Portrait Photographer Jorge Arteaga shares his thoughts with us on James Robinson Photography Blog. Thank you Jorge for spending this time with us.
Jorge Arteaga: Thanks to you James for sharing the views, experience and perspectives of so many talented photographers.
JRP: Where do you call home Jorge?
Jorge Arteaga: I have lived in Venezuela, USA, Spain and during the past eight years my home has been Ecuador. Quito, in this beautiful country, is what I now call home.
JRP: What led to your interest in photography? Is there any formal training in your background?
Jorge Arteaga: Capturing images, which in an instant are gone forever, always fascinated me. My interest in photography started when I was 17 years approximately, but shortly after I started studying medicine and for years it was quite difficult to devote time to photography, as medicine is quite challenging during and after university. It was not until some 6 years ago approximately when I was able to devote more time to study and practice photography. No, I don’t have formal training in photography; all I have learned has been on my own.
JRP: Who are some of the photographic artists that have inspired and influenced your work?
Jorge Arteaga: I like photography in general (landscapes, macro, etc.), but what I enjoy most is portraits. And the main photographers who have been a source of inspiration for me in this field are Sebastiao Salgado, Steve McCurry and Lee Jeffries.
JRP: What steps did you use to develop your vision and technique early on?
Jorge Arteaga: Deciding what you like most is the first step. Some people will prefer landscapes, other nature photography, etc. After that it is important to start practicing as much as you can, taking pictures. It is also crucial to read and study photography in general and the particular field you have chosen. To study other photographers’ work as a source of inspiration and to learn different techniques is invaluable.
JRP: What would I find in your camera bag for a typical shoot?
Jorge Arteaga: Canon 7D body. Canon lenses: 70-300mm f4-5.6, 50 mm f1.4, 10-22mm f3.5-4.5. Canon Flash 600 EX-RT. Shoot-through umbrella. Collapsible background. I like simplicity as much as possible.
JRP: Do you prefer, artificial or available light? What are your most often used light modifiers?
Jorge Arteaga: There is nothing better than natural light. However, it is not always possible to “manipulate” it, or to use it the way we want. When that happens, artificial light is a great resource that opens a new world of possibilities. What I use most is a Canon 660 Speedlite and an umbrella because of the portability and convenience.
JRP: Describe your digital work flow and the software you use? What do you think one must do to master image processing?
Jorge Arteaga: The digital workflow is quite variable, but usually involves modifying contrast, levels, and applying a little burning and dodging. I use both Adobe Photoshop Elements and Silver Efex Pro. There is only one way to master image processing: to study and practice.
JRP: What do you feel is the most critical moment in the capture of your images?
Jorge Arteaga: Portrait photography is what I do most, but portraits of street people is what fascinates me. The critical moment is just before I decide to take a portrait of a subject. In that moment factors like available light, movement of the subject, angle, facial expression, are what define the final outcome.
JRP: Was there a shoot or project that revealed to you the distance you’ve come as an artist?
Jorge Arteaga: A few years back I decided to focus on portraits of street people, and what I call “invisible people”, persons who most other people choose not to see. Being able to develop a technique to capture their essence while I remain unnoticed is fundamental for this type of photography. The resulting product is what has made me aware of the distance I have traveled.
JRP: If not photography what would Jorge Arteaga be doing with his time?
Jorge Arteaga: I have already done a few other things, like being a medical doctor. At this point in life capturing images is what I want to do.
JRP: So far what has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?
Jorge Arteaga: Don’t be afraid to break the rules.
JRP: What advice would you share with other photographers?
Jorge Arteaga: Don’t lose your focus, either with the camera or in life.
JRP: Thank you Jorge for sharing this time with us. It has been a pleasure talking with you, and we wish you continued success.
Jorge Arteaga: Thanks for this great initiative James, and for helping other photographers share their work.
JRP: To view more of Jorge Arteaga’s photography please follow these link(s):