In photography, the creative act is the click of the camera, the decision to capture what Henri Cartier-Bresson called "The Decisive Moment": "There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture." said the French master in 1957. "Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera."
Brian Pescador's work is a quest for decisive moments. The Palm Springs, Calif.-based photographer freezes these moments in images that are laden with emotion -- both his and the subject's. His film photos of friends, often taken on camping trips and outdoor adventures, radiate the carefree spirit of youth.
We asked Brian a few questions over email, and he kindly took some time away from Coachella fun to answer back:
What do you look for when taking pictures?
I never really know what I look for when I take pictures. I just try to express what I am feeling at that certain moment. If I am sad or depressed, I try and feel what I am feeling through my images. I try to understand what I am feeling through my photos. If I am happy and pumped on life, I try and make images which show that emotion. I always express my emotions or moods when I take photos.
What's is it like living in Palm Springs?
I would have to say if feels like home. I grew up here but, I lived all over LA for eight years. I just moved back to the desert last year. I was always going and coming before. Out here we call it, "The Desert"-- everyone does. It's amazing! Right now it is Coachella season and this place is packed. All the hotels have pool parties and there are so many young people here who love getting their photos taken.
How does living in the desert affect your photography?
Living out here totally affects my images. It's really crazy 'cause it gives me so much, yet it holds me back at the same time. We have one little camera store and no labs, so I have to go to LA to process all my film and get prints made. It's also hard to reach out to people in NYC or Europe to show them my book, but the positive side is that I am living in the desert for the moment and enjoying it. I am only 30 minutes away from Joshua Tree and I also live very close to Salvation Mountain. Everywhere you go around here it feels like you are in a frame of a postcard or some kind of an adventure.
Lots of your work involves the outdoors. What do you like about being and shooting in nature?
"We all go camping," my best friend Steve says. "Brian always brings his camera, his gear, and some firewood and a nice IPA beer" He then tells our other friends, "What are you bringing to the table?" I think somehow he makes this metaphor for life. What do you bring? I think being in the outdoors is my haven , or my safe place. Being outdoors is what I bring to photography, and I bring photography to the outdoors. My friend and photographer Paul Jasmin says to shoot your fantasy when you pick up a camera. I think in a way shooting with natural light and a beautiful scenery in nature is really mine.
See more at brianpescador.com.