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Photographer of the week: Julien Oncete

Julien Oncete continuously amazes all viewers with his outstanding street photography.  His vision on daily life excels because of its simplicity and warm humanity. His style is intensely narrative and reflects reality. Thanks to Yvette Depaepe for conducting the interview. You will find more photos by the end of the article.


Could you please tell us about yourself, Julien?
I am 44 years old and I was born in Ramnicu Valcea city.  My profession, for which I have a university degree, is economics. I have never practiced as an economist because my passion lay elsewhere. I am not married and I have no children and therefore I have the freedom to follow exclusively my passion in photography. I earn my bread and butter participating in events as a photographer but now I would like to have a more serious job in the field. I would be interested in photojournalism and photographic documentary.

How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
I have been interested in photography for many years. My childhood related to film photography as I used to help my father with it, my involvement being an indirect one.

One morning I just decided to buy a DSLR camera-Nikon D90. It happened in one moment of inspiration like when you suddenly decide to quit smoking (not my case yet). What lead to that moment was a sequence of events, but I remember the magical morning in the mountains with my friends and that I wished to have a camera to capture what I saw and what I loved on the mountains. This is the way it all started, this is how I started to love photography, this is how the passion was born. After about a month I took an intensive training in photographic art. It lasted several months in Bucharest 2011.

From that moment on, my everyday life revolved around photographic art, either by reading about composition and style, attending workshops, going outdoors to take photos, or being an active member of the local photo club Floarea de ColÈ› and last but not least learning from and admiring so many talented members of the 1x community.

Describe your overall photography vision.
My photographic vision could be summarized in one phrase: bits of everyday life that we pass by without giving them any importance, instances that are sweet reminders of the past. Perhaps this is the reason I am so attracted to street and everyday photography.

What is more important to you, the story behind your images or the technical perfection?
The story behind the image is everything to me. I admit that my camera has a few buttons/features that I do not know anything about.

Could you please describr your work flow?
Obviously, one cannot prepare to the last detail a street and everyday photo. It depends on observation, anticipation, luck and some experience, the most important factor is often luck. You can plan for the sun’s position (the light at different times of the day and seasons) and you need to have the patience to wait for something to happen in your frame. I very much like to shoot street in foggy conditions. I simply adore it.

What gear do you use and what software to process your images?
As I said I started with a Nikon D90 using several lens 11-16/35/50/105/16,5-135mm. In the last year I had the opportunity to switch to a full frame camera, a Canon 1DsMark III, using just one lens for now, a Canon EF 70-200mm f2,8L IS II USM. By the end of the year I hope to get a second lens in order to cover a wider focal length. I work on a 23 inches Dell monitor/ display (color!!) and I use Adobe photoshop CS6 and Nik software.

What is your most important advice to a beginner in Documentary photographer?
The most important advice I could give to a beginner in street and everyday photography is to love people.

Who are your favorite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
The most important photographers to me that influenced my vision are: Patrick Demarchelier, Brassai (born in Romania), Helmut Newton, Annie Leibovitz, Robert Capa and the list could go on, also many photographers from the 1x community. Looking at their photos not only inspires me but also stimulates me to go shoot…

Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a great deal and why?
I could not speak about one particular photo or photographer being influential but there are numerous photos and photographers here on 1x that I admire and visit often.  I will not name them for reasons of fair play. 

See my playlist of favourites.

In the future I would like to travel as much as possible. Especially to the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium, a place that fascinates me. No wonder so many talented photographers come from there. My future photographic vision will follow and be influenced by the places I will see and the people I will encounter.

Describe your favorite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
My favourite photo is ”Our childhood”, published here on 1x. It tells the story of children waiting for something good to happen, but with a doubting expression in their eyes. Looking at this photo makes my eyes teary sometimes...



Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
I first found out about 1x from the teacher that held the photo training I attended in 2011. He used to speak with great admiration about the high quality of this community and of the published photos. Since then, I tried very hard to publish one of my photos here. I succeeded in December 2013 to have my first photo published and it felt like a great victory.  I searched for other photo websites to see if they fit me but finally I stopped because this community is really my home which is why I am so honoured by this interview and I would like to thank Yvette Depaepe, for whom I hold a deep admiration.






Congratulations! All the best!
Thank you very much,Jorge Lume! :) This means a lot .. Julien
Good evening,Thomas Brindt and many thanks for your support!Kind regards! :)
Congratulations !!!
Thank you very much,Anette! :) Have a wonderful new week!
Congratulations for the interview. Always a pleasure to go through your photos and now also through your experience and toughs on photography. Thanks for sharing. Regards.
My thanks João for taking a little time to write some fine words for this...Kind regards,my friend!
Interesting to read the interview Julien and learn about what motivates you - and your thoughts about photography - and of course to watch your photographs - touching what you say about your favorite photograph. I like this photograph very much. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Julien!
Good morning Mette and a big thank you for this wonderful comment! Kind regards!
Great story and an excellent job. Your always interesting and high-quality images. Congratulations and continue enjoying your work. A warm greeting
Thank you so very much,Elena! :) My best greetings!
A Great pleasure to read this interesting interview and to know more about you, Julien. I like the last sentence very much and Our childhood is a Great photograph one have to hold in the memory. Congratulation!
Thank you very much Marianne. This means a lot ..Julien
Congratulations, Julien. All the best.
My thanks to you,Petar! My best wishes! :)
good work julien! regards
Thank you so very much,Ion! :)
So happy to see this space dedicated to you! I love your work and the emotional content in your images and I wish you every bit of luck for your professional desires... you already have the talent!
Your kind words are very much appreciated Lyn. Thank you ....Julien
Very nice portfolio & interview, my compliments Julien
Thank you very much,Alper! :) Regards!
Congratulations on your work, Julien. A pleasure to enjoy each of the pictures and imagine every story! All the best
Good morning Sol and thank you so much for your kind words of support ..My best wishes! Julien
Many congrats, Julien. All the best.
Thank you very much,Fernando! :) Kind regards,my friend!
Every your photo is special, has diretentia specifica, has melody and harmony, is unique, and is for remembrance. Bravo.
Thank you,Dragan, your very fine words once again are really really appreciated ..........Julien
Hi Julien, your style is unique and distinctive , melancholic and delicate but strong at the same time . Congratulations well deserved! Greetings and best wishes!
My thanks Igor for the compliments. Always a pleasure to read your words :-)
A pleasure to read the interview Julien: congratulations and thanks for sharing these words and photographs with us! My best wishes to continue the good quality of your pics!
So many thanks for your wonderful comment,Huib! :) All the best to you!
compliments Julien
Many thanks for taking the time to write,Piet! ...It is very much apprecieted! My best regards!
Congratulation dear Julien
Thank you very much,Alaa! :) Have a great new week,my friend!
Congratulation dear Julien, for the front page and the interview. It is so interesting to read! Best wishes! Margit Lisa
My thanks for you wonderful comment,dear Margit Lisa!...
Wonderful interview and a pleasure to read.......... congrats Julien and thanks to Yvette
Many thanks for taking the time to read,Gerard! All the best to you!
Congratulations Julien for this event and for your formidable work
Thank you very much,Sorin!I'm very glad that we can go together in the field! :)...
This is great Julien, congratulations! Grtz, Nick
Thank you very much,Nick! Kind regards!
A pleasure Julien, read your interview and enjoy your photos. Superb selection of an impressive portfolio. Greetings and congratulations.
Many thanks for taking the time to write,Jose! It's very kind of you!...
Congrats Julien your work is sublime !!!
Thank you very much,Thierry! :) My best wishes,my friend!
It was a real pleasure to interview you, Julien !!! So nice to know more about you and about your work, my precious friend ;-)
Hundreds of thanks for the interview and for always wonderful words,dear Yvette!...
Fine to know your story Julien ... wish you good light and the accomplishment of your photographer's dreams :)
Thank you a lot for your beautiful words,Luc!...My best wishes!
Wonderful work, and a pleasure to read this interview! :)
Many thanks,Linda! :)...
A real pleasure to read this great interview Julien, you're a great artist, you know how I love your work. Congratulations Julien!!!
Thank you a lot,kindly Delphine!Your support impressed me always very much...!
Wonderful work Julien, congratulations. Good to get to know you a bit better and if you come to the Netherlands, please let me know and we can meet. Have a great week and take care my friend :-)
Very kind of you,dear Edith!...If you arrive in the Netherlands would make me a great pleasure to meet you!Thank you so very much! :)
impressive interview, impressive portfolio ! thanks to all who were involved !
Thank you very much,Hans! :)