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Latin American Fotografia: Diego Martinez-Conde

By David Schonauer   Wednesday December 2, 2015


Four Citroen 2CVs parked in a row.

It’s an unlikely scene, but it was full of meaning for Diego Martinez-Conde, one of the winners of the Latin American Fotografia 4  competition.

Martinez-Conde was 13 years old when his family moved from Chile to Boca Raton, Florida. He took up photography in high school and decided to make it his life. “I purchased a Nikon D60 and just started taking photographs of everything,” he says. “Coming from a hispanic household, it wasn’t easy to tell my parents that I wanted to be an artist for a living, so I told them I would like to study graphic design. I did that and it lasted about one semester — graphic design was not for me, and I finally told my parents I just wanted to study photography. And after a couple dinner-table talks, they actually gave in and supported me, telling me if I really wanted to pursue this I had to be the best.”

Recently, Martinez-Conde graduated from the University of Central Florida with a fine-art degree  with a concentration in photography. “Projects I'm working on now mostly revolve around street photography and photojournalism,” he notes. Below are examples of his work.

He approached photography with a special interest in color. “I use color in my work as a quintessential tie and a means to embrace unity. I feel that this comes naturally because of my Latin American roots and an American upbringing,” he says.

Color is certainly a key element in his LAF-winning photo, titled “Aircooled Sunday.” The image was taken in 2014 at La Villa Olimpica de Quilpue, a racetrack in Chile that Martinez-Conde remembered from his childhood. “My father and I and all of his friends spent almost every single Sunday there while I was growing up.,” he says. “I had not gone to Chile in 11 years, and this was the first time I returned. Of course, I had to attend a Sunday race.”

While there he glimpsed the four Citroens. “I was lucky enough to spot four friends who happen to have the same cars, all the way across the racetrack. With my Nikon D60 with a 70-300mm lens, I was able to capture the moment perfectly,” he says.

The image has a special meaning for Martinez-Conde. “It has turned into my personal favorite, and many others love it too,” he notes.

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