Self-taught photographer, Xavier Portela is a very passionate person when it comes to experiencing the places he visits and his photography. The most important thing for him is to create images that perfectly reflect the way he felt in each city, the way his brain remembers it. After he visited Tokyo in 2014 looking back at his photos he wasn’t happy with the results and emotion he achieved through his camera. “That overwhelming atmosphere wasn’t there anymore,” Portela said. “When you are taking photographs on the streets you have way more than just a frame, you have variables like temperature, noise, people, smell. You have tons of details that make our senses and brain record a specific ‘scene’ of that moment. When you got home and you look at your photographs on screen, you only have a frame in two dimensions. It’s frustrating how much information you just lost… I wanted my shots to look as if they came straight out of a manga. Vibrant and electric. Two years later, inspired by the way Japanese anime are colorized, I remembered the work of Zhang Bin aka Benjamin who is a Chinese manhua artist and illustrator. I decided to give it another try by editing the colours of my photos to get more atmosphere and emotions from them. Happy with the results I started publishing them and after all the positive feedback I got for the original series.” Portela’s series Glow includes his trips to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, New York City, and it’s still ongoing archive that started with street photos and evolved to aerial shots as you can see below.
After Portelo had visited Tokyo in 2014 looking back at his photos he wasn’t happy with the results
“That overwhelming atmosphere wasn’t there anymore.”
“I wanted my shots to look as if they came straight out of a manga. Vibrant and electric.”
“Two years later, inspired by the way Japanese anime are colorized, I decided to give it another try by editing the colours of my photos to get more atmosphere and emotions from them.”
Finally happy with results, the photographer made his Glow series an open ongoing archive he will continue to explore year to come