“Thinking that a world of images can “substitute” a real world is a utopia, but the function that the image has as echo of reality contributes to create a new physical, magical and suggestive world.”
Salvi Danés is a Spanish photojournalist, born in 1985, and currently based in Barcelona. He studied photography at the “Institut d’Estudis Fotográfics de Catalunya” (IEFC). About his vision of photography, Salvi Danés says: “My interest towards photography starts with the search for a means of physical expression, that in turn is a means of representations of reality.”
His work has been widely exhibited in places all over the world, such as New York, Madrid or Cannes. Salvi Danés recently received the 1st prize of IPA 2012 (International Photography Awards) in the category culture for his series “Black Ice, Moscow”.
Interview with Salvi Danés
Salvi, where did you study photography?
I started studying photography in Barcelona, my hometown, five years ago at the “Institut d’Estudis Fotográfics de Catalunya” (IEFC).
What was your first camera and photographic experience?
It was a small roll film camera. I used it to take photographs of my schoolmates when we went on school trips.
Why did you become a photographer?
I have always liked drawing, illustration and plastic arts in general, but photography has given me the suitable tools to feel comfortable in my creative discourse.
What does photography mean to you?
A photograph is never the exact evidence of the event, but the interpretation of the person who captures it and gives it significance. That possibility of creating stories is what I’m really fond of about photography. What I mean is the interest that the image has of the usurpation of reality, the interpretation of reality and the recreation of a new world. Thinking that a world of images can “substitute” a real world is a utopia, but the function that the image has as echo of reality contributes to create a new physical, magical and suggestive world.
Which photographer has inspired you most and why?
Josef Koudelka – humble and simple.
Your favorite photography quote?
“I would like to see everything, look at everything, I want to be the view itself.”
How would you describe your photographic style and way of working?
Direct and subjective, taking into account photojournalism, conceptual photography but also my own photography.
What’s important to develop an own photographic style and how did you achieve it?
Perseverance. The methodology we carry out in our projects will coat our work with our own values.
What does a photo need to be a great photo in your eyes?
It needs to call my attention. It needs to make me put in the photographer’s mind for a while and to create a feeling.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your photographic projects?
I don’t reject any source of inspiration. I think that anything can help you to create your own discourse. Thus, there are lots of enriching sources, from an illustration to a book or an exhibition, but also a good song. I don’t have a clear method, but a challenge, which is learning how to filter all I see and trying to extract whatever is useful and fits in its own way to create.
How do you keep up to date with new developments in photography, to keep on learning new things?
Nowadays, it is really easy to be informed about photography. There are lots of websites, blogs, online magazines, etc. which are easy to access wherever you are. Moreover, there are the social networks which share a lot of information, too.
What kind of photography equipment and photographic supplies do you use?
Nikon D800, fix lens, not more than 50mm, flash “spotlight”.
What’s your favorite website on photography?
As a reference of the documentary genre Magnum Photos. Yet, to discover a little bit more about the “Photobook” phenomena in a fresh and pleasant way I like Have a nice book.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to become a professional photographer?
Be patient, show perseverance and spend most of your time and energy on it.