Jorge Sousa

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


The Portuguese Jorge Sousa (30) bought his first camera not long ago, in 2016. “I guess my interest started when seeing the pictures of my brother, photographer Carlos Sousa. My curiosity got even bigger when I started working in the warehouse of photography shop Niobo four years ago and discovered many new and sometimes even unknown items. When I finally bought a camera last year, some old questions were answered, but many new questions emerged. From then on, I always carry my camera with me and take photos whenever I can.”

Apart from landscape photography, Jorge, who lives in Olhão, is known for his light painting pictures. “I wanted to add something to my landscapes to make them even more spectacular and that’s how light painting came up.”

“At the moment I’m only doing it with burning steel wool which is safely burnt and spun around in a device I’ve assembled, but in the future I’ll develop some LED devices to create a different kind of photographs.” Light painting photography isn’t the cheapest or easiest way of making pictures. Jorge: “You’re shooting long exposures, so you need a good tripod and a remote shutter (a girlfriend also works ;)).”

Also necessary: a device to put the steel wool in, like an egg beater, that’s connected to something that doesn’t burn, plus loads of steel wool in various sizes, shapes and thicknesses.

Jorge about the Algarve: “The great thing about the south of Portugal is the many different landscapes we have here. Combine this with very good weather, and you’ve got ideal conditions to make pictures all year long. I especially love the rocky beaches near Albufeira, Lagos and Portimão. The caves there are great and when you spin burning steel wool there it creates a nice effect when the sparkles hit the surrounding rocks.”


Light painting photography:

This month’s Picture Perfect shows Praia dos Três Castelos (near Portimão) at night. It was taken on an Olympus OMD EM-5 MarkII with a 14-150mm lens. Settings: f/11, 5 sec, ISO: 100. Like this pic? See more on Jorge’s website. Want to try and make a perfect picture like this one as well? Here are Jorge’s top three tips:

  1. Be aware of any flammable objects nearby as you’re throwing molten steel around. Use protective gear, also for your camera.
  2. Thinner steel wool makes more sparkles and is easier to burn, whereas with thicker steel wool you’ll create bigger sparks, but it’s harder to set on fire. The faster you spin, the more sparkles you’ll get.
  3. Start with very low ISO and low aperture. When using autofocus and your subject is in focus, switch your camera settings to manual so it won’t get ruined on your next shots. With very long exposures you can do more than one spin, which may create nice results. However, the most important part, apart from not accidentally starting a fire, is to have fun doing it.

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

Posted in Picture Perfect.