Monday, December 30, 2013

What, How & Why: A Closer Look - Featuring Phil Pantano

At, we work with artists and photographers from across the United States and Canada. We're inspired everyday by the images that they send to us and by the stories they share.
In our "What, How & Why" interview series, we take a closer look at some of these fascinating people.

We've asked each participating artist or photographer three simple questions:

1. What do you do?
2. How do you do it?
3. Why do you use

Please read on to find out more about Phil Pantano.

Phil Pantano
Buffalo, NY 

What do you do?
I am a photographer from the Buffalo, NY area. I started taking photos in 1968 when I was 12 years old. My mom had a decent Japanese camera and I started playing around with it and also developing and printing. I continued throughout the years, but not doing any serious work.

I got back into it about 2 years ago and have been obsessed. I am a history buff so I concentrated on taking photos of older industrial facilities that have been untouched by vandalism and graffiti. I like to see it as if a door had been shut 50 years ago and I am opening it back up after all these years. Being a fan of black & white classic movies and TV shows, including Alfred Hitchcock, shows in some of my darker more dramatic shots. I think a photo taken on an overcast and cloud dark day tells more of a story.

Up until this past Winter, I told myself that I would never take pictures of people. That was a big fear of mine. To overcome that fear I started work on a portrait project, The American Worker. I felt that if I could shoot it in my dark and dramatic style, it could work. It turned out to be a success and now I am constantly reading and watching videos on how to improve my portrait shooting.

How do you do it?

I currently shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III. I look for detail, lighting and shadows. It’s hard to describe but when I look at the subject I am photographing, I “see” what the end result will be. After that I process the photo in Photoshop to fine tune the detail and make it look how I “saw” it when I took the shot. I think selective lighting can “tell the story” the best.

Why do you use
Why wouldn’t I? I am so lucky to have a fantastic place right in my backyard! I order my prints and pick them up the next day…customers order from my website and they are shipped the next day…customer service is spot on. When I’ve had a problem (because of my mistake) they have been quick to point it out and make sure it gets resolved before it goes too far. On top of that, quality is top notch and pricing is very reasonable. I have never had a complaint from any of my customers. One of my top selling photos is a highly detailed 20x30” print that always wows at any show we have done

Contact Information: 

Phil Pantano

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