Alvaro Vegazo - GR Ambassador
As the community of GR Photographers continues to grow, each of you have your own experiences as you continue your journey in photography. These articles are dedicated to sharing these stories and different the perspectives of photographers as they continue to build their work into a portfolio of images. Here is one story of one photographer, Álvaro Manuel Vegazo Gallego – using the GR City Hashtag #shootGR_SanlúcardeBarrameda
Álvaro Manuel Vegazo Gallego was born and raised in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain. Working as a technical engineer for over 20 years. Whist working on projects for the construction of bridges and roads, he had a hobby on this side which quickly became his passion. That was photography.
As this was during the 90’s this journey started with analogue, and then with the turn of the century switched to digital. When “Sanlucarfoto” started their photography association in 2013, this was when Álvaro opened up to a variety of genres, particularly being drawn to Documentary photography. After attending a workshop by photographers Daniel Casares Román and Julián Ochoa, titled “Nadarat” – meaning “meeting”, it gave him a completely new perspective, understanding photography in a different way. Captivated by this mindset this was a turning point for him as a photographer.
Since then Álvaro has gone on to have his images published in an number of international digital publications and went on to become a finalist of the 4th SPi Awards. It was through this that he was first introduced to the RICOH GR III, where the Street Edition was given away through sponsorship of the awards.
This was not simply a case of Ricoh giving away the cameras, but to develop relationships with the photographers and follow them on their journey as they developed their portfolios – which is a core principle of GR. So the GR Challenge was born where the winner and 15 finalists of the SPi Awards were given the opportunity to submit one photograph each week to be displayed on the @ricoh_gr_photography Instagram page.
Álvaro went on to win the challenge and became an ambassador for RICOH GR. Stories such as these represent the drive and passion many photographers have as they continue to explore the world of photography.
Here is a short interview with Alvaro sharing some insight into his approach through photography:
RICOH: What inspires you as a street photographer?
Álvaro: It inspires me to be able to capture moments that can convey some emotion: mainly joy and/or surprise. For a photograph to be successful, it must move you.
The street inspires me because it has a great visual richness, and because many interesting things happen in a few seconds and I have to be very fast to capture them. Later - there is no later.
Or maybe everything is simpler and is explained with the famous phrase by Garry Winogrand: “I photograph to see what the world looks like in photographs”-
RICOH: How you describe your approach to photography?
Álvaro: I believe that if you want to tell something interesting with your images, you must make a commitment to photography. The greater your involvement, the greater the ability to transmit.
You can acquire that commitment, not only by taking photos, but also by observing what great authors have done before and sharing experiences with peers.
And entering a more emotional field, photography serves me as an exercise in meditation, as a way to connect with everything that is happening around me at that moment, and always with a curious and imaginative attitude.
RICOH: What do you look for when taking an image?
Álvaro: Something that manifests an emotion, that reveals an irony, surrealism, contrast, something that can convey a feeling, the feeling that I perceived when I was taking the photo. That proportion of "not reality" that I turn into "my reality".
For this reason, for me, the most important thing is that this photograph tells me something personally, that I like a lot, and if it later provokes a reaction in the viewer, it would be the second prize for me.
RICOH: What tips would you give for using a GR?
Álvaro: Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, and little by little gain confidence with the camera until you notice that it’s an extension of your arm and a tool to observe the world, with the curiosity of a child. Its small size and portability will surely help you get there.
For me it’s more important to know how to look and capture those interesting moments, than to be constantly thinking about the technique. You can learn the technique little by little and it will surely help you to obtain better results.
In that sense, you can rely on the benefits that GR gives you, such as the "snap" function, which allows you to indicate from what distance you want the scene to be in focus, something highly appreciated in street photography
Álvaro is sharing his work through the GR City hashtag #shootGR_SanlúcardeBarrameda – which gives a glimpse into his shooting style. You’ll also be able to find his work on Instagram:
We encourage GR photographers to add their own city hashtags, already hundreds have been added. It’s a great way to connect with other photographers using the camera, check out different shooting styles and enjoy new perspectives.
We look forward to seeing your images!