Ricardo Canales is a professional psychologist and self-taught photographer. He was born in Chuquicamata, Chile in January 1973. He grew up in a middle class family, whose father worked in the mining world and at the same time was interested in music, literature and photography; these were perhaps the first influences that Ricardo had on art. However, it wasn’t until 2013 that he began to link up with photography and practice it on a regular basis. His photographic interest is mainly focused on black and white photography, landscapes, minimalism, abstract photography and fine art. He hopes to continue developing his art, acquire new knowledge and realize several photographic projects that he has in mind.
How and when did you become interested in photography?
My interest in photography was born in 2013, at a time when I started to spend my free time touring the city by bike in the afternoons. I marveled at the seascape and the sunsets on the coast. I began to photograph with a mobile phone camera, and a few days later I acquired my first photographic equipment to develop my passion seriously, until now.
Is there any artist/photographer who has inspired your art?
At first I was amazed by the black and white works of Sebastião Salgado (his project “Genesis”), but the most important influence in landscape photography for me comes mainly from the works of Michael Kenna. I am also influenced by André Kertész, Ralph Gibson and Masao Yamamoto, especially in my more abstract development.
Why do you work in black and white instead of colour?
I think black and white is timeless, but it preserves the essence and origins of photography. I think black and white focuses on the structure of the image, and gives depth, drama and elegance. I’m convinced that this type of photography allows you to know the soul of the subject you’re portraying, whether it’s a landscape, a person or an object.
How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph/series of photographs?
It depends. When I work on seascapes I follow a definite pattern of action, which begins with finding a location that I like. Then, I study the weather conditions, looking for the presence of dense, dark clouds. Finally I take the picture, mainly during the early morning hours, or the late afternoon hours of the winter months. At present, I am using a digital reflex camera, wide angle and telephoto lenses, a remote trigger, tripod and neutral density filters (ND of 10 steps), this allows me to make long exposure, technique that I use in these cases. Finally, I spend time on digital development, where I make the final adjustments to the image before it is presented.
Where does your photography go? What projects would you like to carry out?
Well. I have several ideas in mind, but in particular I’m very interested in developing auteur photography, with high contrast images, abstract, deep and dreamlike, that invite the observer to reflection and introspection.