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Carlos Ramos Interview - The Photographer Known As “Miami Fever”

December 21, 2007 By Maria de los Angeles in Miami: Local News  | 6 Comments

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Beautiful kismet happens when Carlos Ramos clicks his camera’s shutter on the streets of Miami Beach.  Also known as Miami Fever, the twenty-something photographer is a master at documenting outdoor life in the city.

Carlos captures the vibrant energy of Miami Beach through a variety of subjects ranging from the glamorous to the seedy:  leggy beauties and their shoes, luxury cars, food, architecture, nightlife, beach-goers and colorful characters.

“I am inspired by the unique architecture, colors, history and natural beauty that can serve as either a complimentary or contrasting setting to the very diverse people who visit and inhabit Miami Beach,” Carlos explained.

Carlos also focuses on other locations in Miami, but it’s his Miami Beach photos we mostly talked about over the phone in an utterly pleasant conversation.  And no matter how much I praised him, the affable photographer spoke about his art in a humble way, which I believe is the mark of a true artist.

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But the artist is also a businessman in the making.  Carlos was fresh out of school earlier this month when we spoke, so he was enjoying well-earned time off after earning an MBA degree. He told me he was considering a career in business – another passion.  Besides, it’s tough to make it as a photographer. “Why not both,” I asked?  “Well yes,” he responded. He certainly has experience managing the pressures of school while practicing his art on the side.  Photography actually provided a stress release.

So far, Carlos has taken only one commercial gig, a swimwear shoot for Unikswim. Not that he’d turn any work away—“I would love to do work that personally moves me, something that I find an interest in,” he said.

But at heart, he simply loves the spontaneity of the street photography.  “I like to capture the moment as it is.  If I could make myself invisible it would be great,” Carlos said.  “You never know what you’re going to find.”

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Carlos is originally from the Dominican Republic and has lived back and forth between Miami and the island nation all his life.  He recalls riding around Miami Beach on his bicycle and taking photos when he was younger.  “I was always a visual person,” he told me.  “When I was a kid, I was known for my drawing and painting. I guess I’ve always liked to show people things on paper, or as is the case now, on a computer screen.”

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Carlos is largely self-taught.  He always had some kind of camera, but since they were all automatic, he had little or no control over technical elements.  It wasn’t until he got his first 35mm SLR in 2004 that he really began to experiment.  Having had no mentor, he started reading and became fascinated by the artistic side of photography, which became a means of personal growth and self-expression.  As he told me:  “I read more and more and tried to learn as much as I could about photography. The more I learned, the more I wanted to experiment. The more I experimented, the more I wanted to perfect. I became possessed.”

In 2004, Carlos did take one photography class where he worked with lab chemicals, but eventually opted for digital format with minimal, if any, post-processing manipulation.

“Everything I do now is pretty much straight from the camera,” he said.  “When you’re out there on the street you can’t really control what goes into the frame.  Sometimes I add a little color or contrast, but that’s it.”

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Carlos captures the city in all its diversity, with amazing detail, depth of field, composition and lighting.  He also uses a technique called tilt shift in some of his shots, which makes subjects in the image seem like miniature objects.

Today, he rarely leaves his home without his camera and two lenses, one wide and one zoom.  “My girlfriend always holds my left hand when we walk, because my camera is always on the right,” Carlos explained. “I just shoot whatever moves me.  I like the idea of being able to preserve memories.”

Favorite spots to shoot are Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive, because there are so many people that catch his eye.  Carlos is particularly fond of taking photographs at sunset, because of the quality of light.  He’s also a nocturnal creature, so many of his pictures are after hours.  And believe it or not, Carlos doesn’t go out just to shoot – he just captures images as part of his daily life.

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Why Miami Fever?  The gifted photographer says it’s a Latin thing; “fever” implies warmth, but in a good way.  Obviously, the city streets of Miami Beach are “hot” and full of incredible subject matter.

“I like how the scene can change from one day to the other. The revelers who flock to the beach for the annual Memorial Day weekend hip-hop festivals can be just as interesting to watch as the snowbirds and sophisticates who flock down for the winter and Art Basel,” Carlos said.

You could say that Miami Beach and Miami Fever are almost synonymous. “Miami Beach has influenced my definition of what is photogenic,” he told me.  “It influenced my creative eye. Regardless of where life takes me, Miami Beach will always be home and perfectly suited to my photographic style.”

Through his photography, Carlos is capturing the city as it is today while amassing a masterful documentary collection of street photography for tomorrow.  Some day, his photographs may be as nostalgic as the postcards from the 1940s.  But even as we live and breathe the city today, Miami Beach seems more beautiful because of his work.

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Get Some Fever

I’ve been following Carlos on the photo-sharing site Flickr for about a year. Sometimes, he focuses his lens on the city’s wild nightlife and since I don’t do much clubbing these days, I feel as if I can live vicariously through his photographs.  Being a Miami Beach resident now for ten years, I can safely vouch for the fact that a trip through his Flickr world makes Miami Beach’s current vibe come to life – you can almost touch it.

It will be fascinating to see how his work evolves in the years to come.  In the meantime, grab a cup of coffee, stop by his Flickr account and experience a little Miami Fever for yourself.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

About the Author: Maria de los Angeles is a freelance wordsmith who loves to write about all things travel in Florida and the Caribbean. She is also the author of the award-winning blog Sex and the Beach.

See more articles by Maria de los Angeles.

See more articles by Maria de los Angeles

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6 Comments on

"Carlos Ramos Interview - The Photographer Known As “Miami Fever”"

Rick says:

One of the most enjoyable things about doing SotP was going through Fever’s photos for the day, trying to figure out which one to post for our “Where We Live” feature.

The best.

Posted on 12/21/2007 at 4:11 PM

Brad says:

Excellente! It is great to have more depth on the man that captures these amazing images. Thanks for the article and many thanks to the Fever for the photos.

Posted on 12/26/2007 at 12:57 AM

Doug says:

Thanks for introducing me to his work, Maria! He really seems to have a knack for capturing the spirit of the Beach.  It’s an inspiration for me to start carrying my own little camera around more.  Great story!

Posted on 12/26/2007 at 1:31 AM

Faust says:

Congratulations, Carlos smile  It’s great to see you getting the exposure your deserve.  Your work is top notch.

Posted on 06/17/2008 at 7:47 AM

FD-Miami-Beach-Real-Estate says:

Yes his work is just great. He makes you feel like you are there with him out on the streets and you can see exactly what he sees. Actually it seems that you see it better through his pictures.
Just great.

Posted on 01/15/2009 at 4:21 PM

a.r says:

great work, good subjects and technique

Posted on 04/16/2009 at 5:48 AM

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