Rui Cardoso Architectural Photographer Inteview Feature Yellowtrace

 

Rui Cardoso is a Portugal-based architectural photographer making a name for himself thanks to his poetic and considered approach displayed in every project he shoots. A trained architect, Rui worked with the lauded architect Manuel Aires Mateus at his Lisbon atelier for four years. During this period he found himself increasingly drawn to photography before deciding to dedicate his time to the photography practice full time. His first bit of gear was his father’s old 35mm film camera, which he used during university studies in lieu of having to sketch during site visits.

To this day, Cardoso works exclusively with analogue photography – a ‘slow paced’ approach that he credits with keeping his practice dedicated, authentic and unique. Cardoso names the work of Aires Mateus as one of his consistent sources of creative inspiration, along with projects he sought out in Sri Lanka by local architect Geoffrey Bawa, as well as the work of fellow photographer Hélène Binet.

We recently had a chat to Cardoso about everything from his early career, craziest experience on a job, creative inspiration and more. Read on for the goods, and prepared to feel massively inspired. You’re welcome!

 

House in Time by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace

House in Time by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace

House in Time by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace

House in Time by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace

House in Time by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace
House in Time, Portugal by Aires Mateus.

 

+ Hello Rui, welcome to Yellowtrace and thank you for taking the time to e-chat. Could you please give us a quick introduction on yourself and your background? What lead you to become an architectural photographer?

Hi! Thank you for having me. I’m an architectural photographer based in Portugal. I have an architectural degree and I have worked as an architect with Manuel Aires Mateus for almost 4 years before dedicating myself entirely to photography. It all started quite naively during my first year of university after using my father’s old 35mm camera. There was a huge tradition and respect regarding drawing in my university because of Álvaro Siza and Souto de Moura and my friends would all draw and sketch a lot when visiting a new space. I was never very good at it and never really liked it very much so having my father’s old camera was a liberation from drawing. It became my tool to understand space, to measure, to understand scale and perceive light and shadow. I was instantly hooked.

It was always a hobby until I started working in Lisbon with Manuel Aires Mateus where it got more serious and it became a passion and a desire. I started going to a lot of construction sites and I would always bring my camera. Eventually, I started shooting some projects of the office more seriously in my spare time and I realized that this was what I really wanted to do.

 

House in Estrela by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace

House in Estrela by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace

House in Estrela by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace

House in Estrela by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace

House in Estrela by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace

House in Estrela by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace
House in Estrela, Portugal by Aires Mateus. See our previous coverage of this amazing house here.

 

+ What is your main priority when starting a project? Is there something that is fundamental to your practice – your philosophy and your process?

If I have an opportunity before the shooting I always like to spend a day on the space, trying to understand it, visualizing the photos I will take, and the most important, understanding light and the way it changes over the day. I think this is my main focus, the way light and shadow changes your perception of space and trying to convey those perceptions and atmospheres into my photography.

 

House in Monsaraz by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace

House in Monsaraz by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace

House in Monsaraz by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace

House in Monsaraz by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace

House in Monsaraz by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace

House in Monsaraz by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace

House in Monsaraz by Aires Mateus & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace
House in Monsaraz, Portugal by Aires Mateus.

 

+ Who/ what are some of your main sources of inspiration? Other photographers, creatives, or references you are regularly drawn to?

Having studied architecture in Porto and experienced some of their work, Álvaro Siza and Souto de Moura are some of my biggest inspirations. They were huge references during my studies and they are still today. Aires Mateus is always a reference, not only because of their unique architecture but also because of the friends and relationships I have made in the office.

Lately, Cingalese architect Geoffrey Bawa has been a huge inspiration after I visited some of his projects in Sri Lanka. The way he designed spaces, blending exterior and interior, the incorporation of vernacular architectural language and his use of texture, colour and materials, really changed my perception of architecture, it was a touching discovery I wasn’t expecting to have. I’m glad some good friends recommended visiting his projects. Regarding photographers I love Hélène Binet, she is a huge source of inspiration. Julius Shulman, Ezra Stoller, Lucien Hervé, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Guido Guidi and Luigi Ghirri are always in my subconscious and are references I am regularly drawn to and revisiting.

 

Kandalama by Geoffrey Bawa & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace

Kandalama by Geoffrey Bawa & Photography by Rui Cardoso | Yellowtrace

Kandalama by Geoffrey Bawa & Photography by Rui Cardoso | YellowtraceClick To Read Entire Post

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