Pedro Londoño: Documenting something is giving a visual opinion of what we think

18 nov, 2021


Colombian photographer and a member of the World Professional Photographers Organization, Pedro Londoño, differs from many photographers in his view of the world – each of his images surprises with an unusual angle or successfully captured moment. When you watch at his images, the question immediately arises: “What happened next?” The maestro of documentary photography shared his opinion in our interview about the essence of photography and its main task, and answered what exactly makes a shot great.


- Pedro, tell us please a bit about yourself.

- My name is Pedro Londoño, I am an audiovisual communicator and photographer based in Medellín, Colombia. I am passionate about new audiovisual narratives, photography with mobile devices, and documentary photography.

- How did you decide to become a photographer? And how long have you been talking photos?

 - When I was 11 years old, I saw my brother project images on the wall of my living room, he was trying to do a video art project and I was fascinated with what was being projected, I took small photos of what I saw, those images came to my mind eventually as photographs, later in my training as an audiovisual communicator I discovered that the still image caught me much more than the moving image, since that time I have always thought of photography as a way of life.

- What the most exciting thing for you in documentary photography?

 - The possibility of telling a story loaded with my own point of view, understanding how something happens and how I can be a visual part of that moment. Documenting something is giving a visual opinion of what we think.

- How has photography influenced you as a person?

- Photography totally changed my way of seeing things, in a positive way I can say that I have the privilege of deconstructing what surrounds me, I have always thought that photographers have a filter to see things, and that filter allows us to better understand what for others is just a part of the landscape.

- What professional photographers have influenced your work?

- I am really influenced by everything and everyone I see. I think that, regardless of the type of photography another person takes. There will always be something to learn and teach through photography that can inspire me visually, from the compositional point of view, or from the way that person handles light. We all have that opportunity.

- What details do you believe make the best photographs?
- In my order of priorities are the composition, the management of light and ultimately what the image shows, a technically correct image is useless if that image does not show anything interesting. Post-production is important, however it is only a step, but not the way to tell something.


- What is your favorite photograph that you have ever taken? Why?

- My favorite photo is called "a tasty way of walking" I took it in the year 2012 and it is a moment that seems to have not finished yet, the photo shows a dog approaching in a curious way to a pair of boots made of beef. A quite surreal situation. What I enjoy the most about the photo is that the story remains unfinished and when people see it, they ask me what happened next.

- What type of cameras do you shoot with?

 - I have always used Canon equipment, 50D, 7D, 6D, 5D and the lenses I use the most are the 70-200 and the 50 mm.


- In the field, what are your settings?

- I always shoot in manual mode, and I try to think through the photo I am about to take, I don't usually use the burst on my camera, it's a pretty simple workflow, however it has worked for me, I try not to get immersed in the technicalities of my camera.

- In 2018, you participated in 35AWARDS. Why did you choose this contest?

- I have participated and won in several photography contests, 35 awards caught my attention due to the level and quality of the participating photos, it seems to me that visually it helps me a lot to understand how the photographic context is in the world, without a doubt it is a contest that allows us to know what is happening around us.


- What do you expect to get from participating in WPPO?

 - I love expanding my photographic contacts and getting to know the work of my colleagues, in addition to enhancing and expanding my work as a photographer, it is a great opportunity for more people to know who I am and what I can do as a photographer.