Hello Pedro, welcome to the Gallery Magazine! Tell us about yourself.
First of all, thank you for this amazing opportunity to be interviewed by the Gallery Magazine. My name is Pedro Fernández Aguado and I was born and raised in Madrid. After I graduated in History of Art and then worked in the Prado Museum and Reina Sofia Museum, I decided I wanted to focus my career in photography. Whenever I am doing anything related to photography time goes by really fast and I am in a different world.
In addition, I feel very lucky to work together with Marta, my partner. She is also very passionate about photography and it makes the whole workflow even funnier.
Usually the landscape photographs that we see resemble the scene that are commonly visible to our eyes. But the landscape photographs that you take, portray a totally different perspective. What inspired you for bringing up such unique and beautiful concept?
I love traditional landscape photography, and I still take many of my shots with a classic style. However, I always have the feeling that something is missing: a color, a detail… Therefore, I started getting more and more interested in infrared photography. It really gives you the freedom to look at the world with different eyes.
For taking unique pictures one needs to think differently. How do you frame your shot in mind before clicking it?
Actually, I spend lots of my time thinking of photography. It makes me feel observant and identify locations that might be useful in the future. I usually save this locations in my GPS and when light conditions are good is when I go there to take the shot.
Once I arrive to the location, I work very instinctively when it comes to composing the picture. Then, I leave other changes like tones to the post processing of the picture. At the end of the day, it is experience what makes you chose a certain position, inclination and general balance composition.
What does your camera kit consist of?
I always use natural light in my pictures. Thus, my kit is not very complex.
It is basically composed of a classic Canon 5D, an infrared modified (720nm) Canon 20D and a Olympus E-PL1. In addition to that I have a Hoya infrared R72 filter, Heliopan variable ND filter and a tripod. When it comes to lenses, I use a Canon EF 16-35mm f35mm f/2.8L II USM and a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM.
Where all have you traveled to get such serene landscapes?
Most of my landscape photography has been shot in Spain. Mainly in Madrid and a little lovely village called Buciegas in Cuenca. In Spain, there are several sparsely populated locations. These are simply perfect to explore and find enough tranquility and calmness to perform this kind of photography.
Have you done any course in photography or you are a self-taught photographer?
The fact of graduating in History of art gave me the opportunity to study photography and most of the greatest photographers of all time. I have also followed several courses and studied a Master with some of the best Spanish photographers. I believe that in photography, particularly in the digital world, you have to keep studying permanently. However, there is a point where you have to take your own choices and experiment to achieve a personal language which can give you a specific identity.
What would you name your photography style/genre as?
That is a difficult question! I think that “Imaginative landscape” would be a good definition to name the style of my work.
Everybody has that dream project in their mind that they want to do badly, what is yours?
I just would like to keep taking pictures, share the joy with my partner and daughter while I give my personal photographic view of the different places I visit all around the world.
Would you like to explain the post processing steps in short?
Yes, of course. Whenever you work with infrared photography, post-processing is really a must.
First of all, I use Adobe Camera Raw to adjust white balance, temperature and tint. Then, I open the result in Photoshop, adjust levels and perform the digital post-processing of the infrared picture with the channel mixer. Up to this point is a very automatic process.
Once the picture is ready to give it our personal touch, I start my favorite and most creative part of post-processing. This is because you can do this process several times and the final product will always be different. We can start playing with any filter that alters colors like Hue/saturation and start combining layers of the image as we wish.
A very important fact in IR photography is that depending on the variety of the tree and the chlorophyll of its leaves, it will stain to a specific color.
What is the next genre that you would like to expertise in?
I would definitely like to try with architecture. I believe that it would be a good transition due to buildings have shapes, colors and impossible structures. It is a very good starting point to fly your imagination and connect with what I have been working with during the last years.
It was great having you at The Gallery Magazine. Would you like to suggest few things about this genre to beginners?
- Firstly: Enjoy, do not try to find the perfect picture. Enjoy the landscape, people, moments and a good picture will be the consequence of all this.
- You do not need to have the best equipment or travel to the best locations. Start taking pictures to what you know best and is most accessible to your day by day life. All the rest will be coming.
- Find a good weather application for your Smartphone. Observe and choose the optimal light conditions to execute the picture you had in mind.
- Do not be afraid of showing your work because of fear that it won’t be good enough or your idea could be stolen. There are actually many ways of showing your work.
- When composing a picture, everything that does not add up, you will subtract.
- And last but not least: patience. Every effort will have its answer.
Pedro Aguado's Gallery