If you had to describe your overall photographic vision in 25 words or less, what words would you choose?
To my way of thinking, photography is a way of feeling, a way to create memories, and above all a constant way of learning to observe my surroundings so that I can express in pictures what develops in my mind.
Why are you so drawn to long exposure photography?
Long exposure photography for me is like a game. I look for the best composition, calculate and prepare all the settings on the camera, screw the filter on very smooth, tighten it, and then trigger the shutter. I start to look at the sky, and as the clouds pass, I feel great; it’s a solitary feeling that relaxes me a lot. I watch the time unfold before me as I catch it with my camera … it’s magical!
Why do you prefer black and white photography?
I prefer monochrome photography because it allows me to play with the colors and through that process my artistic creativity is more fluid … slowly I have developed my own technique of editing, searching the contrasts between pure black and pure white, covering the full range of grayscale, an experience that makes me feel very comfortable … I like how I can concentrate and highlight interesting points of photography through my editing processes.
Who are three of your favourite photographers, and, more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
It is difficult to choose three, but I will pick Michael Kenna, who I discovered when I started my curiosity with long exposures. I found his work fascinating. I would also see all the long exposure images so beautifully done by others, and from time to time I would look at his magnificent collection of images which are so amazing!
I will also choose Michael Levin, a teacher of how to compose photographs, with an excellent eye for detail, with images of soft and delicate tones that are recorded in the viewer’s retina forever.
Another photographer whose work has remained etched in my mind is yours, Nathan. Yes, yes … browsing a website I saw a picture of yours and this led me to a video on You Tube and then another and another! I enthusiastically enjoyed your self-portraits, and the good work of your other photos … the fact is that I was very attracted to take pictures of people back then (still am). Those images inspired my first pictures of self-portraits in a long exposure.
I do not want to forget all the sensational photographers I’ve met thanks to photography, both in social networks and in my immediate environment over these past four years that I have been taking photographs. They have all taught me a lot, so I say thank you to all of them!
What artistic influences, outside of photography, have had a significant influence on how you approach your photography (for example, painters, filmmakers, musicians, poets, etc.)?
I have no artistic influence outside the field of photography except maybe for films in general. I love movies and I am always fixed on the compositions, closeups, etc. I always enjoy the films of director Oliver Stone. I always find details in his films that inspire me.
What are your thoughts about trying to find the best gear possible versus working on making the best possible image with the gear you already have?
I own very modest photographic equipment, which I am very proud of. I do not know if someday I’ll have better equipment. When I make photographs, I have fun, and fun / enjoyment are the main tools of a photographer. I find inspiration in front of the screen, in the time of year, in the world around me, where I find great harmony with what I’m doing, everything flowing inside the brain.
How would you define fine art? Is it just a label?
I consider it a form of artistic expression, art of any kind is the expression of a human being.
Fine art is more than a label, more than a concept; it is an artistic style, but on second thought, how can one label art?
If you had to come up with one very important lesson that you think every photographer needs to learn, what would it be?
I have learned to observe everything around me and have fun.
What are your thoughts about the benefits of online sharing? Are there any particular social media or image sharing sites you prefer or do not prefer?
Sharing online enriches us all; it is fascinating to see the works of colleagues around the world and exchange views, techniques etc.
This revolution of new technologies is amazing. The internet has gathered all of us together via our computer screens and for me that’s wonderful … at least I take a lot from it, and I think if I did not have this tool then I would never have been able to develop my role as photographer. Camera handling, inspiration, tutorials … much of my photography knowledge is due to this “technological revolution”
There is an increasing presence of photography sharing social networks– and I increasingly have less time to be on them. I try to keep up with my Flickr account and others … I try to leave comments for others when I post a picture, but I have two very young children and my family comes first, which is why I don’t always have the time.
What photographic cliché or common photography question, if any, irritates you the most?
But that was done on the computer, right? It’s a question that is a little absurd. Many only see that the picture is manipulated as if that is where the essence of the image lives. Not everyone has to be an expert on the subject, but we must respect the work of the author. Education and knowledge about these things is helpful.
If you were stranded on an island, and you could have one camera, one lens, one filter, one tripod, two books, and ten CDs, what would they be and why?
By request … one D4, a 24/70, and a ND 1000. Those tools will be more than enough!
Books: Perfume by Patrick Süskind, The Physician and The Winemaker both by Noah Gordon, Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally, The Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet and Stieg Larsson’s trilogy.
Tw0 CDs of dance and rock music.
Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
I do not think about my photographic future. Every day I try to to keep learning to improve my photographic technique. I think it is better to let everything flow according to the inspiration of the moment– although I have begun to exhibit my works in several Spanish cities during 2014 and will do more in 2015. That’s the future, right? Let’s keep in mind that it will come …
Is there any specific place that you would like to visit to take photos?
There are many! Iceland, for its beaches full of ice … New York, the Big Apple! A pleasure to capture urban scenes. India for its people. Egypt, for the pyramids. The coast of the United Kingdom for the wonderful photographs that I often see online … so many, many places to photograph.
Explore more of Miguel’s photography: website | flickr | 500px | facebook
Spotlight on Three Images
A Few More Images
All images on this page– unless otherwise noted– are protected by copyright and may not be used for any purpose without Miguel Cabezas‘ permission.
The text on this page is protected by copyright and may not be used for any purpose without Miguel Cabezas or Nathan Wirth‘s permission.