Photographer Jorge Alva's cinematic eye for symmetry: our conversation

Photographer Jorge Alva's cinematic eye for symmetry: our conversation
Copyright Jorge Alva (@urbanentdecker_)
Copyright Jorge Alva (@urbanentdecker_)
By Camille Bello
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Passionate about fine lines, patterns and symmetry, Jorge Alva (@urbanentdecker_) is European Lens' first featured photographer.


Passionate about fine lines, patterns and symmetry, Jorge Alva (@urbanentdecker_) is European Lens' first featured photographer.

Alva moved from El Salvador to Berlin in 2014 and has been inspired by the continents’ architecture and urbanism ever since.

Jorge’s keen eye for details finds patterns and symmetry wherever he goes: from metro stations to busy city centres, the young man houses a futuristic and surreal portfolio.

Euronews spoke to him about how he got into photography, his style, must-haves, and if there's anything he won't shoot.

How did your photography journey start?

I got into photography after I moved to Berlin, even though I had been exposed to photography long before through my brother who is also a photographer. Only after a few months in Berlin, I started documenting everything around me with my phone. And it was time to decide what to study in university, photography was the only thing on my mind. So this is what I do now, I am here studying and doing it for a living.

What are your travel essentials and what camera do you use?

A tripod, a set of extra batteries, my laptop, an external hard drive and my Nintendo switch to keep myself entertained during trips.

I use a Canon 5D Mark IV and a Canon 5DSR, my go-to lenses are the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4 L, Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L II and the Canon EF 70-200 f/4 L USM.

What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

Do what you can with what you have.

How would you describe your style of photography?

I draw inspiration from the city, its people, the colors, visual arts, film and architecture. My inspiration behind the lens can be accredited to the heavy influence of visual arts, film and architecture that I have been entrenched in since moving to Europe.

My main goal is to create interesting photographs by using my surroundings. I try to view things with a cinematic eye — to create scenes or new worlds within the one we all live in. I like to combine this vision with emotion and this leads to captivating photographs. In this sense, the work that I create is really a reflection of who I am.

What is your favourite place or thing to photograph?

Architecture, landscapes, urban spaces, nature and people. I don’t like to put myself in a box. Generally, I like to shoot whatever catches my eye or tells a story.

Favourite European location and why?

I would say Superkilen Park in Copenhagen because of its visual strength, but also because of the stories that the project tells — the relationship with its context, space, communities and the aesthetics of it — makes it my favorite location to shoot.

What is the most memorable photo you’ve ever taken?

A picture I took of Errolson Hugh (@erlsn.acr), ACRONYM founder for the cover of a magazine from Poland. Because it was my first magazine cover but also because Errolson is someone I look up to in regards to his work ethic and in what he has accomplished already. Shooting with him was a memorable moment in my career.

Is there anything you'd never photograph?

I don't like to limit myself, so I don't think there's something I would never want to photograph. I draw inspiration from everything. I feel like that’s the only way I’ve been able to improve — to be that open-minded to new inspirations.

Follow Alva’s work — as well as other European Lens photographers — with Euronews’ Instagram account

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