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Pacted photos?

Here is the third part of the interview with the photographer Balazs Gardi winner in the news category of The World Press Photo 2008. He answered the questions that our readers left for him in the post called «The Best Photo of World Press Photo»; in which our readers chose Mr. Gardi’s as the best of the lot.

During the month of July, we’ll continue to publish the interview in different posts.

The first part at: Interview with Balazs Gardi winner of the World Press Photo (I)

Here you have the third part in which Balazs tells us about his photographic criteria, and if you want to read the Spanish translation click here.


8) I’d ask you if you’re not worried that such aesthetics distract the spectator’s attention from the issue you’re denouncing.

I hope esthetics are not going to distract the attention from the actual meaning of the image, I really hope the opposite.by Diana

I hope the esthetics actually can attract more attention to the image. Meaning that usually the images are getting out in news magazines and various other publications and it seems the world is changing and the esthetic of the images that we see on advertisements in magazines or on TV, they are rapidly changing.

So images that have to [grab] the people’s attraction are also competing visually with this kind of esthetics. So I think without esthetic images it’s really hard to draw attention [to] important images. So I hope that the esthetics of my images actually have more people to look at the images and start to understand them.

9) What photographic equipment do you take with you? What lenses?by lucas

Usually I try to minimize the equipment I’m working with so in this special case, and 90% of my job, I’m doing it with a Leica M6, it’s a rangefinder camera. So it’s very small, it ha a 35mm lens and I don’t carry any lenses. So most of the time I’m working with one body and one lens. That makes my life very easy because I don’t have to take [the specific] kind of camera and lenses I’m working with. But recently I started to work also in the panoramic format so I have an old panoramic camera and they don’t make it anymore, it’s called “Widelux”, it has one lens that’s a 26mm lens and it’s a panoramic camera so the lens is so [inaudible] and so it photographs 140 degrees. These are the two cameras I’m mostly carrying and, just in case, I carry one digital camera but I usually don’t photograph with it. So I still mostly photograph on film.

10) I have always been interested in the world of photography. I imagine these photos in colour… I’d ask you: Dou you like black and white or colour photos more? by doraimon

As I just said, sometimes I photograph in colours, it’s just to be a [inaudible] of colours.

I usually prefer black & white over colour. 99% I think that the black & white images are much more powerful than [colour] images basically, it’s just a personal preference, I think I can express myself much better in black & white images. But I also think that some photographers… I really enjoy looking at their colour images. Sometimes I really enjoy taking colour images but overall probably less than 5% of the images I like are in colour.


11) Some critics say that press photographers take such impacting photos that they must be paying the photo’s subjects. How true is that? And can one set up a photo under those circumstances?by mitomano

I’m generally totally against this. I know that some photographers might do that but I think it’s the worst thing you can do in jour job. I mean, in advertising photography it’s a very common thing to pay for the models; but [the kind of] photography I’m doing, it’s basically like documentary photography, so there’s no way I pay for images and there’s no way set up images, so I don’t tell people what to do, I am there to photograph what they’re doing. Having said that I understand that even the presence of a photographer can change the situation but I try to minimize my impact and I try to photograph what’s happening and I don’t try at all to photograph what’s not happening so I don’t imagine things and then try to set it up, I do the opposite. I go to places, I witness the events and I photograph what’s happening.

Do you think there are a lot of press photographers that pay for and set up their pictures?

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