For Chilean photographer Hernan Castro, photography is a personal journey. That about sums it up. No fluff and no dramatic lines needed.
He's so caught up in the moment when he takes pictures and his images reflect that. There's a lot of introspection that you can almost feel what he feels during that exact moment he hit the shutter. Join us as we try to get to know Hernan in this short but substantial interview.
Hello, Hernan, and welcome to the Magazine! Please tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I have always tried to find answers and solutions to so many feelings and emotions that are born to fulfill their objective and then disappear. I also see the need to leave some record of my reality. I think a photograph is a beautiful way to become eternal. Although I formally started with modern digital cameras, I always had a need to do analogue photography.
It was such a natural feeling that I couldn't deny myself. The first thing I did was look for a place that sold film cameras and after doing some research, I came to know what multi-exposure was. The first camera that crossed my path was a Smena 6. It's my eternal camera that although I do not use in these moments, it's still my favorite. I think when we're working together, we are perfect hahaha!
What role does film photography play in your life?
Cinematographic photography is my life. I do it day by day, I consume it day by day, I swallow photographs every second. Although sometimes it is a tremendous obsession, for me it is the most beautiful thing I have ever known. Really this for me is one of those eternal loves. You wouldn't be the same person if you weren't doing film photography. I don't know what would become of me.
What's your favorite thing about it?
What I like most about cinematographic photography is the meticulous work that this way of making images requires. Patience, immense amounts of waiting, madness - all the work and all the time that you must dedicate to a result that you do not see until the end.
I believe that cinematographic photography is exceptional and incomparable to digital photography. It is addictive and visually unique. I think I'll stay here forever.
We're loving the experimental side of your photography. The multiple exposures are just brilliant. What made you want to take those photos?
Honestly, before everything I could see of analogue photography, I don't know if it was luck, destiny, or the universe was playing with me. The first thing I saw was the multi-exposures. I liked it. It was wonderful and I told myself "I have to do it." Then I started experimenting with double or multiple exposures.
All that led me to film soup and all those crazy things that can be done.
Is there a formula you follow when it comes to your photo work?
I think there is no secret formula, only that you have to be willing to make mistakes. It's just trial and error. Only by working on what you are really passionate about can you reach out and build what you want to do.
Who/what inspires you to take such creative photos?
Phew! There are so many amazing photographers on Instagram and you can just get stuck looking at their photos. For me music is fundamental. With music, everything flows. It helps a lot with my creative side. There are also feelings, fear, anguish, and the beauty of certain places that make you dream. Nor can I put aside the dreams, the nightmares. All of that leaves you with feelings that you need to explore in some way.
How do you come up with your concepts?
The occurrence of concepts is really unknown. It can be a message that resonates in your head without any explanation. Sometimes you can be doing something other than photography and suddenly an idea pops in your head that you must plan and develop in a photograph. The process for me is really a mystery.
Do you think that there will ever be a time when you'll stop taking photos?
I hope I never stop taking pictures. I feel like I still have to deliver something. I feel that there is still a lot to register and create. It's my life.
What do you like to get across with your work?
I would like the people who take the time to see my photographs to feel reflected in them. That they become part of some dream, nightmare, idea, or of some emotion that at some point they can feel my photographs.
What does a perfect day look like for Hernan Castro?
A perfect day is to go out in the morning in the thick fog next with my Canon A1 and walk through a giant city while taking and creating pictures. In the afternoon, rest in a place with nature and continue creating. At night, I would lose myself in the city again as the world, the people, and their souls parade before my lens.
In short, a perfect day is photographing.
We would like to thank Hernan for letting us feature his work. Follow him on Instagram to see more of his photos.