Sunday, 19 December 2010

One Shoot Photography Sunday: Interview with photographer Claudio Mufarrege (& Picture Prompt Challenge)

One Shoot Photography Sunday!

Claudio Mufarrege
This week I would like to introduce all of you to Claudio Mufarrege, a relatively recent addition to the photography world. Though he describes himself as an “amateur,” one need only peruse Mufarrege’s Flickr to see that he already has a wealth of beautiful shots under his belt.

This Argentinian photographer is a man of many talents, as well as many jobs. In addition to his photography, Mufarrege is a husband, a father, a manager for a Scania Trucks Dealer, and the editor of his own little gem of a site: The Imag-e-ination Daily, a media site that stretches across both news and photography boundaries. He’s also a technological enthusiast – a trait that’s contributed to his skill with photomontages and photocomposition, thanks to his programming skill.

Tytyri Finland
Claudio considers the internet “a medium to learn,” and true to that estimation, he’s found himself in many places across the web, including Twitter (@claudioar), Flickr, and his own site, the Image-i-nation Daily.  I, Chris Galford, invite you to meet Mr. Mufarrege, and enjoy some of his insights and his work:

The Long Goodbye - Photomanipulation
*One Stop Poetry's Chris G. conducted the following interview:

What originally sparked your interest in photography? How long have you been at it?
Claudio: When I was 5 my father buy a Kodak Instamatic 125. This was "the family's camera" for more than 30 years! I never had the chance of take a photo with it, just to be (together with my anothers 3 little brothers) a simple "model" for my mother and my father. In 1996, after the born of my daughter Rebeca, my wife and I bought a fixed focus 35 mm Fujifilm camera that "lived" about 8 years with us, until it broke. It never was "my" camera. From the beginning of my adult life I was away from any form of visual arts, despite my love and admiration for them. I worked as a loan officer at a bank for almost 10 years, and simultaneously as an analyst/programmer and designer of software systems in my own company until about 12 years ago when I was hired by a Scania heavy trucks dealer where today I work as Commercial Manager of Aftermarket Services. To mid 2007, surfing the Internet, I discovered Flickr, and I was amazed by the possibilities of digital photography. I became a user without any photo to show..., and two months later, without consulting anyone, I purchased my Sony DSC H9 and started this adventure... "Otro Scania" (a truck shut at my work) was my first uploaded photo.

Otra Scania
How would you describe your photographic style?
Innocence - Laughing at the Cemetery
Claudio: I don't know if I have a "style." I have no formal training. I am self-taught, passionate about learning and experiencing. Much of what I learned has been by the criticism, comments and suggestions received on Flickr. The rest of reading and rereading tutorials, tips and articles almost 100% online. I feel that I'm still an amateur, and I am not satisfied with the quality of my photos. Looking back, of course I see my progress, but I think I'm missing a lot in order to become a photographer of quality. In the last 18 months I started to experiment with photomontages and photocomposition, and the tools' learning curve for me was quite simple for my programming skills.

Do you have a personal philosophy about photography? What about photography appeals to you?

Claudio: Photography is for me a 'safety valve,' a means to express the sensitive, shy and introverted Claudio that does not have the capacity to do with poetry or prose, is also a "ground wire" that connects me to the beauty of the world, I know perfectly well that many horrible things that are wrong in the world and hurt me deeply, but at this point in my life I prefer to capture with my camera the things I see and fill my soul of joy.

The most important thing at the time I take a picture, is almost the same as in most of the activities I undertake: enjoy it. As a hobbyist I have the advantage of not having to take photographs of duty, so I can choose to or not taking (provided you have free time to go out and take them ...). Particularly pay attention to composition and light, and the presence at the picture of an item that gives interest to the shot. I totally agree with the Dorotea Lange's quote "The camera is a tool that teaches people how to see without a camera. "

In your traveling as a truck dealer, do you find lots of opportunity for photos? Do you have any favorite locations/spots you’ve taken photos in the past?
Claudio:  In my work I found some opportunities to take pictures. In 2008, invited by the brand for which I work, I spent two weeks in northern Europe in the middle of spring, visiting Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Holland and Belgium. When we were not in a factory or a dealer, I "escaped" and took lot of photographs. I'm in love with the landscapes of the region of Argentina where I live, the "Pampas", for its vast horizons, her bright plains and dramatic skies, and this has been a recurring theme in my last series of photos.

Eternity of Life
What has been your experience with the internet as a medium for sharing your art and photography?
Estacion Matilde - Windmill
Claudio: More than a medium to share my art, the Internet was (and is) a medium to learn. But it gives me some surprises : I sold almost a dozen works at USA, Holland, Italy and Taiwan, via e-mail. Although that does not mean I think I could stay economically with photography, is a great source of satisfaction and a "massage" for my ego.

Tell us a bit about Imag-e-ination. What inspired you to start that up? Where do you hope to go with it in the future?
I'm a avid and encyclopedic reader, and the Internet means to me access to the largest library in history. So, the Net is a source of inspiration for me. In that spirit, I joined Twitter and found a community of photographers, poets, artists greater even than he had found on Flickr. So great was the amount of information, and of such quality, that I decided to share with my followers in a more practical way. So I found the site that allows me to semi-automatically generate a summary of the tweets of the day in the form of digital diary, and I very happy with the results. I hope I could improve the Image-i-nation journal, transforming it in an independent page.

Iguassu Falls
Do you find any similarities between photography and poetry?
For sure. Most of the time photography is visual poetry, and poetry is a mental image through words. As I said, I could express some things that I'm not capable of do writing. Usually I use some quote or a poem as the title of the companion of my photos.

End of Summer
With the advance of digital photography today, how much of a shot would you say is in the picture itself, and how much is in post production work?
Claudio: Post production (digital or not) always existed. The vast majority (if not all) of the common tweaks in exposure (dodging & burning) and retouching have been done since the advent of photography. Then there's the artistic, creative side of photography (ie 'making' pictures, rather than 'taking' pictures) such as adding/removing elements of a scene which enhances the final image. Again if your intent is to create a particular scene or mood, then what of it? Only in 'record' photography is it strictly necessary to record, without adjustment, the scene. This again comes back to the purpose and intent of the photographer—to merely 'capture' a scene or to create a scene, and I usually create an scene.
Sunset Without You
What would you suggest to others just beginning with photography?
Claudio:  Shot, shot, shot, shot. If you’re using a digital camera, the cost of errors is free. Go crazy – you might end up with something you like. You’ll certainly learn a lot in the process.
Exercise the power of observation, without the camera. Pay attention to detail. Share your work and be open to the critics.

What kind of camera and equipment do you use for your photography? Editing programs?
Claudio:  My camera is my old point and shot Sony DSC-H9 with a very common polarizer filter, and I use Photoshop CS3 for editing.

Happiness is not a state to arrive, but a manner of traveling

Could you please recommend a few photography resources for individuals who wish to know more about the art form?

Some resources...

Flickr :
Deviant-Art :
DPS Digital Photography School :
JPG Magazine :
Photoshop Tutorials :
PSD Tuts :
Abduzeedo :
Obvious Magazine :

And all the photographer's sites for inspiration (and happiness).

Now for the Picture Prompt Challenge!

Write a poem (or Flash Fiction 55) based on the prompt.
Post it on your site.
Sign up using Mr. Linky so people can find your work.
Let us know what you are sharing by leaving a comment below.
Finally, visit other participants, comment, & give credit to Claudio in your post. 

Thank you,

Accept the picture prompt challenge! :)

Claudio has titled this photomanipulation "The Arrow Shot"


dustus said...

I enjoyed Chris G.'s interview of Claudio Mufarrege very much--such amazing photography & photomanipulation!

For today's picture prompt, consider Claudio's excellent image and let's see what it inspires you to create! Get those creative juices flowing and have some fun with the prompt. Looking forward to seeing your results. Cheers :)

Diana Lee said...

Claudio Mufarrege's photographs are stunning! Thanks for featuring his work here. Now following on Twitter and looking forward to exploring his work even more. I wish I had seen this earlier..posted a poem titled 'Breaking The Fall' which would have fit this so well :-)

Alegria Imperial said...

Yet another Sunday, a rather quiet one for me as the mood and tone of the poem I posted had absorbed. Terrific photograph and interview by Chris as always. Thanks again, Adam for this space!

Brian Miller said...

nice...great interview...the long goodbye...fricken awesome shot! very emotive shots...

Claudia said...

excellent interview chris and amazing, breath-taking photos claudio - esp. love the colors
and yep - i'm in for the picture prompt - who wouldn't with such a fantastic photo..

Glynn said...

These photographs are spectacular. One could write a dozen poems or more for each one.

Pete Marshall said...

a wonderfully written interview...and amazing photography..well done Chris & Adam..i have really enjoyed this one. The picture prompt got me going and suddenly i had written some words..hope you enjoy..cheers Pete

Gigi Ann said...

Enjoyed the interview and the photography is awesome. I gave my try at the picture prompt, I hope you all enjoy it.

Jerry said...

Very good interview and captivating photos...inspiring.
Claudio...thanks for going with Photo communication...I hear you loud and clear.

Chris G. said...

Thanks be to Mr. Mufarrege for taking the time out for this wonderful interview, and for sharing some of his photography with the community. Glad to see you've all enjoyed it as much as I did - looks like we've got some fine work stemming from his own here today. That's what I like to see!

Tammy said...

Brilliant photos. I agree with Brian: emotive.

hedgewitch said...

Thanks for the introduction to Mr. Mufarrege's photography, and the interesting interview. Really some striking work, and a beautiful and provocative prompt photo, which instantly reminded me of an older poem of mine called Arrow's Flight, so I dusted it off, and did just a little adding and adjusting to tune it in to the shot.

Fireblossom said...

Every one of these photographs gets under my skin to some vulnerable place. SO good.

Maureen said...

I enjoyed the interview and wonderful images.

Writing to this prompt, I also took a bit of inspiration from some early comments about Artemis.

Hope said...

fantastic interview! Claudio, your photography is amazing!

thank you for featuring this awesome artist, One Stop!

Adam White - Poet said...

Oooooooooh, this is something I can sink my teeth in to.

Kerry O'Connor said...

These beautiful images - each poetic in its own right - beg the imagination to open like a flower. Thanks to Mr Mufarrege for allowing us to use his images so freely.
I chose the black and white image of the train tracks, as it ties in with the novel, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, which is such a source of inspiration to me at present.

Beachanny said...

I enjoyed this interview very much also and want to see more of his work. Great to meet new artists and make new friends! Well done Chris! Thank you Claudio!!

Anonymous said...

The photography of Claudio Mufarrege is nothing less than stunning. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about Claudio and his process, as well as his art. The whole challenge experience was quite fun indeed :)

Anonymous said...

Amazing artist, is Claudio - I think you picked the perfect masterpiece for this challenge. :)

moondustwriter said...

Great feature. So nice to have you here Claudio - you gift is evident

Thanks for giving One Stop Poetry a glimpse into your world

Anonymous said...

hello claudio :-)

Anonymous said...

Fantastic interview Chris G!

This is amazing...Claudio's work seems to fit my inner world well!

Thank you for sharing


Anonymous said...

thank you for the prompt and letting me link.


Recovered Zombie said...

Oh so beautiful shots, thank you!

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian and Claudia...
From Claudia's Place to One Stop Poetry...Thanks, for sharing the beautiful photographs Of photographer...Claudio Mufarrege.

DeeDee ;-D

Claudio Alejandro said...

Many thanks to everyone that commented this interview!