It wasn’t until digital cameras arrived that Spanish photographer Oscar Simon Navarrete got into photography. He was so fascinated by the photos that he saw on the internet that he purchased a Nikon 2 megapixel camera. He wanted to capture the images he saw online himself and started to practice by photographing sunsets. He caught the photography bug and eventually purchased a Canon 450D.
Since he bought his Canon 450D he made friends with people who shared the same passion in photography and spent more and more time travelling. But his focus has always been on capturing the perfect light within his photos. His journey has led him to this point in his life and he isn’t quite sure how he got here. He says “In my mind, I don´t really know how I got here but I can say that over the years I have studied and found that photography makes me feel full”.
So Oscar, where are you from and where do you currently live?
I’m originally from Malaga in Spain but I have lived in different cities. For the last 12 years I have been living in Zaragoza in Spain.
What genre of photography do you specialise in?
What I really love is landscape photography and especially at night. As much as possible I try to combine my landscapes with night photography.
Describe your style of photography?
I hope to try and transmit the passion that I feel when I´m in the mountains or anywhere wild through my photography. For me it’s not just the scene that is important, but also the light. It is the key component that I try to look for every time I pick up my camera. I try to combine the scene and light in my photographs.
What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I´m working on my latest set of photographs from my recent trip to Iceland. I spent 10 days there and have to spend some time in post production on them.
What is your next project or assignment?
With a friend of mine, we have founded a company called WorldPhotoXperience. The company was born with the idea that other photographers who see some of our work may want to travel to those locations which are often difficult to get to. We take care of everything so that the only things our clients need are their camera gear and a basic knowledge of photography. We cater for all levels from beginners to advanced and keep our group sizes small – no more than 12. We have trips from cities like London and New York to places such as Iceland and Lofoten and have new destinations such as the Arctic and Canada coming for 2017.
You can find out more by visiting WorldPhotoXperience
Are there any photographers whose work/style you admire?
I admire some great photographers. Ted Gore, Ryan Dyar, Serge Ramelli, David Martin Castan and Guillermo Garcia Delgado have all had great success with their work. I love their style and mood and I spend hours looking at their photographs.
But for me it’s not just famous photographers who can make great photos. There are so many talented photographers out there who can capture great images and we can all learn from them. The key is to pay attention to what they have to show us.
What is your favourite memory from your experiences?
The first time I travelled to Iceland, on the second day we went out with our gear to try to catch the northern lights. This was the first time I saw them and I felt very special and fortunate to be able to see this magical phenomenon. That feeling has always stayed with me when I do any photography.
What’s the biggest photographic challenge you overcame?
Two years ago me and some friends decided to go to the Pyrenees mountains in winter to catch the light at an altitude of 2100 meters. The night temperature was -13ºC (8ºF), but the effort and cold was worth it as I captured some great images.
What’s in your camera bag?
I use a Canon 5D MK2 with several lenses. I have a Canon 16-35mm f2.8, Canon 24-105mm and Canon 50mm that I usually take with me on my travels.
What photographic equipment would you never leave home without?
I love with my Canon 16-35mm lens, so I never go anywhere without that and my Canon 5D MK2. More than 80% of my photographs are taken with this combination.
What advice you would give anyone who is starting out?
I think I still have much to learn to be someone who can give advice to others, but if I was to give advice, it would be to keep looking for your own style. Never forget where you want to be and don´t think you have learnt everything. There is far too much out there to see and learn.
Any pitfalls they should avoid?
Not to feel too down when you have bad comments about your work. The internet is full of people who don’t make constructive comments but instead just try to become notorious, so don´t pay too much attention to them or to social media.
Lastly… if you weren’t a photographer what would you be doing?
If photography wasn’t in my life I think I would be doing something creative but I don´t know exactly what.
Images by Oscar Simon Navarrete. All rights reserved. No usage without permission.
Interview by Kav Dadfar.