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April 13, 2022


Photography by Gabriel Mieles Guzmán
Interview by Melanie Meggs

It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Gabriel Mieles Guzmán, an Ecuadorian photographer, has dedicated himself to capturing moments of everyday life and turning them into timeless works of art. With an eye for the ordinary and an eye for the extraordinary, Gabriel uses his camera to stop time and bring the beauty of life into focus. His street photography allows him to relate to reality in an intimate way, to notice the small details and capture them in light and shadow. Through his lens, Gabriel takes us on a journey through the spaces he inhabits, inviting us to observe carefully and appreciate the beauty of the everyday.

“The way I see now is a result of walking with a camera all over and being curious for the people and moments in my way. It is like a training day every day.”


THE PICTORIAL LIST: Gabriel please tell us about yourself. How did you become interested in photography? How have the streets and culture you capture influence your photography? How have your captures changed the way you see Ecuador?

GABRIEL MIELES GUZMÁN: I born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. I am a photographer and I currently teach photography too in Guayaquil. I became interested in photography by the paintings. I remember be touched by the Chiaroscuro. Then, I studied some authors like Nadar, Cartier-Bresson and Irving Penn, I was fascinated for those portraits and I decided go out to the streets for portraits. At that moment I did not know what was street photography, I discovered on the road. I was working in a newspaper and the street taught me to be prepared for everything. The way I see now is a result to be walking with a camera all over and being curious for the people and moments in my way. It is like a training day every day.

TPL: When you are out shooting - how much of it is instinctual versus planned? What are some tips or advice you would give yourself if you started street photography all over again?

GMG: Nothing is planned, I am very instinctual when I am walking on the streets. Actually, I am just doing that, with a camera on my hand, I enjoy the idea that I do not know what is going to happen. I am just walking around feeling alive.

Go out now! Do not think about it too much. Go out and enjoy the process.

TPL: Do you have any favourite artists and photographers? If you could just choose one photographer to shoot alongside for a day...who would you choose? And why?

GMG: Pau Buscató, Philip-Lorca DiCorcia, Elliott Erwitt, William Klein, Daido Moriyama, Maria Plotnikova, Matt Stuart, Alex Webb, Garry Winogrand and Linda Wisdom.

This is very difficult to answer. I would choose Maria Plotnikova because I really love the way she sees the streets.

When I'm photographing, I see life. That's what I deal with. I don't have pictures in my head… I don't worry about how the picture is going to look. I let that take care of itself… It's not about making a nice picture. That anyone can do. - Garry Winogrand

TPL: Does the equipment you use help you in achieving your vision in your photography? What camera do you use? Do you have a preferred lens/focal length?

GMG: I think the equipment helps, but it is not all. Right now, I use my old Fujifilm X20, it is a model from 2013 with a 35mm equivalent. This is my gear for streets right now. When we talk about focal length, I prefer 28mm or maximum 35mm.

TPL: Are there any other special projects you are currently working on or thinking about that you would like to let everyone know about? What are some of your goals as an artist? Where do you hope to see yourself in five years?

GMG: Right now, I am working a lot in my portfolio and making new photographs. Keeping on the streets, see other new places and publishing something interesting about my work.

TPL: When I am not out photographing, I (like to)…

GMG: I like to travel, and explore new places.

Capturing everyday scenes with the help of light and shadow, we thank Gabriel for introducing us to his Ecuadorian community through his viewfinder. Connect with Gabriel on Instagram to see more of his photography.

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