Under Hard Lights with William Shargo

William Shargo

“Photography is a way of feeling. What you have caught on film is captured forever. . . it remembers little things long after you have forgotten everything.”- Aaron Siskind

Long island, NY

IG- @wsphoto.co

How did you get into Photography?
I’d say I was very inspired by my older sister. She had taken photography classes back in the day, in a dark room setting and had lots of prints developed that she showed me. I was so intrigued by the art style that naturally came with developing 35mm film photos, the grain and texture could really set a mood before you even focus on the subject. It evoked the emotion in me that was also felt in the photo and inspired me to go out and find those things to capture that could also evoke emotion in others; it inspired me to go out and tell stories through my photos, capture essences of day to day life that are both real and surreal and piece them together to show a perspective that might otherwise have been overlooked or forgotten.

Do you only work with film cameras or do you also work with digital?
I do work with both, more so digital lately because the cost to develop a single roll has dramatically increased. I wish to continue to develop my skills with 35mm film and Polaroid film as well
What camera are you currently using?
Nikon D5100

What is your preference in photography? What do you enjoy shooting the most?
I enjoy shooting various subjects from candid portraits to street landscapes but mostly with a lowlight disposition, i feel as though I might capture the raw essence of something when it’s peaking out of some shadow rather than in a full beam of light. To me, It feels more natural and untouched, with a softness that comes from the small amount of light allowed in.

What inspired your theme for “Portraits”?
My best friend Natalia inspired my theme for “portraits”. She had done a few abstract portraits months back, under hard light, illuminating specific aspects of the body and form. With this, my interest in lowlight photography is complimented by hard, colored light and the way it impacts the subject when all other sources of light are eliminated. Once I started experimenting with the single source of light, I was overwhelmed with the effects that different colors had on different subjects, creating surreal images, that, to me, felt more like abstract paintings than digital capture. I was inspired by the new array of detail that shined through different color palettes which otherwise would have gone unnoticed under regular, incandescent lighting.

 So walk us thru a day in your shoes with your camera, what triggers you to turn your camera on and capture a moment?
Although I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired lately, I usually just grab my camera whenever I leave my house with no prior expectations to shoot anything. I’ll keep it within arms reach at most times for something natural and unexpected that I might come across. I’m very taken aback by the New York landscape which goes for both the architecture here and people interacting together without hesitation. New York being so dynamic, you can find something truly beautiful and amazing happening on every corner. For me, something as simple as a person smoking a cigarette in their outfit for the day, radiating their style would be enough for me to start snapping; the raw feeling that person emits could tell an entire story without me even knowing their name. My passion for landscape photography is aided by the simplicity of not needing a human subject to portray a certain vibe. Street art, local businesses, & background scenery can truly help paint the history and development of a certain place so for me, it doesn’t take much to start shooting. I find it rewarding to overshoot random places and things with hopes that a miraculous moment might be caught unexpectedly.

Where do you see your talents taking you in the next couple of years?
I hope to continue to develop my skills and network with different artists. I’d like to stay with the photography company I am with for now but also work towards opening my own gallery someday as well as integrate fine art design & photography into fashion, and build up my own brand. I hope to travel the world some day and see all the little things I’m missing being locked into the same setting since birth

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