The Spanish visionary artist sticks to analogue in times of constant technological development. Not for nostalgic reasons, but for quality of his work. His book on the streets of Madrid will see the light this 2021 after more than 6 years documenting the city.
“Just think outside the box.” – That’s what almost everyone who’s made it tells you, but the simple advice doesn’t come with a manual. And it becomes incredibly daunting when you are a creative working in a particular industry. In order to break out of self-limitations, they have to be defined first, a challenge for many artists. That’s the lesson Daniel Valledor teaches us through his photography.
Daniel isn’t fond of pictures with any form of artificiality. If there is even a speck of pose or altercation included, that picture will be invalid for his collection. You can compare it to a rather traditional style of documentary photography from the ’60s and 70’s era when you’d see stills of peoples and their everyday style.
The photographer challenges himself by preventing any kind of altercating in the scene. Daniel immerses himself into the scene to capture them. It’s a very taxing task that could even require months before you could catch a perfect moment. However, the relentless photographer is striving to hone his photography skills consistently. His aim is to present the story of streets in their most authentic self.
Of course, traditional photography would be void without proper gear. Daniel doesn’t use digital cameras. The artist believes those bring too many temptations to edit and set the scene, colors, and much more. There’s no fighting it. You will give away. So it’s back to film.
Valledor was recently quoted in an interview with the following statement:
His precise reason to stick to film is that, “finite resources usually demand better decisions. Every click is the result of your decision to capture a certain moment and not the other one instants away. Digital photography definitely got rid of that limitation. Even though this was actually a good thing (more liberty), I believe it has backfired to a point where I personally couldn’t tell between what made sense and what didn’t anymore. I guess I got to a point where I found myself blasting pictures in burst mode just to capture a specific moment, sort of trying to “cheat” time somehow, and this made me rethink my entire process”.
Daniel Valledor also indulged in handicrafts regarding photo development. He supervises the development process and homebrews the chemicals from the scratches after getting the drug store’s ingredients. What might sound like unnecessary struggle is definitely worth the efforts.
Finally, he doesn’t hesitate to invest his soul, time, and money for his passion. The documentary photographer utilizes Kodak Vision 3 and feature film rolls to blend into a perfect ‘feature film’ appeal. All of it, without any speck of editing or tweaks. He is showing you what you can achieve if you can expand your mind for possibilities.