GUS is a Spanish multi award winning fine art photographer. He combines a variety of photographic techniques, especially multiple and long exposures.
Gus, please introduce yourself
My name is Gus - since I was a child I was very attracted to art, I kept seeing over and over again an encyclopedia my parents had about great painters and soon I started taking my father's camera to take pictures, for fun. With the digital era, I found my true passion, to edit images until I could achieve a parallel "reality" or capture my dream. I guess this is what they call Contemporary Artist or Visual Artist, although I think the word "artist" is too big to give it to yourself.
Where do you live, does your place of residence inspire you to take pictures?
I live in the Balearic Islands, in a small village in the Tramuntana Mountains. To take photos, anything can inspire me, from a walk through the village or the forest, to sitting on my front porch at night in solitude and thinking about what I would do with a photo I have taken. It's a beautiful town, and I have many photos of it, not long ago I took a series of photographs for a local hotel, in black and white, all of them at night, I spent three whole nights walking the streets of the town in solitude, it was really fun and also, I got to know places in the town that I hadn't seen before.
Do you have a photographic background?
If you mean background by unedited photos, if I have thousands, I wouldn't be able to count them.
If you mean an archive of finished works, too, I have about 200 finished works, or practically finished. Not all of them have been published, at the moment I am sharing them little by little and I have put on sale about 30, at the moment, of the best ones (according to my criteria) and of the most awarded ones that I have in multiple international contests.
How comes that you are interested in photography?
Since I was a child, as I said at the beginning, I liked art, I spent hours and hours looking at the works of great painters, Vangogh, Rembrandt, Dali, Picasso or photographers, Adams, Cartier-Bresson, Frans Lanting, with whom I discovered the National Geographic magazine and since then I have been collecting, etc. At school drawing was compulsory, but I was very bad, I think the teachers approved of me because I approved of everything else very well. Then I started to use my father's camera, it was analogical and very expensive to take pictures, but little by little I was doing some things, when the first digital cameras started I didn't hesitate to buy a Nikon Coolpix and a new computer to put Photoshop, that's where I discovered my passion for photography and create my universe.
Which photographer has inspired your photography?
There are many photographers that I like, Spanish and from other countries, if I had to choose two or three, I would tell you that Sol Marrades would be the first. I love his work, it is wonderful, you never get tired of seeing his works, again and again, both analog and digital. Carla DLM also I like very much how she works her works and the personality that prints them as you can let your imagination in the work and let yourself go and then, for B&W, no doubt George Digalakis, his work seems to be superb, a marvel, to see it is not only to enjoy a magnificent landscape, is to enter a state of peace and wonderful tranquility
Why do you work in black and white/color?
I like both disciplines, I don't think they are incompatible, sometimes an image asks to be in B&W, other times in color, it depends on what you are looking for in each of your works. In my series of the Austrian National Library, for example, from the beginning asked me for the B&W and I did, and I was right, it has been very well awarded more than 6 magnificent international prizes. On other occasions, the work, above all in creative or mood editing, asks me for more color to give more body to the work, to leave more space for the spectator to enter it.
How do you prepare for a photo?
I always make a sketch over the photo in Photoshop in a new transparent layer, drawing or frame over the image what I want to do, and then I carry it out, sometimes I get it right, other times not, I leave this layer "off" in the edition and I only activate it from time to time to see if I am in my original idea and what else I can or have thought of doing.
It depends on the circumstances, sometimes when I take it, I already have in mind what "I see and want to represent with it".
Other times, the photos rest for a while on my computer, months, some years and when I see it again, it is when "it comes to my mind" what I would like to represent and I try.
For creative editions, I always sketch, I create the document, and in a blank layer in Photoshop, I design what I want to represent and then I try to bring it forward. I do the same with studio photos, which I'm doing now, I sketch the idea and then represent it and photograph it
What are your technique and creative process?
I think I've already explained a bit, first I sketch what I want to do and then I try to carry it out, sometimes I get what I thought, sometimes I get something different and if I like it I continue with the editing.
About my technique, I wouldn't know, I don't have anything specific, just a few common developing steps and then I let my imagination fly and work in Photoshop with the tools that the program provides me with.
What projects would you like to tackle?
To continue maturing and learning a little more every day, you never know everything and there is a lot to learn. Regarding personal projects, well, I have some in mind but I can't talk about them because they are not yet consummated or confirmed, but they are on the right track.
Regarding photographic projects, now I'm doing, apart from editions of my photos, also a series of still life, and other works in the studio.
What do you do in your life besides photography?
To try to be happier tomorrow than today, to be a father and husband, and to enjoy my family, my daughter, and my wife as much as I can. It is what is important to me, without this, nothing else would have meaning in my life.
Thanks a lot Gus for the Interview