I had begun my adventure in photography at the age of 20, in 1976, in France. At that time I practiced street photography during the day, and worked as an assistant to a publicity photographer during the week-ends… and as a taxi driver during the night, in order to make a living. I lived in a little room in Paris, where the bed was fighting for room with a little black and white photography lab…..
Four years later, I had to make a choice between Photography and Philosophy… and I decided to change my priorities. I never stopped “shooting” with a camera, but during the next 29 years I practiced photography more like a “serious amateur” than like a professional….. In 1986 I relocated to Tel-Aviv, Israel, where I founded the local branch of the New Acropolis school of Philosophy. In recent years I decided to combine these two major aspects of my life: Photography and Philosophy.
There are many different aspects of photography, many different ways to relate to photography, and even the technical and material aspects are different depending on whether you practice commercial, fashion, documentary, artistic or street photography.
My way is to use the technical aspect as an instrument for expressing my philosophical vision and way of life. Thus I choose to use relatively simple equipment – no heavy studio equipment, no additional light sources (just a flash or tripod in some specific situations), and no artificial effects…. just a transparent UV filter to protect the lenses.
This doesn’t mean that the technical aspect is not important…. It is just the opposite. In my opinion the technical aspect must be as “transparent” as possible, as to not hide the essence of the picture. This means that mastering the technical aspect is essential, because only then the technical aspect can be forgotten. It is the only way the photographer can focus his feelings and intuitions on his art.
A picture is much more than the way a person can describe it…. the most important thing in a picture is invisible… an emotion, a sentiment, a nostalgia, a harmony. For me a good picture does not reflect the subjectivity of the photographer but the reality of a particular moment – the moment in which the photographer chose to close the shutter – , and this moment is chosen because the photographer recognizes it – consciously or not – as a “qualified” moment. Meaning that the most significant thing is not that the picture was taken at this moment and at this place, but that this picture is able to transmit a specific quality of life, either though harmony, beauty, or any high and profound sentiment.
Thus, being a photographer is for me a philosophical way of life, and each picture taken is a spiritual experience – not in a religious aspect, but in allowing me to approach beauty, which I consider, after Plato, as being an aspect of the Truth.
And one last thing… My first reflex camera, in 1976, was a Pentax MX. Today I am still using a Pentax…. Of course there are a lot of other good brands on the market, but Pentax was always “special”…. a little company with a high sense of quality. Some love relationships last forever.