From the Gallery Page – Luca Lacche: In His Own Words

There are many great photographers to discover on the GALLERY Page, and we intend to highlight one a week in the next while for you.
One of the latest postings caught our eye the other day: Luca Lacche. There is a dreamlike quality that allows the viewer to share the experience and bring their thoughts and possible storyline to the images. We have been promised more in the series.

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lo sguardo vago” Luca Lacche Photography © 2008

With a clear sense of self, here is Luca’s bio in his own words. And yes, you also get some tech info.

From Luca Lacche:

My photographic activity began in Italy in the early 80s. I remember borrowing a Pentax MX 35mm film SLR, with its 50mm, from a friend at the University and after a while getting my own (a Canon AE1) – I was attracted by the “glance” offered by the reflex camera plus the natural point of view of the 50mm. After a few years of practice I began doing darkroom, developing and printing black and white film.

My photo-attitude has always stayed that way ever since – even if photography has been “on and off” for me during the late-80s and 90s, perhaps becoming in certain times just a secondary side of my other interests, like music and visual arts. In the mid-90s I started travelling abroad (mainly in the US) and photography spontaneously came back – using a couple of Nikon film SLRs I developed a keen interest in the concept of travel photo, even if today I realize I’ve never been much into describing places but rather projecting my own image and idea into them. This is perhaps why, when I decided to go “pro” a few years ago and began working for stock photo agencies, I felt somehow out of place – it was not my cup of tea.

That’s why I decided to quit that activity and concentrate on the fine-art side of my photo production – only self-expression, my kind of subjects and the tech and tools of my choice (obviously having to do something else for an extra income). I began posting my recent works on the net (that was about three years ago) and, besides admiring and being inspired by the work of the likes of Mario Giacomelli, I became fascinated by a certain type of photography, first the square format then the plastic cameras like the Holga, the Diana – the blur, the subtle focus-defocus play, the light seen in a totally different way due to “imperfect” optics.

Speaking of tech stuff, I am currently exclusively using a couple of Canon EOS 5D full-frame D-SLRs (always in RAW mode), both gripped, with Canon L zoom lenses (16-35 f/2.8, 24-105is, 70-200 f/4is) and the 70-300 DO/is tele-zoom which is ideal for travelling being very small. I recently began to add to my gear some prime lenses (two Canon EF, the 50mm f/1.4 and the 15mm fisheye), but my favorite piece of equipment remains the Lensbaby lens, which as a fact I now use most of the time. Since the first shots I took with it I realized the huge potential of its selective focus feature in composition, description of details, use of light. I am today mainly using the Original Lensbaby, whose “primitive” glass lets me obtain my favorite “plastic camera” feel (read Holga), even using a last-generation digital camera. Most part of my current photographic production comes from that “symbiotic couple”, the Canon 5D and the Original Lensbaby.

Don’t miss the rest. Keep reading…..

I could define myself a street photographer, meaning that I never plan or stage a scene or composition – and I always shoot freehand. My natural approach is to have just an approximate idea of a place/location and, once there, to try and get the essence of it “on the fly”, trusting the first impression. It’s in the subsequent darkroom work (now only virtual) that I create my idea of the subject, transferring my mind’s image of it to the final product (and that involves the use of all the usual darkroom techniques like light, contrast, color and tones control, burning, vignetting, grain etc). As a general principle, I use the virtual-digital darkroom to replicate what I would do in the real darkroom – that mainly means “no manipulations” but only basic image cleaning, dust spot removal and such.

In my way, I always try to act instinctively – meaning that I like instant composition and framing, as I said the “glance” – as a fact that kind of approach has become more evident in my photography since I started doing selective focus with the Lensbaby which is a 50mm. I find the 50mm’s perspective very natural, immediate, it “gets to the point” in a very essential way – especially when used wide-open at a very shallow depth of field. Generally speaking, my idea is that less thinking when composing and framing is the most creative attitude… just letting the eye and the mind run free, catching (and being caught by) the atmosphere and “spirit” of the place.

In my point of view, inspiration comes from the objects and the space they’re in… the light describing them… but it often goes beyond that. As a fact it seems somehow pointless to travel such long distances to shoot “common” subjects – that is what happens to me in most of the cases, ending up in a far country and taking pictures of apparently insignificant details. But in my opinion it’s the mood of a place that creates the inspiration and defines the composition… meaning that a certain detail wouldn’t have been depicted that way if that way wouldn’t have been suggested by a definite atmosphere, and that includes voices, noises, smells, the air, the mood of that place on that particular day and situation. That is the essence of travel photography for me (far from the “stock” photo attitude).

The most important aspect in a photo is the mood, the atmosphere, what the picture can evoke… “subject” is secondary, the part that really matters is not “what” but “how” the subject is seen, how the story is told. So the light, a certain angle, a shadow are the elements that can make the difference in a picture.

Thank you Luca.

Cheers!
Damon Webster

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