“The act of the photographer is closer to reading than it is to writing. They are the readers of the world.”
(Ferdinando Scianna, Magnum photographer)
A textured wall and a slant of sunlight skimming across it. For every shoot I try to find a setting that resonates with me, and sometimes, that setting can be surprisingly simple. Something as inconspicuous as a twisted shadow springing from an early morning sun nestled in just the right angle, can make the difference.
Shortly after we took these photos, I was browsing the Magnum website (Magnum is a photographic agency that unites some of the most amazing photographers in the world and its website with the portfolios of its photographers is an unending source of inspiration). My eye caught a photo of Ferdinando Scianna which reminded me so much of the photos we had taken. (I also love this and this photo from the same shoot.) The same moody, twisted shadows elevate a backdrop that consists of nothing more than a simple coarse wall.
I love the above quotation by Mr. Scianna. It reveals the lucid self-knowledge of a modest photographer who has a clear view of what he is doing. He considers himself a reader of the world and that is exactly how I feel with my camera in my hand. Thank you Mr. Scianna. We may be born in different times and places but it seems that for just a few moments we were reading the world as twins, choosing to capture exactly the same details of it (those rare twisted shadows on a textured wall that would have gone unnoticed to most others). If you’re keen to see more of his work, I invite you to check out my “Black and White Photography” board on Pinterest. Many of the photos on this board are his and it also contains photos of other photographers who are masters at playing with light and shadow, brightness and darkness.
While photographically I played with contrasts in lighting, outfit-wise I resorted to a play with textures and shapes. I love how leather (bottom) and crochet (top) on the one hand and skinny (bottom) and voluminous (top) balance each other out perfectly. (Remember this post, in which I did something similar?)
And since quotations are my thing and because my twin brother Ferdinando Scianna deserves a little more exposure, I’ll end with another utterly charming one by him:
“I do not think I can change the world with my photographs, but I do firmly believe that a bad picture can make it worse.”
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