Gianpaolo from Italy impresses us with his crispy and poignant street captures. Being a strong fan of Master Photographer Elliot Erwitt, Gian does show us some comic and witty prospects with his street photographs. Clever and delicate surroundings in these photographs is great examples of elite street stuff and sheer brilliance in adapting yourself to the tales of the modern era. His color photographs do have an artistic appeal and interesting quotations to them. Let’s get to hear more from the photographer himself.
Few words about yourself?
I was born in Sicily (Italy) in 1977. I studied art and design in secondary school and got a degree in Architecture followed by a Master’s in the Valorisation of Cultural Heritage. In 2009 I moved to Dublin (Ireland) where I am currently based. Photography in the last 5 years of my life has begun a kind of road trip, a passport to new destinations that leads me to explore things that otherwise I wouldn’t have explored.
How did Photography happen to you?
I have always been fascinated by images in general no matter if they were related to photography, architecture or other genres. I became interested in photography when I bought my first National Geographic Magazines and soon after a small book about Elliott Erwitt.
In 2006 I bought my first camera, a Canon 20D, and got a small assignment during my Masters to take pictures of the buildings we were studying. I started to spend lots of time in the street taking photos of architecture.
What makes Street Photography so special to you?
First of all Street Photography is a way to be myself, to observe the society I am leaving in, capturing little stories within a single frame and/or a way to create something graphically pleasant, from what is happening around me. When I am in the street I am always aware that an infinite number of interesting images surround me, my task is to sense and capture them. It’s a very difficult process, which requires a lot of patience and it can be disappointing at times. However the observation and attempting to create a unique photo, is a process that gives me an amazing feeling, which continues to motivate me to try over and over again.
There are plenty of photographers that I admire and inspire me, not all of them are street photographers. The list can be very long. I would say at the top of the list is Alex Webb, David Alan Harvey, Elliott Erwitt, Ernesto Bazan and Josef Koudelka. Also I get inspiration about places and cultures from movies or from something I have read in books or magazines.
My equipment is a Canon 5D MKII with a 24-70 a 50mm and 40mm. Recently I added a Fuij X100S for days when I want to be light. I tend to not bring all the equipment with me when I go out but I select the tools according to my daily mood and feelings that might change in relation to the available light, with last book I have read, or simply with the desire to bring one lens rather than another.
What do you look out for when on the streets, what is your priority while shooting a scene?
I have to say that the things I look out for when shooting on the street have changed over the last few years. In the beginning, I was much more focused on geometry, colours, light and shapes with the humans in the frame only as a part of the composition. Nowadays, my approach and the way I photograph has changed and with it my priority. The first thing I look at is human beings and the interaction with the world around them. The light, colours, shapes and geometry are still very important though.
The challenge is to keep these elements in the frame as clean as possible in a way that they are working nicely together without clashing with each other. Of course if something happens all of a sudden my priority changes intuitively to the situation presented to me.
Any final thoughts, or words of advice for aspiring street photographers?
I am not sure if I am the right person to give advice to other photographers, I can share what I keep suggesting to myself when I go out to shoot Street Photography. First of all I try to keep it simple and not to bring all my equipment with me as they can serve as a distraction more than anything. I always wear a pair of comfortable shoes, as I know I am going to walk a lot. I try to be receptive not only with my eyes but with all my senses. And last but not least I am investing my money in good photography books and trips where I can find new places, people and cultures to explore.
You can find Gianpaolo La Paglia on the Web:
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted to Gianpaolo La Paglia. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.