TrueVision Photography, is a photography company based out of Durango, Colorado and run by Tony Curado. Born and raised on the East Coast, Tony Curado always had a yearning to discover the west. After a trip out to Sedona, Arizona in 2011, he put into motion his plans to make the journey. In 2013, his plans came to fruition and Tony gave up his professional wedding photography business to move to the 4 Corners Region and discover the west. Since then Tony has traveled from the Rockies to the high desert of Sedona, photographing the never ending beauty of the 4 Corners region. Trying to put a fresh perspective on western photography, Tony takes to the roads less traveled to bring his fans creative and original photography that encompasses the spirit that is the west. Tony strives to create a realistic or True Vision of what he sees and feels while out exploring the great backcountry of the west. Tony thanks you for stopping by and hopes you enjoy his photographs as much as he enjoys taking them. Contact Tony: [email protected] For more info on Tony check out the interview below that he did for @yourdailybread on Ello!
Tony first got on my radar thanks to the the Blood Moon. He posted a striking photo of the event and I just new I had to feature his other work on YD. When I looked through the photos he shared on ello I wanted to know more about the person who created such lovely images as @truevisionphotos.
3 Questions with Tony Curado
YD: Before your 2013 move to Colorado you were a wedding photographer in New Jersey. Wedding photos tend to be intimate photos of boisterous social events. Your landscape photos are some of the most breathtaking I’ve seen on :ello:. You skillfully capture the majesty and splendor of your subject; from a mountain lake to the simplicity of a wild flowers. But unlike wedding photos, they don’t have any people in them. Two part question:
1: Do you approach your current subject the same way you approached your past one? Are the methods you use for taking successful wedding photos transferable to how you take your stunning landscapes? How are they the same and how are they different?
TC: First, thank you for this opportunity and your wonderful compliments. Ello is a fantastic place for artists and I have enjoyed my time here and look forward to the future.
I approach my landscape photography, in some ways, like wedding photography and in other ways not even close. Wedding photography always intrigued me because of the amount of skill that goes into shooting just one day. As a wedding photographer you need to be skilled in off camera-flash photography, posing, dealing with people, anticipating moments, and of course doing all this while being technically perfect and creative at the same time. It can be overwhelming and down right frustrating at times, but it was in this realm that I found myself and learned a tremendous amount about photography.
In landscape photography a lot of the same principles apply, just in different context. I never do any technical posing of my subjects, mountains won’t tilt their peak to get you that great C or S curve, but we compose our image to show the same positive shapes or curves of our scene and doing weddings and portraits for many years helps you find those patterns, much easier, in nature. I have never used off camera-flash for landscapes, but really all a flash is doing is giving you the light you need or want to perfect your scene, I do this in landscapes with one really big flash, the Sun. The difference is I have no control over it, except to go out at the right times and hope it cooperates.
Lastly, and one of the things I attribute my experience with wedding photography to is anticipating a moment. Reading a scene and knowing what can potentially happen and where you should be standing when it does, is one of the greatest strengths any photographer can have, regardless of your subject. I like to think of this as my sixth sense, as I have always been good at “guessing” what is going to happen next. It helped me capture great moments for Brides and Grooms and now it helps capture landscapes at their peak beauty.
2: Was it a conscious decision to de-populate your photos? If so, why?
TC: I would say this is a little bit of both. A lot of the landscapes I photograph are De-populated areas and I do make an effort to find areas untouched by man or absent of man for many years. This allows me to show the contrast of our land with and without the effect of us. For now people aren’t part of the story that I would like to tell, but that may change some day or may not, I guess you will just have to keep following to find out.
3: Your photos can definitely inspire people, but I also think your decision to get up and leave your roots on the East Coast is inspiring. A lot of people dream of doing something like that with their lives, whether it’s a physical move, a career move, a relationship move, etc. It’s hard to not only make the decision to do it but hard to take that first step. How did you go about deciding to make your move? What would you do again and what would you wish you hadn’t done?
TC: Again, thank you for the great compliment, it is always nice to get confirmation that your work is having an effect on people. On the other hand, I don’t think I ever thought of my move in that way. Colorado, was always a dream of mine ever since I visited as a little kid. Up until I made the move, I had thought about it many times but the right situation never presented itself. So when I decided to get out of the wedding photography business, I looked at where I wanted to go with my photography and while the east coast has some amazing scenery, the mountains and the west were calling. However, leaving everyone you have known your whole life and most importantly your family behind to live 2000 miles away in an area where you didn’t know anyone was definitely scary. I thought long and hard about it and almost decided not to go a few times, but as an artist support is always a crucial part of your journey and for me, my family was not only supportive but encouraging as well. Without their support, I don’t think I would have been able to move so far away nor do I think I would have enjoyed it as much as I am.
I would easily do a move like this again, I have always had a nomadic spirit and I enjoy seeing and experiencing new things, especially in nature, sometimes you just have to get up and go. I think the next step would be some time in Alaska or maybe a few years in Oregon, I just love the coast there.
As far as what I would have done differently, honestly not much. I know a lot of people think about making moves like mine and some do while others don’t. But when you make a change this drastic I think forethought and planning are key. I would say the one thing that I didn’t expect was how hard it would be adjusting from an East Coast lifestyle to small town America lifestyle. However, the more time went on the more I realized its not an adjustment, but more of an internal growth.
I don’t like to say I have regrets in my life, but they happen and if you asked me the one thing I would have done differently since moving out here well I would have to say it was a purchase I made the second summer out here. I decided in order to go where I wanted to in the mountains I needed better transportation, my 2006 Chevy Equinox, was just not going to make it. So I decided to get rid of a fully paid off vehicle and get a vehicle that can take me anywhere, enter my beautiful newly owned very used old Jeep. Unfortunately, the Jeep has had its up and downs as will any off road vehicle you take to the places I go, needless to say the “roads” are not very vehicle friendly and since the Jeep is a little bit older things tend to break down, more than I apparently thought would be the case.
So you ask what I would have done differently well I would have to say maybe not buying a 20 year old Jeep 🙂 I think one of my first lessons in photography could have actually been applied here, you see every new photographer gets gear happy and wants to buy this lens or that accessory or that new shiny thing that does you no good or sits in a closet for the rest of your life and I was no different, thinking I needed this new lens or a different camera body to improve my skills. Then one day I attended a conference where I got to hear one of my favorite photographers, Thomas Mangelson, speak and while I took away a lot of things from that conference, I remember him stressing that you shoot with what you got until you know it like the back of your hands, and upgrade with a purpose instead just buying something to play with.