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mikem

Interview with Miguel Moya

Photographer Focus

06 January 2017

Posted by Anna Fraser

QHi Miguel! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?

AHi! My name is Miguel and I'm from Barcelona, Spain. In short, I have devoted my life to high-performance sport and combined that with biology studies. Continuous injuries put an end to my sporting career, which is when I discovered photography. Since then, I've tried to travel as much as I can and capture the essence of the places I visit with my camera; the landscapes, the people, the cities. I also like to collaborate with NGOs and foundations and help to spread their work.

QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?

AI don't know if it's the weirdest situation, but I there was once a curious situation that I remember with much affection. I was in a field outside Pokhara, Nepal, taking pictures of the workers. When I finished taking photos, a dozen children appeared all around me. One by one they asked me if they could take a picture with me. I suppose they found it strange to see a man like me with a shaved head. Afterwards, I took a picture with all of them together and I keep it now as a nice memento.

QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?

AI use a Nikon D600 with a Nikkor 18-35 mm to photograph landscapes. I also have a Nikkor 55-200 dx in case I need to zoom in. I recently purchased a Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 and I am sure it will quickly become my preferred lens. In addition to that, I have a Nikon D3100 basic for when I go climbing, or for situations where the weight of the D600 could be an inconvenience. In terms of my preferred settings, I always shoot in manual mode and adjust all parameters before each shot.

QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?

AI think passion is very important - really enjoying what you are doing. It's important to take pictures of subjects that you find really engaging, and to never give up - alway push forwards. When you're faced with a landscape, it could take hours until the light is perfect for the photograph you are looking for, or you can walk for days to get to that magical place you want to portray. If you do not feel real passion, it is highly possible that you will not reach your destination, or return home without the desired photo. I also think that respect is very important - respecting people who you photograph, knowing how to approach them and knowing when not to take a photograph. And finally, I think it is very important to read and observe the work of other photographers. Learn from them and look for your own style.

"Gurung woman in Pothana" stock image

I don't think I could choose just a single favourite image... there are several that are very special to me. One of my favourites is 'Gurung woman in Pothana'. Photographing people is something that I love doing. I love being able to feel the strength of their look, their stories, their lives... and if you are lucky enough to be able to converse with them a little, photography becomes something deeper. At least for me, it's more than pressing a button. I was in the conservation area of Annapurna, in the Himalayas, when I came across a woman. I was very attracted to her expression, and after talking to her for a little while I took some pictures.

"Colors of Nepal" stock image

Kathmandu is a chaos of sounds, colours, smells and sensations. If you are not accustomed you can get overwhelmed in minutes. I was walking through Durbar Square watching every corner, every person, inhaling every smell and hearing every sound that was produced around me, when I saw this group of women singing in front of me. My attention completely diverted to them, and I forgot the rest of the square. I couldn't hesitate for a single second, I saw a beautiful image before me, so I approached them to take the photo.

"Under the moonlight" stock image

After walking for more than 6 hours through the incredible landscape of Ordesa we arrived at the foot of Monte Perdido, where we camped under the moonlight.

"Kathmandu" stock image

I wanted to try to capture the chaos of the city, so I climbed a bridge that provided a good view of one of the main roads. I held the camera very carefully so that the image did not get blurred. The result was this image of all the cars in motion. People passed by my side, confused: "Why did you take photos of a road?", they asked. I think I got what I was looking for.

"Sadhus in Pashupatinath" stock image

Even before traveling to Nepal I had a clear idea that I wanted to take pictures of the mountains and sadhus. When I had the opportunity, I went to Pashupatinath, one of the most important Hindu temples in the world. They hold cremation ceremonies at the temple, and a mystical atmosphere flows in the air. It is a unique place.

"Boudhanath" stock image

The Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath is one of the most sacred places in Kathmandu. When I first saw it, I was awe-struck. The stupa is giant, the incense floats in the air and it's surrounded by people singing prayers. I tried to capture the sun behind the stupa to represent the illumination of Buddha.


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