Compulsive Photographer

The Inertia

As far as I remember, I always took photographs. That being said, I never thought to become a photographer. It was just a way to capture things in front of me and show them from my point of view. My mind has always been like a visual milkshake composed of all the elements I’m exposed to visually or emotionally in my life — photography was and is the easiest tool I’ve found to get that out. I’m terrible with a pencil!

Iceland was not only a personal project, but also a personal challenge. My two latest trips were New York and Tokyo, so I wanted something different… less urban, and less people, something outside my comfort zone. Iceland was perfect.

I was excited to create something different, gathering new visuals.  I needed to come back with something I would be happy to share. I started thinking and making some plans about what I would experiment there.

In the end, I didn’t do anything I planned. I didn’t play with long exposure. I didn’t use my neutral density (ND) filter. And the only time I used my tripod was at night when I finally found myself shooting landscape like I would capture the atmosphere of Manhattan. The only difference is that I needed to find a scale. Those infinite space were huge and breathtaking, and I needed to be able to frame them completely while also capturing that surprising effect they give you, like when you discover them at the end of a road, behind a mountain, at the exit of a tunnel.

For more from Xavier Portela, head on over to his website, Compulsive Photography. And don’t forget to check out his Vimeo page and Behance account, as well as to Like him on Facebook.



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