Fernando Sandoval


     I have had a camera around my neck since my teenage years. My active photography didn’t really happen until high school. Schoolmates and I moved to a new building previously occupied by Jesuits, who taught young lads the virtues of a holy and austere life.  In the back of the science room, there was a darkroom that had not been used in years.  A little bit of dusting here and there and voilà, with a little bit of research and help from one of the new teachers, we started and informal photography club and the adventure has not stopped since!  Majoring in Media Communications at American University, I delved into the many aspects of processing and dissemination of current events. I never stopped  shooting stills.  Motion picture weighed in heavily but I preferred the immediacy of a still image.  In many of the film documentaries I had screened at the National Archives as a film technician, a freeze frame would invariably arise. I would find that one image jarring, thought provoking, eerie and beautiful all at the same time, or not.  That gave me a respect for the power of a still image.


      As a street photographer, I canvassed neighborhoods mainly at night with no particular intent on finding a shot. This was usually set in an urban area with not too many people around. The resulting images are simply graphic and stark.

There are many aspects of photography that I am involved in today including digital. But the simple elegance and romantic tones of a gray scale are what I strive for in the images that I have shot over the past several decades. The emulsion-based film along with the various types of sexy paper, alluring chemistry and beautiful glass are what I used to compose my canvas.


      The exhibits that I’ve been involved in are group and solo installations. Editorial and studio work for private clients makes up a significant portion of my portfolio. Street photography has been accessioned, unsolicited, by the Smithsonian Museum of American History.