Álvaro VegazoFor a photograph to be successful, it has to excite you
Álvaro Vegazo was born and raised in 1977 in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain. There he works as a technical engineer on projects for the construction and conservation of roads.
To compensate for this demanding job, he is very passionate about photography. Álvaro started with analogue photography in the 90s of the last millennium, and then switched to digital at the turn of the millennium. He photographed with great passion, but without great ambition.
When the association of photographers "Sanlucarfoto" was founded in 2013, he discovered many new worlds of images, being particularly attracted to documentary photography. After attending a workshop by photographers Daniel Casares Román and Julián Ochoa, a completely new perspective opened up to him and he understood photography in a different way. This experience was groundbreaking for his further path as a photographer because he also began to be interested in street photography.
He began taking his first steps in street and documentary photography through the development of various projects in his city, concluding his book "Tránsitos de luz ", where lights, shadows and backlights are protagonists. He also carried out his first individual exhibition about a religious festival traditions "Carmen de Bonanza", and is currently developing projects such about artisan human heritage and another about horse racing on the beaches of his city.
Álvaro Vegazo - For a photograph to be successful, it has to excite you
Álvaro Vegazo has published his images in numerous international digital publications and he exhibited in various international cities in collective exhibitions: Miami, Florence, Siena... after being a finalist in various contests on street and documentary photography.
Among his outstanding publications, he has the one in the newspaper "El País", his series "Other rhythms" about his street photography and which announced the arrival of summer in 2021.
On his way, he was a finalist in the 4th SPi Awards. It was here that he was introduced to the RICOH GR III - Street Edition, which he received as part of the sponsorship of this competition. This was not just about Ricoh providing the camera for free, but also about building relationships with photographers and guiding them on their journey to develop their portfolio. This is how the GR Challenge was born, where the winner and the 15 finalists of the SPi Awards had the opportunity to submit a photo each week to be featured on the Instagram page @ricoh_gr_photography. Álvaro won the challenge and became an ambassador for RICOH GR.
Stories like this represent the drive and passion of many photographers to further explore the world of photography. In the following short interview, Alvaro shares insights into his approach to photography.
RICOH IMAGING: What inspires you as a street photographer?
Álvaro Vegazo: I’m inspired by capturing moments that can convey emotion: especially joy and/or surprise. I also like color to complete my shots and produce a conginitive vibration in the viewer. For a photo to be successful, it has to excite you.
I’m particularly inspired by the street, because it offers a great visual richness. Many interesting things happen here in just a few seconds, and I’ve to react very quickly to capture them.
Or to say it with a famous quote by Garry Winogrand: "I take photographs to see how the world looks in photographs".
RI: How do you describe your approach to photography?
ÁV: I think that if you want to tell something interesting with your images, you have to be committed to photography. The more you are committed, the greater your ability to convey something.
You can acquire this commitment not only by taking pictures, but also by looking at what great photographers have done before you or by exchanging ideas with like-minded people.
In doing so, photography also serves as a meditation exercise for me. When I enter into an emotional realm photography is a way to connect with everything that is happening around me in that moment - and always with a curious and imaginative attitude.
RI: What do you look for when you take a picture?
ÁV: Something that expresses an emotion, an irony, a surrealism, a contrast, something that can convey a feeling, the feeling I felt when I took the picture. That part of "non-reality" that I transform into "my reality".
For this reason, the most important thing for me is that this photo says something to me personally, that I like it a lot, and if it evokes a reaction from the viewer later, that would be a win for me.
RI: What tips would you give to photographers?
ÁV: Don't be afraid to make mistakes and gradually gain confidence in your camera until you realise that it is an extension of your arm and a tool to observe the world with the curiosity of a child. For me, the small size and portability of the RICOH GR III is very helpful in achieving this goal.
For me, it is more important to know how to look and capture those interesting moments than to constantly think about the technology. You can learn the technique little by little and it will surely help you to achieve better results.
In this sense, you can rely on the advantages that the GR offers you, such as the "snap" function that allows you to preset the focus area for a delay-free release, which is much appreciated in street photography.
RI: Thank you for the interview
Álvaro shares his work via the GR City hashtag #shootGR_SanlúcardeBarrameda, which gives an insight into his shooting style.
Some of his current pictures he share with us:
RICOH GR III // ISO 200 // Exposure time: 1/800 sec. // Apperture: F7.1 // Exposure mode: Manual
RICOH GR III // ISO 200 // Exposure time: 1/800 sec. // Apperture: F8 // Exposure mode: Manual
RICOH GR III // ISO 200 // Exposure time: 1/640 sec. // Apperture: F8 // Exposure mode: Manual
RICOH GR III // ISO 200 // Exposure time: 1/1000 sec. // Apperture: F8 // Exposure mode: Manual
RICOH GR III // ISO 200 // Exposure time: 1/1250 sec. // Apperture: F6.3 // Exposure mode: Manual
RICOH GR III // ISO 100 // Exposure time: 1/10 sec. // Apperture: F16 // Exposure mode: Manual
RICOH GR III // ISO 200 // Exposure time: 1/640 sec. // Apperture: F7.1 // Exposure mode: Manual
RICOH GR III // ISO 200 // Exposure time: 1/500 sec. // Apperture: F6.3 // Exposure mode: Manual