Hamilton Magri Jr.’s description on his Instagram page tells you everything you need to know about his photography: “Nature is my passion, my religion.” A carpenter by day, Magri Jr., 45, spends his downtime capturing vivid, professional-grade shots of the city, wildlife, and, of course, nature. Originally from Brazil, he has taken a liking to Boston’s many changing seasons — even with the colder weather — and features all the area has to offer on his page @magri_photography.
Q. How did you get into photography?
A. I started taking photos as far back as my college days back in Brazil. I started taking photos more seriously three or four years ago, because my background is more painting and drawing — that was my major — but I don’t have that much time to dedicate to painting and drawing due to my job. So photography became a faster form of art for me.
Q. What is the appeal of capturing nature through photography?
A. When I say “nature is my religion,” I mean that it’s pretty much my escape. With my job and daily life, especially in Boston, things can be stressful, but when I go to nature I pretty much forget everything. It really is almost like therapy for me to get out there, to appreciate nature and creation.
Q. What are some of the things you look for when you’re taking photos?
A. When I’m out there, first of all: light! Light is everything for me, especially since most of my photos are during sunrise or sunset. I also love Edward Hopper, and the light that he achieved in his paintings totally influences me. I try to get that same sense of light in the early mornings and late afternoons, but it goes so fast. You really have to be prepared to capture the moment.
Q. I saw that along with your nature page, you also run the account @magri_wings, which is completely dedicated to birds. How do you manage to find so many beautiful birds, and how do you get so close without startling them?
A. I have a thing for watching birds and observing their behavior, they’re just so interesting. The thing about shooting [pictures of] birds, you have to have a lot of patience, especially when getting close to them. You kind of have to “introduce” yourself, and you have to be basically accepted. Most fly away if you get too close, so you almost need to ask permission to photograph them.
Q. What are the similarities/differences between taking shots of animals and taking shots of nature/landscapes?
A. It’s interesting because everything has different timing. Nature is whatever is given to you, like in the morning or afternoon, and birds and wildlife is a matter of patience and luck. Sometimes I go try to find things that I assume will be there, but most of the time I’m not successful. Like with foxes, for example: Sometimes I’m very lucky to find them, and sometimes I find nothing. Also, when I photograph sunsets or sunrises, they sometimes suddenly happen in front of me and I’m not prepared. I have to change the lenses very fast, and you have to carry lenses for so many different things, so I always have my camera bag and prepare for anything that comes around.Robert Steiner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org