Pilar Silvestre


Born in Barcelona in 1962, I started out in the world of photography as therapy after suffering a memory loss because of post-traumatic stress, and something which emerged by chance has gradually grown into my passion. Despite having dabbled at photography when I was young, I had to give it up due to lack of time and not being able to devote as much time to it as it merited, and it was in 2007, when I once again placed a camera in my life. Some years before I was diagnosed with stress, which gave me a significant loss of memory and inability to concentrate and to orient myself, I couldn't read because my brain did not process the information I read, and after several years without improvements, one of my doctors advised me to find a hobby that would make the brain work, it was a way of trying to retrieve my memory because there was no medication to make me react.

Suddenly I found myself with a camera in my hands, a Canon 400D, but I couldn't remember what little I had learnt about photography when I was young, and I started again from scratch.

I started doing various types of photography, macro shots, portraits and other disciplines so long as couldn't leave the house, until I came across the topic of sports. I liked the action and I started with water sports, then doing other sports such as figure skating, some basketball, football; all of them helped me to do new things, dimly lit indoor arenas forced my head to constantly think about how to solve the adverse situations... and that helped me to recover my memory bit by bit. It was the only way to learn, improve and get better.

I gradually changed my equipment, buying brighter lenses, and this brought results... my photos improved at the same pace as my memory. My effort had been worth it, so I carried on and continued to learn by teaching myself, as I was able to and as I could, by seeing loads of photos and videos on the internet.

By dint of practice, my photographic level was slowly improving, which helped me to continue to face challenges, personally, with the intention of measuring my level and to keep improving my illness. Gradually I was making some noise in this world, and I started taking pictures of diving and swimming, to carry on having variety and to practice different techniques to photograph each type; I'm not a great one for contests, but I submitted some of my photographs to the LEN and FINA international competitions.

The results of the competitions were very positive, achieving a first, second and third place in the three years I entered, and it helped me to be accredited to go to various international water sports championships, the last 2013 Barcelona World Championships and the Champions League, and the Waterpolo Final Six, held in the month of May this year in Barcelona.

I was at the same time doing street and travel photography, but my sports photographs always stood out, having been used in several photography schools and international publications as inspirational photography, as well as an interview published in the magazine "Photography Monthly" in the English edition.

In 2012 I got my hands on the first Fujifilm in the X series, an X100, which I used for street photography, until one day I decided to travel with it. The results were so satisfactory for me, that from then on I wanted to focus on this type of camera, buying the X-Pro1 due to the subject of the interchangeable lenses.

It was in the year 2014 when I started thinking about the possibility of using the mirrorless camera in sports events, I knew I had a powerful camera, but I thought that sports photography demanded something more from me. An unfortunate accident caused my SLR equipment to fall in the water, forcing me to use my Fujifilm X-T1 for sports competitions, the result was much better than expected and opened up new fields for me full of possibilities and excitement.

Right now I only take photos with Fujifilm equipment; I consider they cover all my needs, with the added advantage of portability and their excellent quality.

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