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Shelton Student Photographer: 'I’m Scared Of The iPhone Camera'

David Pisciotta of Shelton recently won a contest for his photography. Photo Credit: Alex Pisciotta on Instagram @alex_pisciotta
Photographer David Pisciotta is a student at Housatonic Valley Community College. Photo Credit: David Piscotta
Shelton photographer David Pisciotta captures shadows on the snow. Photo Credit: David Piscotta
Shelton photographer David Pisciotta draws inspiration from his travels across America. Photo Credit: David Piscotta

SHELTON, Conn. -- How many college students are intimidated by an iPhone? Turns out there's at least one in Shelton.

"I'm scared of the iPhone," said David Pisciotta, whose photography byline is David Cadavid.

"Quite honestly I’m scared of the iPhone camera when taking pictures."

That's because shooting pictures with an iPhone limits his creativity, says Pisciotta, a photographer and student at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport.

"The iPhone tends to induce a very fine line between capturing a moment and creating an artistic photograph. They are two very different things that are often associated as one," he said.

His advice to anyone who wants to take their photography beyond the selfie? "Get a camera."

Pisciotta credits a family vacation with opening up the idea for him.

"I was really into cars as a kid. I would go to car shows and take pictures/videos just for fun. Nothing serious," he said. "Around that time my family and I took a cross-country road trip. This led to me gaining more of an appreciation and knowledge for photography as an art form rather than just simply capturing a moment.

"I would say the moment I truly became fully immersed in photography was about five years ago. The past three years I have taken it more seriously, however," Pisciotta said.

Since then, he's driven five times from Connecticut to California, learning more about photography with each trip.

Pisciotta is immersed for the long haul. "I have an undecided major. I have more clear goals in photography than I do in school apparently," he said.

His camera? He shoots with a Sony A7.

"I love that camera. I saved up for a long time to buy it. Paired with it it are usually old film camera lenses. Most are cheap, durable, and have interesting looks to them," Pisciotta said.

In addition, he shoots with a couple of film cameras, including a 1970s Olympus OM-1.

"I tend to roam around thrift stores and yard sales looking for old/broken cameras that I can fix up and give a new life," he said. "It’s a cliché, but it’s important to remember that the camera doesn’t matter. I find my most creative shots come from the most simple and bare-bones cameras."

See related story: 'Zion Sky' 'Awestruck' Photos Are Winners At Fairfield Museum

"For an example, one of my personal favorite pictures was taken at the bottom of a Kelp forest in La Jolla, Calif., with a broken 9-year-old GoPro camera. There’s a great deal of pride in taking a good picture with a 'bad' camera," he said.

Favorite subjects are landscapes — often shot at national parks. His "Zion Sky" was taken in Utah with a "tripod stuck in a creek just so I could get that perfect angle." it proved to be a winning shot in a Fairfield Museum photo contest.

A second winner, "The Storm," was taken in Kansas at a rest area.

"I found a clearing by some farmland and set up the shot, all the while a loudspeaker at the rest stop warned for a tornado. I love being out there in bad weather and exploring difficult terrain. It’s hard to be a modern explorer in a world that’s already been so explored. But it’s not impossible," Pisciotta said.

"The best advice someone gave me was, 'Know how to read light better than your camera can.' Once you understand the meaning of that, you’re well on your way."

Click here for the David Cadivad Instagram page and here for the Flickr page.

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