Interview with Oriano Nicolau from Spain – Winner of The Lifestyle Category at B&W CHILD 2017 Photo Competition, Second Half

12 mins read


Oriano Nicolau Interview

He won The Lifestyle Category at B&W Child 2017 Photo Competition and we wanted to find out more about him…

Q: Second Half of the contest was tough. We received a high amount of high-quality submissions. What is your personal impression of shortlisted photographs? How did you feel when you’ve heard the news?

A: It was really a great surprise! The level of the photographs this year was high. I’m really impressed by the results and at the same time, happy to be among the winners. I honestly didn’t expect to win, but can’t hide I knew my pictures will be at the top, especially the winner one.

Interview with the winner of the lifestyle category at B&W CHILD 2017 PHOTO COMPETITION
“Dreaming about stars and heaven” by Oriano Nicolau, Spain – 1st Place in The Lifestyle Category | B&W CHILD 2017, 2nd Half


Q: Can you tell us more how does it feel to compete in such a specialized contest? You’ve been entering our contest for years and your work was always well noticed. Can you tell us what is your expectation when entering B&W CHILD?

A: I Feel very honored, entering this contest, winning it and seeing so many positive reactions, makes think I’m in the right way. It is motivating!

Interview with Oriano Nicolau
“Below the window” by Oriano Nicolau | Honorable Mention in The Portrait Category at B&W CHILD 2017 PHOTO COMPETITION, 2nd Half


Q: Judges gave a special note regarding your photo editing style. In other words, they truly love it. Can you tell us more what is so special about your editing style? How did you develop recognizable “Oriano Style”?

A: This a great compliment! I always shoot in raw, so I have all the image data possible.  From this raw I create three separate images, with three different exposures, then I mix them together to create an almost Hight dynamic range image with dark/light areas containing information. The final process is playing with zones system, created originally in a film by Alsem Adams, but of course doing digitally in Photoshop, playing with layers and paying a lot of an attention to the histogram. The final result is an almost High dynamic range B/W image.


High dynamic range black and white editing
Photo by Oriano Nicolau


Q:  Can you tell us more about you? When and where you were born and raised? How old are you? How and why did you start doing photography? 

A: I’m 27 years old. I was Born in the Dominican Republic in the morning of the 31st of December of 1990 and raised in Mallorca, Spain.  My childhood happened between two separated islands in the Caribbean and Europe.

My father is Spanish and saw a business opportunity in the Caribbean.  He met my mother and there is where I was born. A few years after, they decided to continue to live together on another island, Mallorca. An Island of which I am in love. I grew up there and I made my life. Since young, I was passionate about drawing and painting so I consider myself a painter who found in photography the best way to express himself by capturing fractions of his daily life. I started photography early, by the age of 15 and since that, I’m always interested in experimenting with many styles like Landscapes, Macro Photography, Portraits, etc.

When I was 17, I started my photography studies at the design school of Palma de Mallorca. Those years helped me a lot to learn and improve my skills. But the real opportunity came when I went to live in Barcelona and started working hard in a fashion studio as an assistant and later as a photographer and video filmmaker, making fashion movies for Cosmopolitan and Pull & Bear. After that intense period and having acquired all that experience, I returned to Mallorca to work with a commercial local agency and at the same time looking for my own style and focusing on my art.

Interview with Oriano Nicolau
“Ghost” by Oriano Nicolau – 3rd Place in The Portrait Category at B&W CHILD 2016


Q: Is photography your full-time occupation?

A: No, not at all, I’m also working in an Advertising agency as a 3D designer, making CGI animations for video Spots & Events.

Oriano Nicolau portfolio
“Hypnotic” by Oriano Nicolau

Q: Which camera bodies and lenses you use the most?

A: Canon EOS 6D/5D. 50mm 1.4. 28mm 1.8.  Sony Alpha 99II. 50mm 1.4/ 135mm 1.8

Q: Who and what do you like to photograph the most?

A:  Sebastian, the kid from the picture “Looking out” is the one I portrayed the most. He has great ability to give a great expression in every shot and he really enjoyed being part of this project. I’m really passionate about B/W landscapes photography and I feel lucky because Mallorca offers a beautiful rocky sea landscape to photograph. Landscapes that I use also as scenarios for my portraits of children and I reflect that in the series I was working Rocks & Skin. I really love Ansel Adams landscapes with this quality & textures. Is something I’m working to replicate.

Interview with Oriano Nicolau
“Looking Out” by Oriano Nicolau, Spain – 3rd Place in The Portrait Category at B&W CHILD 2016


Q: Do you photograph often, or every day or you wait the right moment to happen in order to take your camera?

A: It depends, I photograph almost every day and every moment I consider relevant. I consider myself very patient so also wait for the right moment.

Interview with Oriano Nicolau
Photo by Oriano Nicolau


Q: What inspires you?

A: Family, love, and friendship is the engine that moves my art.

Portrait of a wet boy
Photo by Oriano Nicolau


Q: Who are the photographers that you admire?

A: I’m a very fan of Marinas Kazakova’s works. I think the way she manages to capture the youth, with this beautiful mysterious light & colors truly amazes me. Her photos are a great inspiration. Also, love Lee Jeffries homeless portrait series. I find they are powerful with this wonderful grainy W/B that tells everyday life stories. Chema Madoz, I consider him a poet of the image. I Love his ability to use objects to create a powerful, and sometimes tricky, images. Of course, my list goes on with Amsel Adams or Evgeny Mokhorev…

Interview with Oriano Nicolau
Photo by Oriano Nicolau


Q: If you didn’t win the lifestyle category on our contest and if you had a chance to take a role of the judge, who would take the first place in your opinion?

A: Is hard to choose since there are wonderful images! I love the photo from Kamila Celery-Kmiecik “Beginning of friendship” from Poland, that made Honorable mention, I think I show a very pure and warm moment between a boy and his pet, Or “Chamomile” by Tatiana Aygi, it has a beautiful atmosphere with the very texturized image. This would be a great choice for me.

Q: What’s your opinion on social media and how they impact photographer’s career? Do you think that social media maybe distracts photographers from art and creativity since it’s quite demanding and time-consuming?

A: I think social media brings a great chance to grow in a creative and professional way. People can find your work easily and is always comforting see their positive reactions. But you can also feel tired of them, creating the need to constantly post, and it becomes almost an obligation.  I think it’s good to take a break from time to time.

Interview with Oriano Nicolau
Photo by Oriano Nicolau


Q: Why is so important to enter quality photography contests in your opinion?

A:  I think is a way to get a recognition that you do not get in commercial works. A way to prove if your work is something that must be highlighted. It is great to know that your photos will be evaluated by professionals, it is something of great value.

Masters of b&w child photography
Photo by Oriano Nicolau


Q: Your favorite quote?

A: “If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera”- Lewis Hine

Q: Principles in life you live by?

A: Live here and now. Learn every day. Every moment is a jewel. Fight for what you believe.

Interview with the winner of the lifestyle category at B&W CHILD 2017 PHOTO COMPETITION
Photo by Oriano Nicolau


Q: What would be your advice to other photographers?

A: Learning from others, is the best way to create your own path. Never stop learning and creating!

High dynamic range in bw child photography
Photo by Oriano Nicolau

Oriano Nicolau Website

Oriano Nicolau on Lens Culture

Oriano Nicolau on 500px




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