Hello Manuel Vilanova! We are honored to be able to interview you for our Featured Photographer format on www.streetviewphotography.net!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself to begin with.
I come from Vila-real (Castellón), I am 53 years old and , as I suppose you already know, my great hobby is Photography.
Have you been involved in the arts in some form other than photography?
Nowadays I am the Director of Reflexiva (Exhibition / Contest) of Photography in my hometown.
Seeing your remarkable work I am curious where your creativity comes from?
To be honest, I don’t know it myself, I just try to show what I can see and feel about everything that surrounds me.
Could you share with us how you first became interested in street photography?
I started at about seven years ago and I think my interest in it came to me by “capillarity”.
Obviously, living with someone who is an enthusiast of photography, makes you end up hating or loving it. Among my friends there are people really devoted to photography, and they are those who, little by little, made me mature my photographic vision of life.
What equipment are you using now and with what did you get started?
I’m a lucky man as it was my wife who gave me my first photographic equipment ( and the only one) for our 25th wedding anniversary.
Advised by my friends she decided to give me a Canon 5D Mark II camera and a zoom lens Canon 24-70 mm 2.8.
Can you tell us about your work flow from the point you first step onto the street until you showcase the developed picture?
I consider taking a picture as if it were a hunting safari, in which you look for targets, select them and shoot and shoot… when I arrive to the photographic study I download the photo cards and there they stay for days, sometimes for weeks till I revise them and select the photos.
Nowadays I just use the Photoshop program to process the pictures and my edition method has been developing little by little, according to my learning of how to use this working tool.
Do you like to shoot in a groups or are you rather out alone?
Generally I like going out in a group, though I also enjoy when I go out on my own.
What would you say characterizes your work in comparison to other street photographers?
Not too much. My work shows my own view of things, people may like it or may not, but what I hope when I do it is to show the things surrounding me.
Has your style of shooting changed since you first started?
Yes, it has. Along life everything develops with time and the permeability of those things we liked the most attracts us.
Do you often interact with your subjects, and if: before or after you got your shot?
Yes I do, if the situation allows me to do it. Generally I do it after I got the shoot and if our talk shows a kind of a feeling, it creates the possibility of getting some more shoots with calm.
Tell us a bit about shooting in Spain, what are your favorite places in your hometown and challenges and rewards of shooting on Spain’s streets?
I don’t take many pictures in Spain, generally just religious events. When I really enjoy taking pictures is whenever I go on a trip with some friends for 4 or 5 days and all of us live for the photography, so much that sometimes we even forget about eating.
Do you see your personality reflected in your work?
I’m not very good at introspective views; that should be answered by those who know me. Anyway I suppose it is so, as my work is a part of myself.
Among your works, which is your favorite and why?
Answer: All of them and none of them. I don’t think there is a definitive image, something similar to an icon. All the images are activated with life experiences and memories, and also with what each one thinks and feels, and that is what makes them interesting.
What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from shooting on the streets?
The beauty of the daily and simple things.
What would you tell a newcomer who asks for your advice on how to start?
I would tell her/ him to take her/his camera and to enjoy. Just if she/he enjoys handing it she/he will go on with Photography.
Thank you Manuel for this interview!