« I have always loved the night. It’s the most inspiring moment for me », reveals Xavier Portela. With this photographic project called « Glow », the Belgo-Portuguese artist travels the world to capture various cities at night. Offering unique pinkish and bluish toned pictures, inviting us to dive in incomparable nocturnal atmospheres. Making singular moments out of time.
How did you discovered photography ?
I always had a camera in my hands, whether it was my father’s, friends’ or mine. Capturing moments in pictures always pleased me. But the passion came when I started to find a way to express my vision of things through photos. I never thought of becoming a photographer. For me, it was a hobby, I didn’t think it could become a job. I first started to work as a web developer and then quit it to start freelance photography.
How did you had the idea of such a photographic series ?
It all started during a trip to Tokyo. I wanted to do a night series on this city. I took pictures there but when I started sorting them, I was disappointed with the rendering. I couldn’t find the atmosphere I had felt on the spot. So I dropped the project. And then, two years later, I was reading mangas and I felt inspired by the work of Benjamin Zhang Bin. His way of exploring colors immediately made me think of my Tokyo shots. I started retouching the shades on them and the first series had a lot more visibility than I expected. I then decided to extend the project to other cities.
What inspired you to shoot these cities at night ?
For me, night time is the most inspiring moment. I prefer noctural atmospheres. For the retouching work on the pictures, I simply sought the colors that gave me a memory of the scene as close as possible to the one I had in mind. When I first published « Glow », someone sent me an email saying « i lived in Japan for 6 years and your photo reflect exactly what I remember about this city ». My goal is to use the tones to restore the temperature, the sound, the vibrance and even, why not, the smell, to a two-dimensional image.
Found more about his work on his Instagram page : @xavierportela.