Miami based photographer Daryl Mendez also known as @Gallivanti on social media platforms captures the world during his travels with a focus on featuring modern elements through a neo-futurism perspective. In search of aspects in design and art that may be ahead of its time, Daryl has developed a consistent style of futuristic elements throughout his work. Since picking up a camera only a few years ago, his work has since been featured on various art and lifestyle social accounts across the globe.
Why do you create?
I've always been a person that likes a challenge. I got into photography after visiting Iceland a few years back and shooting the northern lights. I thought I had captured some strong images until I saw pictures of what others had done with the northern lights. Initially, I thought, well, they just have a better camera than I do. So I went ahead and got a better camera. Then I realized that I still wasn't getting the results I wanted. So I started asking questions about editing. What software people use, what tools they parlay into making a great picture or an average picture look great, etc.
Today I create to push my own boundaries, test my own limits of what I thought I wasn't capable of achieving. The challenge of getting better and producing better quality images push me to create.
What would you say is your strongest source of inspiration is; what drives you to create the most?
It's a cliche answer but Instagram is really the source of where I explore and find artist that inspire me. That's really where it all started for me so I would be lying if I didn't give the platform credit. More importantly, the people that make up the Instagram community of photographers. There are so many talented photographers out there, their images always push me to do more. Beyond that, architects like Zaha Hadid, magazines like Hypebeast, TV ads by Nike and Adidas, all good sources of inspiration
What do you keep an eye out for when shooting?
The question depends on what you are shooting and what time of day but mostly for me the answer is buildings. I'm kind of a late bloomer to admiring great architecture. But now I constantly research top architectural structures when going to a new city and I gravitate towards that. When I find something new or interesting or even in undergoing construction, I bookmark it and make a note for future reference. In general, lighting, visibility (cloudy, not cloudy, etc.) all play a role when doing astrophotography. I don't have the ideal lens today for Astro because I am waiting for Sony to release the rumored 16-35MM 2.8 G Master Lens. When the moon is out you get too much light pollution and the milky way is not visible. I typically travel to large metropolitan cities so I have to escape to the outskirts when looking for that kind of shot.
What about futurism interests you?
Like many people, I'm fascinated by the idea of space travel and time travel. I also like design and fashion and enjoy looking at people wear clothing or gear that is not traditional. The concept of retro-futurism is also very intriguing. There are buildings, people, etc that have always managed to create things or think of things well ahead of their time. This is why you can look at a building in the 60's that still has a very modern futuristic look. Metabolism architecture in Japan is a good example of that but also is the Art Deco that we have in Miami. It's simple and minimalistic but can also look futuristic when shot correctly with the right tones. To sum it up, futurism. It's cool, It's modern, forward thinking
Have any artists had a part in molding your work into what it is now? Is there someone who influences you?
My favorite two photographers on Instagram are @Jenniferbin and @abel.psd. I was really introduced to the concept of futurism by exploring Jennifer's page and she's always impressed me with the locations she finds and shoots at, her edits are also clean and consistent. She has made Shanghai one of the top destinations for me to visit. Abel is on another level of editing, he can take a picture of anything and make it look amazing. He can do this whether he's shooting a building or a person, his edits have this tinge of surrealism, and his signature is always noticed without looking at the name of who posted, just the image itself. He and I have actually become good friends and he's been super helpful and inspirational in my own development.
How do you approach the editing process in your work?
Currently, I use Adobe Lightroom to make initial edits on my .raw files. Then I export to camera raw where I may make some additional tweaks and lastly I will go into photoshop. With drone shots, I'm not as rigorous with photoshop but have taken that approach as well. Some pictures require more editing than others, I am trying to establish some consistency in my work and my style of edits but I find that I get bored fairly quickly and so my content is always evolving and changing. I'm not confident that I will ever arrive at a signature style but as long as I am consistently getting better, learning how to use the tools I have better, etc. then I am content with my progression.
What would be a dream project you’d want to bring to life someday?
Being part of a project with Adidas Y-3 or Nike would be a cool project I'd like to partake in because of their futuristic approach to everything they do. Also working with an architecture firm to photograph their work would be appealing.
What direction do you see your work heading towards? Do you have any goals for yourself/have you already met some?
I can see my work evolving to video. I am taking tons of content with my drone that actually is of much higher quality (4K footage) than the images I am taking with it. With that said, the videos take time to edit, they also take up quite a bit of space on the computer. I've also found it difficult to incorporate videos into my gallery without breaking the flow or theme of what I am shooting. With all that said, videos are unique, hard to replicate, and another form of artistry. You can also add music that you like and represents you. They say a picture tells a thousand words...well how many does a movie tell?
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