David Tijero Osorio has studied Electronic Engineering and has a degree in Physics. He combines his professional activity with numerous forays into the world of creation, especially in the field of cultural revitalization, literature and translation. He has published several poetry books. He collaborates in several media and webs like AUX Magazine, Clavo- Ardiendo, BAO Bilbao or Kamera Magazine, writing about art, literature, music and photography. Viewing and taking photographs is almost a daily routine.
What are the rules of your photographic work?
I like to go out with my camera, to walk around for hours looking for things interesting to document. I like to take pictures of candid scenes, architecture or urban landscapes. I know that if I want to get a good image, I must go alone, avoid any kind of distraction and walk in environments I know well.
Is there a particular combination of techniques and tools that you think makes the difference?
It is important to know well your camera. As a musician plays an instrument as if it were part of his own body, a photographer must have automatized the use of his camera. It is just a question of practice. You must understand how your camera “sees” the light under each circumstance and take advantage of it. If the image has the correct exposition, you will waste much less time retouching your pictures.
Tell us about an experience that definitely changed the way you work and made you grow.
I have been photographing for more than fifteen years but it was not until the beginning of 2016 when I began to learn about photographic language, works of different artists and photographers and the idea of a photographic project. I have been lucky to have so talented mentors and teachers like Camilo Amaya, Rafa Badia, Ixone Sádaba or Ricky Dávila.
Was there ever a difficult situation? How did you react? Tell us.
My most difficult situation happened while I was visiting Zürich. I was walking and shooting close to a bridge. Suddenly a biker approached and crossed his bike in front of me blocking my way. The guy seemed quite nervous and asked, quite in a bad mood, why I was taking pictures of him. I replied that I had not even seen him and to avoid any other problem, I offered him my camera to check it by himself. After checking some pictures and listen to my not so fluent German, he realized that I was just a tourist, begged my pardon, we shook hands and left. Actually, it was not a big issue. The majority of people just ignore you, like it happens in big cities or touristic places, and if somebody comes to you is just out of curiosity or because he/she is a photographer too.
How do you relate to the environment and the subjects you portray?
I like the downtown of the cities, the pedestrian streets full of people. It is easy in that environment to get candid scenes. I always try to photograph remaining “invisible”. Most of the times, I prefer to get human silhouettes and shadows, included in an urban landscape, than recognizable faces. I also like to explore the limits of the city, the periphery where the elements of the urban environment and the elements of the countryside coexist.
I also ask you to share a bonus trick among your secret techniques.
In many situations, at least for me, it is quite useful the use of a zoom. It helps in the composition of the image and you can create interesting interactions among the elements that appear in the picture. I also tend to underexpose a bit when I photograph. It is easier later to adjust the bright lightening it a bit than reduce the bright in an overexposed one. However, in general, I suppose the only secret is to try repeatedly, go out every day with your camera and insist each time you see something interesting, moving around the subject while photographing to obtain a good image.
Tell us about your equipment, what kind of cameras do you shoot with?
I have been using Canon cameras since 2008 and I am happy with them. Nevertheless, as I always say, nowadays, almost every camera and mobile phone has enough quality to obtain a technically good picture. It is more important to find a good light, an interesting scene and to have a clear intention of what and why we photograph.
Are there any books you would recommend?
It is difficult to recommend just a few of them; there are so many wonderful books… I will mention, for example, “The Americans”, by Robert Frank, “Minutes to midnight” by Trent Park, “Afronautas” by Cristina de Middel, “Half Life” by Michael Ackerman, “Ravens” by Masahisa Fukase, “Sightwalk” by Gueorgui Pinkhassov… I would also like to include “On the night bus” by Nick Turpin, a good example of how it is possible to broaden the limits of street photography.
What stimulates your creativity, what inspires you?
Many, many things… cinema, for example. Filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick, Wes Anderson, Terrence Malick or Andrei Tarkovsky should be a reference for every photographer. Art exhibitions and museums are an enormous source of inspiration too. I read a lot about photography and I am always trying to find new photographers with fresh ideas or new ways to express themselves or the reality they live using images. It is also so inspiring to go to workshops to learn about other photographers and share my portfolio with them. It is almost compulsory to have this kind of feedback, positive or negative, from other photographers or artists to improve your skills.
David Tijero Osorio