I can across Rui Palha’s work whilst researching Henri Cartier-Bresson, inadvertently I wrote to Rui asking why he was using one of Cartier-Bresson’s photos a one of his own to later find that the website that had posted the image had actually mistakenly used Rui Palha’s image.
Rui Palha was born 1953 in Portugal now living in Lisbon, he started photography as a hobby which as he puts it has been on and off up until 2001 where he took it upon himself to work on street photography full time. Rui explained to me that he will always class himself as an amateur as he does not want his work to be dictated by others.
During an interview with Eric Kim he was asked what inspires Rui to capture a certain scene or image, this was the response “So many factors… the moment itself framed as better as possible, the magic of lighting, a framing that pushes my eye, a scene I construct inside my head, the graphism that people “design” while they are moving. We have to be able to anticipate, to understand, to “see”, to “feel” a street scene in a fraction of time and we must capture that moment in a meaningful framing. The composition is fundamental, too. Not only the moment capture.”
Of course Rui Palha took his inspiration from Henri Cartier-Bresson but also Garry Winogrand and Elliot Erwitt.