A keen eye on the world

A keen eye on the world

Hi Gonzalo, introduce yourself to our readers. Who you are, what you do, some curiosities.

My name is Gonzalo Martinez, I am 38 years old, I’m married and have 2 children. I graduated as Agricultural Engineer at the age of 23, but during the last 20 years I have been working in our family business in Mining. I approached photography as a hobby about 4 years ago, until I realized I could earn from my photos. I then started following free online classes and, taking inspiration from the guides and manuals provided by the photo stocks, I managed to make the most of my shots and to define my style. I’ve succeeded in making photography a self-sustainable pastime, using my earnings to renew and improve my equipment. Through photography I learned to look at things differently, I began to find the beauty hidden in landscapes, moments or in an object, beauty I previously couldn’t notice.

You are a very prolific photographer, your shots and you are present on many stock sites, but at the same time you exercise a totally different profession. How do you combine the two things?

My role as Operations Manager in our mining company gives me the opportunity to travel frequently, both in Argentina and around the world and I take advantage of my travels to capture unusual places. Today I take care of studying the places I’ll visit, to find unique photographic opportunities. And the camera accompanies me wherever I go.

Speaking of your work, many of your photos show nature as the main subject. How much what you do has influenced your photographic style? 

My education as Agronomist and the work in the mining industry, keep me continuously in touch with nature since I’m always in open spaces; my photos therefore reflect my daily life.

Speaking of photographic choices, even the place in which you live contributes in creating marvelous sceneries, such as the glaciers in Patagonia. Which advice you’d give to those who would want to visit Argentina? 

If you like outdoor life and landscapes, Argentina offers incredible places, from the southernmost city in the world (Ushuaia), to the 7 colors hill (Jujuy) and the Iguazú Falls (Misiones) in its Northern boundaries; then the Perito Moreno Glacier, located in Argentinean Patagonia, Bariloche and is beautiful 7 lakes, or Puerto Madryn where you can see the Australian whales, the Valley of the Moon in San Juan or the Ibera esteros in the province of Corrientes. In these places you can find not only beautiful landscapes and views, but also an incredible variety of local flora and fauna, as well as excursions that allow you to make the most of your visits. Instead, if you have the passion for architecture, music, or gastronomy, Buenos Aires has an unbeatable charm which can combine all of this and more.

At this point we ask you to show us a photo you particularly care about and to describe it.

I choose this picture among all because it’s been one of those that made me start looking at things differently. When I moved close to take this photo, I wanted to immortalize the spider catching an insect, and I found myself with this beautiful image which shows the dew drops on this spider web, in the early morning. I would like to point out that the photo has been taken using a Canon 18-135 STM lens which isn’t made for macro or professional shots, but which has helped me getting into macro photography.

And now a technical question, you also make macro photography. What equipment do you use to capture certain details and you’d suggest to buy to someone who starts now? 

Macro photography has always attracted me and I have always considered it as a technique to face with some respect. Therefore, before starting with it, I understood I should have had to learn to master other techniques. Once I got  the right photographic maturity, I decided to start shooting with a macro lens. That’s then that, after surfing in several forums, I moved to a Canon L 100 Macro 2.8 USM lens, a quality lens which made me aware of the difference between a true professional lens and the amateur lenses I used to use. Although the camera I used at the time wasn’t professional (a Canon T5i) the lens had a great brightness. At first I hesitated whether or not to buy the same Canon 100 Macro but in the non-professional version. The price difference is considerable, but I don’t regret having spent a few extra bucks for this jewel. I personally recommend a fixed focal lens with a diaphragm aperture as wide as possible and the use of a good tripod to avoid unintentional movements.

Last question and we conclude this interview: what does help you to find the inspiration for your photos? 

I constantly check which, among my photographs included in the various photo archives, are more popular, trying to figure out why they’re so much liked. Often finding out what people want is amazing and helps me concentrating on what I want to capture. Also the keywords (metadata) chosen for the shots aren’t to be underestimated, since without them it would be difficult to find our photos and all the efforts made to capture them would be useless. I also pay attention to magazines and advertisements.

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