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Santiago Pascual Buye: Featured 1x photographer

by Yvette Depaepe 
Published the 11th of January 2021


'Stormy days in Nowhere'

Santiago Pascual Buye sees Photography as a form of ART always aiming to appeal to the viewer's emotions, whatever the subject is.  He quotes: 'I believe that photography as we know it should not be conceived as a purpose in itself, but rather a mere tool that must be fully understood and mastered in order to be able to express those stories that stick in our minds. Otherwise, this form of art would be trivialized and misconceived, something more and more visible in social networks nowadays.'
Discover more about this artist and personality behind his work through this interview.

Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs, Santiago.
I was born in Valencia in 1967 and studied Fine Arts at the university in the same city. Then I left the Mediterranean and moved to Vigo, a small city located at the other side of Spain, on the Atlantic coast. I have always combined my love for painting with photography, but this last one has gradually gained prominence in front of the painting. I am also a professor of fine arts at a high school in the city where I live.

How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
Obviously, our life experiences always influence our way of perceiving the world around us and, therefore, the way we express it through photography. In my case, leaving my home town was a big change in my way of perceiving light. Putting aside the blinding and colourful light of the Mediterranean and immersing myself in the gray subtleties of the Atlantic light has been decisive in my approach to photography since then.


'Golden river'

Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
My experience in painting, visiting galleries and fine arts in general is probably the main determinant of my photographic vision.  It gave me a more plastic rather than technical vision.


'Waiting for a new day'


What first attracted you to photography?
Without a doubt, seeing an image emerge from a piece of blank paper immersed in liquid for the first time seemed like magic to me. Since then, photography had already trapped me.
I am the youngest of seven brothers in a family where photography has always been sacred. The first time I shut myself up with one of my brothers in a dark room and saw an image unfold, I knew that I wanted to become part of this discipline and became an avid photographer.

Describe your overall photographic vision.
The way I see it, photography, like any other form of art, should always aim to appeal to the viewer's emotions. Painting, sculpture or cinematography are only means through which we can express ourselves. I believe that photography as we know it should not be conceived as a purpose in itself, but rather a mere tool that must be fully understood and mastered in order to be able to express those stories that stick in our minds. Otherwise, this form of art would be trivialized and misconceived, something more and more visible in social networks nowadays.


'Entre cañas, mirando el mar' 

Why are you so drawn by Fine Edited Wildlife photography?
Actually, I am really attracted to photography in general and try to move through different disciplines within it (landscape, architecture, animal portrait,…). As a matter of fact, although my "landscapes reconstructed" by the panning technique may be the most popular, lately I am also working on animal portraitures. I try to express the personality of each individual through their gaze, their pose or the lighting, although I imagine I have many things to learn in this area. It is not about wildlife photography but rather portraiture. What's more, these photographs are all taken in controlled spaces, such as zoos.


'My best profile'



'Pelican portrait'



'Iguana portrait: Lost in the evolution'



'Gyrfalcon portrait II'


What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection ?
As I said before, I believe photography must influence the sensitivity of the viewer and this is not possible without a correct balance of the different parts. This technique must be dependent on the story so that it appeals to the viewer.


'Demoiselle crane portrait II'

What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
The camera I use is a Nikon D4 and the lenses vary depending on the type of photography I am going to take.  For animal portraits I usually use a 70-200 to which I add a duplicator to get to 400mm; for landscape, however, I usually use 14-24; and for architecture on 24-70.

What software do you use to process your images?
I use Lightroom for RAW development and Photoshop for the finishing touch in TIFF.

Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
I admit I am very messy in this regard since I have no workflow as such. Instead, I try to analyse the image according to what I want to achieve and then act accordingly, but in a fairly intuitive way. However, it is true there are some methods that are often repeated. For example, to achieve a dark atmosphere in animal portrait, I usually use a layer in multiply mode with a very high Gaussian blur and then gradually try to rescue the lights. Nevertheless, as I said, I usually act instinctively according to what the picture demands.


'Demoiselle crane portrait'


What is your most important advice to a beginner in Fine Edited Wildlife photography and how do you get started?
I think the most important thing in this type of photography is to let the animal behave as it is. In controlled environments, such as zoos, this is not achieved by hiding in a hide as we would do in wildlife nature, but by placing ourselves in front of the animal calmly and letting it get used to our presence. When the animal is calm and ignores us, it is time to shoot.


'Lynx portrait in the fog'



'Vulture portrait'


Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
There are many photographers who have influenced me, from classics to contemporaries. Even in 1X there is a good number of them: Pedro Jarque  or Wolf Ademeit who have already become referents within the animal portraits; Marsel van Oosten  in wildlife photography; the landscapes of Marc Adamus  or Veselin Atanasov , the street photography of Tatsuo Suzuki  and so many others...

Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?
Perhaps one of the photos that encouraged me the most to approach animal portraiture was “Fightclub” by Wolf Ademeit.


'FIGHTCLUB' by Wolf Ademeit

Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
It's simple…. Keep enjoying photography like the first day.

Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?


'Walking to nowhere' 

This is one of the photographs that I have a special affection for, since I showed me the potential of the photographic panning technique as a way to express the essence of a landscape and its relationship with human beings.

Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
1X has always been one of the best platforms to make my work visible. Its global projection and the unquestionable quality of its photographs make it one of the reference web pages in the world of photography.


'pony shetland portrait'



'Walk along the edge of Nowhere' 



'Flight over Troubled Waters'



'Natural History Museum of London'





Enhorabuena por el articulo, donde se aprecia que Santiago disfruta en su propio recorrido fotográfico, y en donde desarrolle el genero que sea, el denominador común es una carga sin duda emocional pero siempre acompañada de una profunda estética, en definitiva el autor vive su camino fotográfico en búsqueda de la belleza. Congratulations for the article, where it is appreciated that Santiago enjoys his own photographic journey, and where he develops the genre that is, the common denominator is a burden without a doubt emotional but always accompanied by a deep aesthetic, ultimately the author lives his photographic journey in search of beauty.
Muchísimas gracias por tus amables palabras, amigo
Enhorabuena Santiago!!!! Magníficas fotografías y magníficos esos barridos tan característicos (y los animalicos, claro!!!!). Son ya unos cuantos años disfrutando de tu trabajo. Many thanks to Yvette for this amazing report!!! Congratulations to both!!!
Thanks, dear Jorge!
Muchas gracias Jorge. Un fuerte abrazo, amigo
Hermosa nota que nos permite conocer más sobre tu trabajo y tu historia. Felicitaciones!!
Muchísimas gracias Roxana
Enhorabuena Santiago por tus magnificas fotografías y a Yvette por la entrevista. Muy merecido este reconocimiento a tu obra en 1x . Mi reconocimiento y admiración personal. Un abrazo y gracias por compartir
Muchísimas gracias, amigo
Thank you, dear Jois !
I just read your interview, and I have thoroughly enjoyed everything written and those wonderful photographs of you. Thanks to you and Yvette for this time we have spent "together." A recognition more than deserved friend. A big hug Santiago. Acabo de leer tu entrevista, y he disfrutado a tope de todo lo escrito y de esas maravillosas fotografías tuyas. Gracias a ti y a Yvette por este rato que hemos pasado "juntos". Un reconocimiento más que merecido amigo. Un fuerte abrazo Santiago.
Thanks for your neverlasting appreciation, Jose !
Muchas gracias por tus palabras Jose. Un fuerte abrazo, amigo
Congratulations on your beautiful work, Santiago! It was a real pleasure to interview you. This interview can be seen in large display on a white background in the Gamma version:
Thank you very much Yvette.