Minno Ramirez – Arecibo, Puerto Rico

Something I enjoy most about photography on the internet is how you can follow a body of work as it progresses. For me it’s even more exciting when it’s a photographer whose still in the process of finding their way photographically. Many of the online blogs and magazines focus on completed bodies of work but day to day the steady stream of work in progress is actually the norm on the web. It can be a bit maddening because of the volume but for me it also provides an opportunity to really find photographers at the very early stages of their progression.

Minno Ramirez is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. I first found his work on Flickr when it would pop up in various groups, but it wasn’t until we became Facebook friends that I really started to follow his progression. He also has an active Tumblr where he shares his own work and the work that inspires him. The mixture offers some insight into where he might be heading with his work. By his own testament, he has a long way to go but from what I’ve seen I think he has the potential to really create an interesting body of work. Right now he’s focussed on landscapes but I have a feeling he’ll eventually expand on that and dig further into the culture of his hometown of Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

I asked Minno if he’d write a few words on his work. He admitted to me that his English wasn’t that polished so I figured I’d let him write in his native language of Spanish. He was nice enough to have some of his friends translated it into English as well.

I could say that my interest in photography started almost instantly in 2007, when I saw some friends photographs. At the beginning I took pictures of almost everything: flowers, animals, people, walls, etc. And right there, when I started to photograph the walls of some shops that attracted my attention, I fell in love with the contemporary landscapes and followed that direction until today.

Something that really gives an identity to my work is color. Puerto Rico is a country where you live in color and that is part of our culture. Also, the sun is always present and I use that for my benefit. Since day one I have tried to reflect that two things in my pictures and it now is becoming a personal style. My pictures represent a real place, my home island, beyond the stereotypes, and when I show palms or the sea in my pictures is because there’s a story behind. Something curious is that since I started doing photography in a serious way, I’ve never been far from my neighborhood. In all this time, the farther I’ve been from home is about ten minutes driving. Most of the time, I go out to take pictures on Sunday morning. I would love to be able to go out all the week, but only on Sunday morning I can find the solitude and the tranquility in the urban spaces that I’m trying to find all the time in Arecibo.

My photography is still developing and I have a lot to learn. Every day I find inspiration in what I see around me and in the fantastic images of fellow photographers around the world. Puerto Rico is a Latin American country and at the same time is a USA colony, by more than a hundred years. That contrast and mix is very interesting and I want to show in my pictures all those stories and take the conversation about those issues to a deeper level than never before. That’s where my photography is headed to, always showing the colors because I have them in my blood and they are part of what I am.

SPANISH

Puedo decir que empecé a interesarme en la fotografía casi instantáneamente en el 2007, cuando vi algunas fotos de varios amigos. Al principio fotografiaba de todo: flores, animales, gente, paredes, etc. Precisamente cuando comencé a fotografiar paredes de algunas tiendas que me llamaban la atención, sin darme cuenta poco a poco me fui enamorando de los paisajes contemporaneos y seguí en esa dirección hasta el dia de hoy.

Algo que realmente identifica mi trabajo son los colores. Puerto Rico es un país donde se vive a color y eso es parte de la cultura, además el sol casi siempre está presente (algo que he utilizado a mi favor). Desde el principio he tratado de reflejar todo esto en mis fotos y se ha ido convirtiendo en un estilo personal. En general mis imágenes presentan una isla real, más allá de los estereotipos y cuando muestro palmas o mar en alguna foto, es porque hay una historia detrás de eso. Algo curioso es que desde que empecé en la fotografía, casi no me he alejado de mi barrio. En todo este tiempo, creo que lo más lejos que he ido a tomar fotos, ha sido a diez minutos desde mi casa. La mayoría de las veces solo salgo a tomar fotos los domingos en la mañana. Me encantaría poder hacerlo toda la semana, pero el domingo es cuando puedo encontrar esa soledad y tranquilidad en los espacios urbanos que tanto busco aquí en Arecibo.

Mi fotografía aun está comenzando y sé que me falta mucho por aprender. Cada día sigo inspirándome en lo que veo a mí alrededor y en las fantásticas imágenes de fotógrafos de todas partes el mundo. Puerto Rico es un país latinoamericano y al mismo tiempo es una colonia de Estados Unidos, por más de cien años. Ese contraste o mezcla es muy interesante y por medio de mis fotos quiero seguir mostrando esas historias y llevar el tema a un nivel mucho más profundo de lo que lo he hecho hasta ahora. Hacia eso veo que se dirige mi fotografía y siempre mostrando colores, porque los llevo en la sangre y porque son parte de lo que yo soy.

  • http://twitter.com/aritokyo Ari Tamat

    mapcrunch.com

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/nelsonaz/ m r nelson

    Became a contact with Minno years ago on JPG and remain a contact with him still to this day on Flicr. He is one of the rare photographers that has a true “style” and is in my opinion one of today’s geniuses of what I call the “New New Topographic Movement”. 

                       m r nelson

  • Samycollazo

     Te felicite por tu trabajo anteriormente y lo vuelvo a hacer pues creo que tu y tu trabajo se lo merecen, Abrazos!!!
    Samuel.

  • Caroline

    These words are visualised every sunday!