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Celebrating 6 years on DeviantArt

Thu May 25, 2017, 5:22 PM

It's quite a treat to be part of DeviantArt. You don't always know what to expect when you join or when you submit an artwork. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure, there's a lot of love for art in our community. It flows and I've been swept away by that river, six years ago. And I love it.

I look back at some of my earlier deviations and I'm amazed by the amount of support I was getting, from people all over the world. Some of those works are still fairly popular in my gallery, so I thought I'd revisit a few and remaster them. Six of them, to be exact.

It's kinda tricky to go back and recreate old works, in my case at least, for two reasons. One, finding my way back to the state of mind I was in when I first created them. Two, finding all the original material and tools to recreate the piece; should be easy if one is extremely well organized, which I extremely well am not. In anyway, enjoy...

Spring Sunset by Miguel-Santos
Spring Sunset - published on October 30, 2011

Spring Sunset was on of my first successful attempts at putting together a panorama composed of high-dynamic-range photographs, aka HDR. I was quite happy that I was able to capture the colors and depth of that skyscape, in juxtaposition with the silhouettes of the trees.

This was taken in the highlands of southern Brazil, during early spring, when temperatures are still quite low. The high altitude combined with the low temperatures produce amazing sunsets.

Such was the case that afternoon and I almost missed the chance to capture this because I was struggling to find a nice vantage point, which I eventually did, on an abandoned airport strip!

When I finally setup my gear, the sun was almost gone. But, for just a fleeting moment before it went away, it broke through the clouds and turned the sky into a marvelous painting. One that I was fortunate enough to capture and share with you.

The Passage by Miguel-Santos
The Passage - published on September 20, 2011

I love Street Photography. That's where I started, walking around with a small camera and candidly taking pictures of city life and its quirky bits.

The Passage is a street photo from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was walking up and down Florida Street when I noticed this old subway station entrance, on the corner of Peru Street. I was taking a souvenir shot when a man walked past me and went down the stairs. I instinctively re-positioned myself and took this shot.

I was able to do a symmetrical composition, using the entrance as the central point and the man to break it. I was lucky, everything came into place at the right moment and that's why I like this kind of photography so much.

When I posted it here, it got such great comments. People liked the composition, the black-and-white, the textures and there were very nice interpretations of its composition. The feedback was great and has kept me posting this kind of photography ever since.

Daydreaming by Miguel-Santos
Daydreaming - published on November 14, 2011

I've always admired photo-journalists and their ability to tell real-life stories through pictures. It's not as easy as it seems and I keep trying to get my photo-journalistic pictures from time to time.

With Daydreaming, I felt I had something special. I shot it while traveling through Brazil's rural south, during winter. I knew there was lot of poverty and I wanted to capture landscapes that showed the kind of people who lived in them.

As I was photographing a landscape, which included a few worn out wooden houses, I noticed this girl standing by the door. She seemed to be lost in thoughts. Her eyes were set on the horizon. She didn't seem happy or sad... just dreaming. I zoomed in, took a picture, and immediately felt a connection to it.

I then enhanced the textures a bit and decided to keep the colors. Her sweet face, with that innocent look, was so contrasting with the whole environment. I just felt there was a story there. I'm glad most of my friends here on DA felt the same way and sharing this one was also very rewarding.

Under a Dim Grey Sky by Miguel-Santos
Under a Dim Grey Sky - published on August 25, 2011

This was taken from a plane window. I was flying over São Paulo, which the largest city in Brazil and the Americas. A metropolis of roughly 25 million people.

I always take a ton of pictures every time I fly over this urbanscape. It overwhelms me. It makes me think about how little we are and, at the same time, how big we can get. Also, what is the meaning of living like this, for ourselves and the planet.

What made this particular shot so interesting were the clouds. They brought the element of Nature into the picture in a great way, by casting a huge shadow over the city. That just did it for me.

I enhanced that contrasts with curves and a dark sepia tone that gave it a vintage feel. The clouds stood out quite nicely and this quickly became one of my personal favourites.

A week after posting this, I was surprised to find that it was featured as a Daily Deviation by hellfirediva, as suggested by donnymurph. It was my first DD and I couldn't have asked for better feedback. People interpreted this piece in many ways and it was awesome.

I posted another one of these, from a different trip, on my Tumblr page, here.

Lagoon Memories by Miguel-Santos
Lagoon Memories - published on November 26, 2011

This is a beautiful place. It is the Conceição Lagoon, in Florianópolis, which is the state capital of Santa Catarina. They're both part of a wonderful island, rich in nature and history. Naturally, I love that island and in particular, this lagoon.

Every time I am there, I find myself trying to capture the history of the place. The old streets and its old trees. The old people and their old fishing boats. That's when I saw this composition that seemed to have it all... well, except people. But you can feel their presence.

That photo immediately felt like an old postcard. A memory from a time at the lagoon. That's where I went with the post-processing. I gave it a nostalgic, vintage look that felt right to me. The clouds also helped, not just by adding texture to the empty space, but mostly by enhancing the melancholy of the already nostalgic piece.

To my absolute surprise, this deviation became my second Daily Deviation, featured by fritsenator. And thanks to DeviantArt, it has been used all over the internet, in all sorts of articles and whatnot. It's fun to keep bumping into this photo here and there.

While revisiting this photograph, I was able to produce a portrait version. Originally, I cropped the photo as a square and worked from there. Now, with the full picture in view, I almost replaced it on DeviantArt. But that didn't seem right. The original was so special and it was even a DD, so why change it? Instead, I've posted the full portrait view on my Instagram account, here.

Morninglow by Miguel-Santos
Morninglow - published on September 18, 2011

There are times in photography when you are so fortunate to capture something so beautiful that it transcends yourself and reality.

On the morning I took this photograph, I was racing to a meeting, hundreds miles away. I was already late and I couldn't waste any time. Well, that was until I saw this view, for a split second, and immediately fell in love.

As I walked back there and started shooting, my hands were shaking with excitement. This small hill to the left was blocking the sun, so the fog in front of me was glowing like gold, while the rest of the view was already in bright sunlight. That layered view was overwhelming. I couldn't believe I had captured that moment.

Morninglow, as in morning glow, became one of my personal favourites, especially after posting it here in our community, where it got an overwhelming support and convinced me to keep sharing my Nature photography.

Thank you for the kindness and support all through these six years and let's have some more fun together for the next... many more!

With love, your friend,


Sun Dec 13, 2015, 1:06 PM

The journey to capture Change

Capturing Change was a collaborative assignment created by DeviantArt, in partnership with Sony, to bring together four photographers from the community, each in a different country, and have them document changes in their surrounding cities and cultures, using Alpha cameras.

I was invited to be part of this project at the end of October and was very excited to learn that I would be working with three amazing Deviants – the beautiful and talented OliviaMichalski, from Germany, the ingenious darkdex52, from El Salvador, and, from Dubai, the not-so-beautiful yet deviously skilled MARX77.

Having the opportunity to work with such a team, along with DeviantArt staff, was the highlight of this project for me. Of course, I enjoyed the Sony camera too! ;)

For the assignment, each photographer received a Sony Alpha mirrorless camera, to take out to the streets and experiment with it. We had full creative freedom around the themes and interpretations of the project – the sort of opportunity and exposure only DeviantArt can provide to its community.

It's been an excellent experience and I loved every single bit of it. Let me tell you some more of what we did.

The cities and themes

Basically, we approached the assignment as capturing Past, Present and Future. That would then include themes like communication, innovation, architecture, people, technology, etc. All those things that drive a city forward.

Myself, I decided to photograph in three different cities, each one representing a different stage of city development. All are located in the state of Santa Catarina, in southern Brazil.

The first city I went to was Balneário Camboriú, a beach resort turned into a night life metropolis. The kind of city that might have grown too fast for its own good. It's often called the Brazilian Dubai for its high-rise buildings.

City Tides by Miguel-Santos
The beach in Balneário Camboriú.
Now overshadowed by the numerous skyscrapers built as close to the ocean as possible.

Wired to the City by Miguel-Santos
The streets leading into the city.
Older neighborhoods struggle to fit in with the new polis.

City Triangle by Miguel-Santos
The night life of Balneário Camboriú.
This cityscape shows the new city, the old city and the Nature that surrounds both.

Next I went to Laguna, an old fishing town now becoming a one of the most important southern cities. There I saw how life used to be, how citizens struggle to adapt to a new rhythm and how progress demands irreversible change.

Fishing City by Miguel-Santos
The calm waters of the lagoon leading out to sea.
Although the old town is fading away, much of its past is still present.

City Misfit by Miguel-Santos
Citizen or misfit?
People found their lifestyles changing abruptly and having to adapt, or fail.

Lights for France by Miguel-Santos
The Anita Garibaldi bridge, lit with the colors of France.
This new access to Laguna is an irreversible step towards change.

And finally, I went to the capital city, Florianópolis, where I mostly wanted to photograph people in their daily routine, carelessly walking down the street or just relaxing in one of the many plazas. It's an old city, filled with Portuguese influence from colonial times, and its citizens have long adapted themselves to its rhythm.

Connections - The Struggle by Miguel-Santos
Struggling with technology perhaps, but not with the city.

Centuries by Miguel-Santos
The Hercílio Luz bridge, now serving as a monument.
In this composition, you'll find three centuries of city evolution.

Connections Mini-Series

I did a series of street shots depicting people connected to their communication devices in such a way that they become so disconnected with the world. Surely you seen and felt the same, right?

Connections - Crosstalk by Miguel-Santos  Connections - Not Mobile by Miguel-Santos  Connections - Generations by Miguel-Santos
Connections - Wave Against the Machine by Miguel-Santos Connections - Beach Break by Miguel-Santos

note: you'll find more details in the description of each photo

Feelings about the project

As I mentioned above, it was awesome to work with everyone involved. For some of you, this whole thing might look just like another ad for Sony. Well, it's their gear and in the end they'll get a lot of credit for it. But the way I see it, I am first and foremost a citizen of DeviantArt, who got invited for an artistic photography assignment, not for an ad.

Not only that, but the staff involved, led by the exceptional 4thofficial, kept reminding us of the principle that our community was built upon. That is, creative freedom.

The staff stopped at nothing to provide support all the way through. The wonderful production team, ellenherbert, madizzlee and akaminsky were constantly active to ensure our path was clear and our focus was, literally, on the shots.

This is truly a devious way to promote a brand and they made it happen in great style and kept the spotlight on the community.

For my part, I stepped forward to proudly represent and help promote DeviantArt, our community, above all else. And that means representing all of you, too! This would not happen without your constant support, my friends.

Also, we had support from the lovely Amy Koppmann, at Sony, who guided us through the strong points of their mirrorless technology.

And that leads me to...

The camera and shooting experience

This isn't an ad but I must say I'm pretty much sold on this new tech from Sony.

I got my greasy hands on the α7R Mark II – aka A7RII – with a 28mm lens. It's a new mirrorless camera with a full frame backlit 42 megapixel sensor. Plus a dozen more great features that I explain in each of the descriptions in my Capturing Change photos.

I only had three days for this assignment, mostly due to the total lack of interest from Sony Brasil, from which I desperately needed help to get the gear within schedule and got absolutely zero help. When I got the gear, I had a day to learn my way around the camera and set out for a three day travel & shoot. I knew I was heading for a sleepless week and that's when you have to rely on the gear the most.

The A7RII helped me get these photos, quickly and effortlessly. The camera has enough tech and quality to get the shot with beauty and precision. And I needed all the help I could get to finish on time. I'm stunned with the picture quality Sony achieved with this Alpha series and I had a lot of fun shooting with it.

The A7RII delivered! Now, how's that for an ad?

note: feel free to ask any questions regarding the camera.

City at Dawn by Miguel-Santos
The dawn of the metropolis, in Balneário Camboriú.


You can be a part of this too. Take a look at the full article and leave a comment or even post photos related to our project and tag them with #capturingchange. There are many ways to promote these journals and photos, so please do.

I wish to thank each and everyone of you for the kindness and support you've given me. I enjoy being part of our community and without you, I wouldn't have made it this far.

A very special thank you to my partners in crime, Olivia Michalski, Bruno Lindentāls and Khuram Lawrence. Also, to the awesome gang, Ian Campbell, Ellen Herbert, Ariel Kaminsky and Maddy Wojdak.

Much love to you all.

Below are the journals related to Capturing Change, visit them for a better understanding of the project. Also, a few quotes from the team.
Check out their AMAZING galleries if you haven't already!

Capturing ChangeHello, everyone! :wave:
In this journal I want to tell you something about my experiences with the "Capturing Change" project.

About one month ago 4thofficial contacted me and asked whether I'd like to enter a photography project. Of course I entered! :giggle:
The theme was easy to understand. "Capturing Change - How has your city changed over the years?"
We had several Skype talks in which I learned to know the other participants:
darkdex52, Miguel-Santos, and MARX77.
I thought it would be difficult for me to change my eye of photography to the genre called "street", but it worked quite easily. We got a camera from Sony to use, and I got the Sony A7R with a 28-70mm lens. Shooting in full frame is really different from shooting with an APS-C camera. But it is definitely more fun! 
The project was the biggest photography project I ever did. It was such an honor to work together with both deviantART and Sony. And I am so thankful to be a
Capturing Change: A Quick Preview

  Capturing Change
I have some really great news!
About a month ago, in mid-October, I was contacted by DeviantART for participating in a project. They had read my journal of how I was raising funds for a new camera, since my old 1000D had run out of shutter’s life, and decided I would be perfect for the new project by Sony.
4 photographer, me included, all received Sony mirroless cameras and were set out for a week-long shoot capturing change in each of our countries. I got myself a Sony a7R with E 55-210mm telephoto lens. I also thought a wider-angle lens would be really suited for the project, so using the fundraiser money, I got myself the Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake lens.
It really is the biggest project I’ve ever done in my life, and the very first professional job I’ve got as a photographer. Really, it’s the biggest event in my 25 years of life, and I’m proud of my finished work. Really

Tram stations by OliviaMichalski

It was such an honor to work together with both deviantART and Sony. And I am so thankful to be a part of this. I want to thank all the organizers for doing this.

Danse Russe by darkdex52

It was tons of fun and a big learning experience working with dA and with the other 3 photographers as well.

The Show Begins! by MARX77

The most exciting DeviantArt experience for me so far.

journal skin: bronze aerials