Member of the UdA Collective since 2017
"I always have my camera with me and most of my pictures are taken going and coming back from work."
Alexandre Duarte learned to photography at 14. He had his dark room when he spent his time. Alexandre Duarte is an argentic addict, a lover of full manual cameras and shoots mainly in BW... Add his prodigious talent to capture incredible instants of life, and of course, I asked him the permission to write an article. His warmful yes! made my day.
Due to the fool number of my "friends" on my Facebook Big Brother, it took till 2016 to see one of his post and to feel immediately this famous wow! factor on one of his favorite "Urban Soul" series.
His street-life captures are incredible and I always ask myself how much time he spends to wait for the good one. I see him like a treasure hunter, waiting and waiting full of hope to bring back at home the diamond.
Modest, not a word about his great career, his success, exhibitions and prices, Alexandre Duarte is a warmful photographer who worked a lot for this article. He let me choose the photographs what is a true honor I deeply appreciate.
Merci Alex pour ta confiance, ton affection et ton enthousiasme. I say you a huge bravo for your precious testimonial work.
Light and Shadow" series
From Urban Souls series
My passion for photography started in Prague in the late 70’s with my good friend Miguel who was taking a photography course in London. I was 14 years old. Both our parents were posted as diplomats there. We were using Praktica cameras with Zeiss lenses which were excellent and really cheap as you can imagine behind the Iron Curtain. The cameras were obviously full manual so it was a great way to learn how to handle a camera. The scenery was exceptional, specially for night photography with the streets deserted.
I also had a lab at home (only BW) which was a great way to learn and spend my time as there was nothing else to do… The main problem was getting decent films. So each time we went to Germany I used to buy meters of Ilford rolls. So I can say I’m a self taught person. Two years ago I started to take a course that I did not finish. I was looking to learn something that would help me in artistic terms. My mistake. It was a course to teach people to become professional studio and wedding photographers. I did learn one thing though: how to use a flash.
Then something happened to me. Something like a writers block. Digital appeared and I did not adapt to it. Later on I went through a divorce and lost all my material, negatives, the Praktica and lenses and lost my interest.
Some 20 years later, in 2013, I was posted to Astana - Kazakhstan without my new family. Yes I followed my fathers footsteps and I am a Portuguese diplomat. It is a beautiful and inspiring country, so I started taking pictures with my iPhone and posting them on FB. Surprisingly people liked the photos. Not only people liked them as my passion and inspiration were back! A few months later I bought my first Fuji camera. Now I use an X-E3 and a few months ago managed to get my old Zeiss lenses back 😊
From Urban reflections series
Since then I never stopped taking pictures. Now I am back in Europe (currently in Brussels) and I always have my camera with me and most of my pictures are taken going and coming back from work.
Now about my photography, the difficult part, I mostly do BW but lately I have been enjoying some colour. I think I do mostly street-photography but I do not like to stick to a specific style. I had some experts (not artists) saying that I needed to be more conceptual and then do a project. Well I cannot do that as I think it preconditions somewhat your creativity. I like to experiment. I like a series I did which I consider “conceptual" street called Urban Souls.
I try to capture moments emphasising light and composition. The way I see the world around me. Some people say it is about loneliness, some people say it is about light and shapes, some people say it is about a poetic way of being. I just think it is in my eyes. The way I see it - that particular day, and I hope you enjoy it…
Chris' note :
This photograph touches me of course. But in my wheelchair, I never was alone. I observed the normal life with a tender smile and people of all races, religions and levels came to help me before we talked after one of my jokes. The children, after their surprise and their direct questions, the parents blushed, sat on my knees and kissed me with a warm tenderness.
From Urban Souls series
"Lost in thoughts"
" I exist"
From the Urban Souls series