ROBERTO DESTARAC - Award Winning Photographer
“Landscapes, travel, and people are my favorite styles of photography. In a constant search to improve my skills to bring my audience quality work that reflects my passion for the beauty of our world.”
Born in Guatemala City, Guatemala in May of 1971, since very young I always had a passion for the arts. In high school, I had poems published in local newspapers and joined a band playing the guitar. I went to college in New Mexico, U.S. after being awarded a full scholarship by the Guatemalan government and obtained a BSC in Geological Engineering from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. After school, I worked in the mineral exploration industry for several years and got to visit numerous remote locations throughout Latin America, and it was during those journeys that I discovered my passion for new beautiful landscapes and cultures.
I spent many years as a self-taught photographer shooting with basic point and shoot cameras with decent results until 2012 when, standing atop Temple IV of the Mayan site of Tikal in northern Guatemala for the celebration of the end 13th Baktun (Mayan long calendar cycle of 144,000 days), the vastness of the jungle behind the Mayan ruins made me realize I wanted to be able to capture scenes like that in better detail so I decided to pursue my passion for photography further. Since then I invested serious time and money in professional photography gear and starting in 2015 took several courses in Guatemala´s premiers photography school La Fototeca, plus online and in-class courses with renown photographers and teachers. Thanks to that my technique improved considerably so my travels now had a strong photography component as I included visits to famous historical sites and spent lots more time shooting. As a result, I started producing high-quality photographs which helped me gain more attention from local news media, photography sites, and social media.
All that led to my participation in local and international photography contests and an important with the following highlights and achievements:
• Guatemala Honorary Mention Metro Photo Challenge 2013
• Honorary Mention and Exhibition: Guatemala Tras Mi Lente 2015 photography contest promoted by the Guatemalan Institute of Tourism INGUAT.
• Published by National Geographic Your Shot in 2015 http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/profile/524438/#awards
• Published by National Geographic Traveler Facebook in 2016 Video https://www.facebook.com/natgeotravel/videos/10154...
• Performance Award for the Humanity Photography Awards 2017 http://www.hpa.org.cn/
• Finalist 35Awards 2017
• 3rd Place 2018 International Photography Awards Nature/Other Category for my photo "THE GATES OF HELL".
• Honorary Mention 2018 International Photography Awards Nature/Landscapes Category for my photo "TURQUOISE POOLS".
• Published by Guatemalan newspapers Prensa Libre, Soy502 and Nuestro Diario.
• Published in Social Media by major local brands including banks, soft drinks, tourism agencies, and others.
• Published in Canadian Chamber of Commerce marketing campaign 2017.
• Private permanent exhibition in Novartis Pharmaceutics Guatemala offices main building.
Coming participations and exhibitions include:
• Sony World Photography Awards 2019
• Chromatic Photography Awards 2018
• 15th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest 2018
• The EPSON International Pano Awards 2018
• 35Awards 2018
• Head On 2019 Photo Contest
To seriously promote my work, I developed my brand Roberto Destarac Photography in 2016 which is constantly growing and expanding on the following platforms:
As an artist, my biggest challenge in the creative process was developing proper technical knowledge (on camera and post-processing) to achieve the high standards the artistic community demands and being able to capture what my eyes see, while at the same I worked on defining a style and focusing on a specific style of photography. I lean more towards landscape photography but to find landscapes you need to travel, so travel photography also comes naturally to me.
As for inspiration, I find it in my home country Guatemala with its diversity, both geographical and cultural. There are such varied geographic features (highlands, volcanoes, beaches, forests, jungles, cities, etc.) that I always seem to have something new and interesting to shoot. But most of all my inspiration comes from the people, with their traditions and culture based on our Mayan ancestry that never ceases to amaze me. I´ve had the joy of capturing events that can´t be found anywhere else in the world such as Easter in Antigua Guatemala and the Giant Kites Festival in Santiago Sacatepéquez. Plus, I have collaborated with non-profit organizations capturing the process used to produce colorful traditional Mayan textiles in my series “MAYAN WEAVERS”. All these can be found in the STORIES tab on my website.
I now strive to continue traveling to other countries to find the same inspiration in their landscapes and people.