photo spot and talking to my friends along the way.”

João about the Algarve: “It’s the ideal region for the type of pictures I love to take. My location in Praia da Luz (near Lagos) means that both the Algarve’s south and west coast are only a 10 to 15 minutes’ drive away. So depending on the weather, wind and swell, every day I can choose the side with the best conditions. The Costa Vicentina natural park is a unique place; there aren’t many people around, so you can really connect with nature, feel the freedom this brings and get inspired.”

Ocean fun photography:

This month’s Picture Perfect features João’s friend jumping off the rocks at Lagos’ Ponta da Piedade area. It was taken in September 2017, on a Nikon D810 with a 16mm Nikon fisheye lens. Settings: f/5.6, 1/640sec, ISO: 400. Like this pic? See more on João’s Instagram page.

Want to try and make a perfect picture like this one as well? Here are João’s top tips:

1. Listen to the ocean.

This is the most important thing. Before you start taking these kind of pictures, you need to know the sea. Listen to it and analyse it. In the ocean, everything can change in a moment, so don’t put yourself in unnecessary danger: take care when photographing near rocks, choose your day wisely and know about rips and currents in the area.

2. Triple-check your equipment.

Especially your waterproof case. I use a professional surfer case to protect my camera against the impact of waves. Salt water kills your camera, so make sure all rubber rings are tight and in the right place, and your equipment is all set to go. Don’t let your excitement to get into the ocean make you rush or skip this step. If you don’t take care, it’s €5,000 in the bin. Yes, this has happened to me once…

3. Go for it!

This type of photography isn’t all roses. When I get a great image, I absolutely love it. But getting to this point can be hard. For sunrise pictures you have to wake up early and spend the night getting your gear ready. All batteries have to be fully loaded, you’ll have to walk out to the spot, and the water is cold. It’s very easy to make excuses or think ‘I’ll just do it tomorrow’. Don’t be lazy, go for it!



See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine December 2017


João Cabrita Silva

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