Photos by John Gastaldo
Born and raised in New York City, Gastaldo started his newspaper career at the age of 15 when a photo he took from his family's downtown apartment ended up on the front page of The New York Times. An admitted poor quality news photo, it still provided him the seed money to buy his first Nikon. After that he was hooked. Despite attempts to try to stick with a "safe" career in psychology, he returned to his true calling in college and started a career shortly thereafter at small newspapers in New Jersey and Connecticut. In 1994 he was hired at the Union-Tribune and has lived in San Diego County ever since. Gastaldo's work graces the inside pages and occasionally the covers of the Union-Tribune's A section, it's new Our Region section and occasionally has work in the myriad Features sections.
Photos are entertaining, and often the stories behind the photos add to the viewer's understanding of what it took to get the shot, technically and compositionally and even what to look for the next time out when a similar situation is presented. Newspaper photographers rarely have the time, but rely on luck, timing and their honed skills to provide the county's readers with a regional set of eyes in the field. Working on a daily newspaper is rarely boring, often fresh and occasionally heart rending. It forces shy people to come out and boisterous people to calm down and take a new perspective. Gastaldo welcomes the opportunity to speak to readers and critics alike to improve his vision and the vision of his coworkers to more accurately reflect the county in the pages of the Union-Tribune.