(c) Leandro Farina
When interiors stylist Despina Curtis asked him to collaborate on a still life shoot for Port magazine incorporating various desk tools, Leandro Farina turned to the Bauhaus and the work of some of the early 20th century photographers he admires for inspiration.
He was keen to shoot in black-and-white, which is unusual for still life shoots because most magazines prefer advertiser-friendly colour and the clarity that brings. “I like the feeling of tradition in black-and-white, and also it encourages you to embrace things that you might sometimes ignore with digital or colour photography,” says Farina. “There weren’t many restrictions on the shoot, so I shot it in colour with the view I’d submit it in black-and-white. In the end I sent over the files [to the magazine] so we could discuss it, and we made the final decision afterwards.”
Farina captured the images at one of his favourite locations, Loft Studios in Kensal Green, shooting them on film with a Hasselblad H2 using Profoto lighting for its “simplicity and versatility”. Still lifes take a long time to compose, so he gave himself one day to shoot three images, hoping Port would choose to run them all. It did, publishing them in three double-page spreads in December.
The Canadian photographer started out assisting in Toronto, which has developed something of a reputation for still life work, and since moving to London he has been winning plaudits for his signature graphic approach, shooting notable work for magazines including Wallpaper* and Casa da Abitare, alongside some interesting commissions for Barclays Premier and Nike Tiempo. More recently he shot an inspired commission from design agency, A Practice for Everyday Life, re-interpreting its work for the Victoria & Albert Museum’s exhibition, Postmodernism, Style & Subversion 1970–1990.
“What I really enjoy about still life, is the freedom to experiment with ideas,” says Farina.
Images © Leandro Farina.
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