Introducing Salvatore Ventura

Salvatore with his camera

Salvatore with his camera

After moving from Europe to the Bay Area, Salvatore Ventura soon discovered his love for photography. Over the past decade he has explored various photography styles ranging from natural landscapes to personal portraits, and documented several local events. While working in high tech startups, Salvatore takes on photography assignments to keep in balance with his artistic side.

We spoke with Salvatore about his experiences in the field of photography:

What is it about photography that first gained your attention?
Salvatore: I think it’s the mix between dream and reality that can be achieved within a picture. It’s powerful and sophisticated, yet so simple at once.

What type of training/schooling did you receive to learn how to do this?
Salvatore: I am mostly self-trained. I did read plenty, and still do, on technique, lighting, composition and colors, and of course, decoding works of great photographers.

What type of equipment do you use?
Salvatore: I started photography in the digital world, beginning my exploration with a point-and-shoot, and then evolving into a DSLR. I currently work with a Nikon D600.

Do you use any digital post-processing?
Salvatore:  Yes. Mainly around sharpening, color balance and cropping. Then of course there are special effects, to add a more distinctive accent on some shots, but it all depends. Some cases call for deeper edits.

Dia de los muertos (Day of the Dead)

Dia de los muertos
(Day of the Dead)

You only have female models in your current portfolio. Is that by choice?
Salvatore: There are generally more female models than male, so it is easier  to work with them. But I have planned projects with male models, just haven’t had a chance to work on them yet.

What is your favorite subject to photograph?
Salvatore: People. Working on projects with models is by far my favorite. Travel photography, and landscapes are next.

    Piper - St. Patrick's Day Parade

Piper – St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Do you have a favorite, all-time photograph that you have shot?
Salvatore: I have many favorites, each for different reasons. But there is one that has a special story attached to it. It’s a picture I took during the St. Patrick’s parade in San Francisco a few years ago. Days after posting the picture on my website, I received a comment from Ireland, and it was the father of the girl piper, happy to have a peek into his daughter’s life, and see her doing well…connecting people so far apart in such a random way.

What do you look for, when choosing your shots?
Salvatore: It depends. If I am traveling, I start with an initial exploratory phase, where I want to take pictures that remind me about the place. Then I shift my attention to find angles that can carry stories. At events, instead, it’s the side-stories that I want to show, the things that get missed.
What do you feel is the most challenging part about getting a great photograph?
Salvatore: Everything! This is partially a joke. Even overcoming the technical challenges which I still face, readiness for the moment, including planning, is a major one.

 

Bowtie and Corona arches, Moab – Utah

Bowtie and Corona arches, Moab – Utah

Where is the most interesting place you’ve photographed?
Salvatore: So far, Utah. It’s a fantastic place. I will want to go back.

If someone were interested in becoming a photographer, what advice would you give them?
Salvatore: Don’t start with gear, start with projects. Work on the basics of composition and lighting, refine your eye and find what type of photography you like best or are more natural at. That will define the type of gear you will eventually want to invest in.
Salvatore, we would like to thank you for taking time to do this interview. Is there somewhere our viewers can we see your photographs or get more information on hiring you for events?
Salvatore: Yes, They can visit my photo blog, at www.salvoventura.com