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Interview with Juan Jiménez


24 November 2016

Posted by Anna Fraser

Hi Juan! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?

I'm an architect and amateur photographer living in Madrid, Spain. When I was a kid, my uncle gave me his old Kodak Retinette, and although after a few years I stopped using it, there has always been a part of me interested in photography. Architecture brought me back to photography, and now has become a passion in my life and a perfect complement to my profession.

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

AI was trying to take a picture of my family with the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen. There were a lot of people doing the same, then a guy came to take a selfie and thought it would be a good idea to stand in front of everyone who was there and ruin our family pics. He got into the water and started to climb the statue. I guess everyone thought the same thing: “Hope he falls”. I suppose it was karma, he slipped, fell into the water and lost his smartphone at sea. Then everyone started clapping.

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

AI use Nikon D750 and D3200, lens: Nikon 24-120 and Tokina 11-17, neutral density filters and tripod.

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

APassion and work, always together. As a travel photographer don't fear photographing a landmark that has been photographed a thousand times before, look for a new point of view, a new composition, a different light. And finally, don't forget to always carry a camera with you.

"Lower Slaughters, The Cotswolds" stock image

My favourite pic is this one. The village was amazing, I had the camera set up and then suddenly an old red Jaguar E type appeared and parked in exactly the right place to make the picture perfect.

"Fying over Denmark" stock image

Flying to Copenhagen when we had just come out of the clouds, I was looking out the window trying to see Sweden when suddenly the plane made a turn and allowed me to see this perspective of the bridge. The light was awesome, and luckily I was carrying the camera in a backpack at my feet and I could take the photo.

"Mont Saint Michel at dusk" stock image

The lights of the abbey had just turned on, which was awesome against the multicolour sunset sky. The walkway guided my gaze toward the sunset and the guy sitting on the floor gave a human scale to the composition. I think he was just tired, because he didn't move during the long exposure shot.

"The Angel of Vatican" stock image

This was a lucky capture. The afternoon light in the Vatican's Basilica was incredible, it captivated me from the moment I entered. There was a girl dressed in white who looked like an angel looking at the light that came from the bottom of the nave, and a priest dressed in black who was walking away from the light, the contrast seemed perfect. I was hoping that the girl would not move until the priest was close to her. Finally, I was able to take the photo.

"Colosseum at sunset" stock image

This photo was taken on my last trip to Rome. It was a late afternoon and the sun was setting. The effect of the low light on the texture of the facade was very interesting, and it also reinforced the contrast between the tiny tourists and the massiveness of the building.

"Etretat" stock image

Etretat is an amazing place that I recommend to all photographers. You can find many different points of view of the cliffs or the bay. It changes with the time, light, tides, clouds and the colour of the sea.

"Abbey vaults" stock image

Maybe because I'm an architect, whenever I go into a church I look for lines, details, hidden geometric figures or compositions. A photograph that I often repeat is the one of the vaults directly from below, I look for the geometric centre on the floor, point and shoot. Sometimes it's hard to adjust physically to the angle, and then I end up getting dizzy, but it's always worth it.

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