Hi Ricardo! How about to start by describing yourself?
I am Ricardo Kühl, a Brazilian advertiser from the beautiful state of Santa Catarina and I am 31 years old. I am passionate about every kind of communication and visual expression, specially photography.
If you had to categorize your photography style, how would you do it? Street, travel, documentary? Or a mix of these?
I would categorize my photography style as a mix of things. I particularly like to document everyday activities and trips, which is why my work consists of street photography, travel and landscapes. When I have the possibility of being in a new place, like in a short trip for instance, I try not to limit myself to themes and I avoid searching for photographic references of these new places. By doing this, I try to show my point of view of what’s surrounding me and, at the same time, I search for a more plastic look of the scenes, usually with the interference of people, bikes or nature itself, with the presence of sunshine, for example.
When did you start photographing and what motivates you?
My first contact with photography happened when I was really young. My father has always been a photography enthusiast, which is still his favourite hobby nowadays. When I was little, I would always accompany him and used to help him carry his photo case, full of lenses and filters. This means that my first contact was with analogue photography and this passion that my father has was transmitted to me as well. After finishing the advertisement school, and also after some time without taking photos, I bought a camera and now photography is a constant part of my life. To me, it works as some kind of exhaust valve, it’s my moment of pleasure. It’s that special moment when I can disconnect from the daily routines and go around with the camera, taking photos, or even staying at home and working on some RAW material.
Which camera you use at the present moment and what made you do that choice?
At the moment I use a Fujifilm X-T10. I recently made this choice because I’ve already had two other Fuji cameras: a fantastic X-T1 and an incredible X100S. In the X-T10 I found a camera which size stays in between those two, with the same image quality, but with the practicality and the possibility of lenses exchange.
Are you a Fuji user for a long time, or did you move from another camera system?
When I first started to take photography more seriously and it has started to become part of my life, I opted for the mirrorless system straightaway, but with a Sony camera instead. From 2011 to 2014 I have used a Sony NEX 5N with nothing but old manual lenses, which I used to purchase on eBay. That was a very important moment to me, as with manual lenses I really had to learn how photography works and I also had to concentrate in a lot of details. In 2014, with the idea of moving to a better equipment, I was introduced to Fuji by the photographer and also my friend Cléo Machado. The sensor’s image quality and the assembly of available lenses have caught my attention. Since then, I’ve owned some Fuji lenses and cameras and I am still impressed by the image quality and with the capacity of the x-trans sensor.
Shooting mostly in the streets, have you got any funny or dangerous episode that you would like to tell us?
Fortunately, I don’t recall any dangerous moment. However, one of the most unexpected moments I can remember happened when I saw a gigantic bird on top of a car parked on some street of Amsterdam. Despite the bird’s irritation I managed to register that moment. Who might have been even angrier is the owner of the car, which was really dirty and scratched because of that bird.
Looking at your pictures, we can tell you are very careful about the composition. Who are the photographers that influenced you the most, if any?
By working with advertisement and by being directly connected to creating layouts, I try to bring aesthetic details and compositions from this field to my photos. I really like to observe the Rule of Thirds and Fibonacci. I try to bring alignment and distribution of information without overloading the frame. I also like to leave people as natural as possible, as if they weren’t being photographed at all, and I also like to add some nature interference, which can be done by using a dramatic sky or sunshine purposely trespassing the photo. That’s how I try to bring a signature to my pictures. Of course there are many photographers I admire, but I don’t want to sound pretentious by saying that these geniuses’ work influences me. Some of these names are Henri Cartier-Bresson and Sebastião Salgado. Each of them with a very unique way of picturing the world.
Could you make a short description of your workflow since the capture to the final results?
I see the photograph divided in two crucial moments: before and after the shooting. I always shoot in RAW and I always edit the pictures using Adobe Lightroom. The sensors of Fuji’s X line are amazing and full of possibilities, such as shadows and highlights recovery. That’s why I always use RAW and I always work in post-production.
Thank you very much for your time! Would you like to leave any advices to the ones starting this true passion of Photography?
Every day and every photographic experience is a constant learning. I think that the only small advice I can give is that, besides our passion for photography, we should always be passionate about the theme we are about to photograph. It might seem obvious, but we often forget that photography is about the record of a moment, and everything becomes easier when we are being part of a moment that makes us happy.