Peter F. Castro
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Before moving to Madison, I was mugged at gunpoint late one night. While staring down the cold dark barrel of the gun, the montage of my life played before me. What I remembered most was playing monster with my friends during recess. On Saturday mornings we would gather at each other’s houses and watch Godzilla movies. I was fascinated with the model cities and landscapes.
After moving to Madison, I put down my camera and took up screenwriting. While doing research for a script idea about a Mr. Fix-it who can fix anything but his lovelife, I came across an article about a Do-It Yourself tilt-shift lens. I was intrigued by the “Dollhouse” images that this lens could produce. I quickly was reminded of those youthful memories. I dusted off my camera and set out to digitally recreate this effect.
Much to my surprise, not only did I recapture my childlike sense of wonder but I also relived it. One aspect of “Dollhouse” photography requires that you shoot the desired scene from above which forced me to climb various objects and structures. With an adventurous spirit, I hunted for the perfect angle from which to shoot. I searched for ways to get on rooftops, or shoot through windows. I climbed fire escapes and ladders. I once again became a playful boy with an endless sense of discovery. Pondering blessings in disguise, I reflect upon what that mugger got from me that dark night. I lost six dollars but I gained a feeling that is priceless.
Peter F. Castro began his photographic journey after enlisting in the Navy at the age of seventeen. Not only did he get to see the world, he captured it. Self-taught, he later became one of the ship’s photographers. He went onto college where he became editor and photographer for the school’s paper in Knoxville, Tennessee. In the late 90’s, he moved to Wisconsin and was a newspaper photographer for the Monroe Times. In the fall of 1998, he attended the University of Wisconsin Madison. He dabbled in photography while in school, but no longer pursued it as a career.
Early in 2008, Peter’s trigger-finger became itchy and he entered the world of digital photography. He investigates ways to meld emotional tone and surrealism found in his artistic and musical inspirations. With HDR and digital tilt-shift techniques, Peter has discovered a perfect balance to express his vision.