artist spotlight: moises levy

Moises Portrait-2

Portrait – Moises Levy (c) Moises Levy

 

If you had to describe your overall photographic vision in 25 words or less, what words would you choose?

I try to express, with the fewest possible elements, emotions that reach the viewer and connect with his or her interior.

"Water Tree 5" (c) Moises Levy

“Water Tree 5” (c) Moises Levy

Why are you so drawn to long exposure photography?

I love how reality can change when a scene is registered for a longer time; it becomes magic. You can sometimes think that it is not a regular scene. It acquires a different dimension.

Why do you prefer black and white photography?

I have always thought that black and white photography is more conceptual because there is no distraction from the color– and it focuses exclusively on shapes and textures. Color has some advantages but it is not that conceptual and basic.

Who are three of your favorite photographers, and, more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?

I have always felt a bond with minimalist photographers. I love when the boundaries between photography and drawing fade away, when extreme compositions seem as if they were drawn with carbon or pencil. This is where my education as an architect influences my photographic work.

Michael Kenna’s scenes seem to be so carefully composed that it looks as if such scenes were staged by him.  Alfred Stiegletz and Edward Steichen’s platinum palladium prints have such control over light that they seem to be hand painted.  I feel the same about their textures.

What artistic influences, outside of photography, have had a significant influence on how you approach your photography (for example, painters, filmmakers, musicians, poets, etc.)?

"Prada 1" (c) Moises Levy

“Prada 1” (c) Moises Levy

  • Van Gogh: I really admire the contrasts and textures, the integrity handled in every one of his works; each has a carefully studied concept.
  • Mozart: The way he links the minimum with the supreme … how he moves from the worldly to the divine.
  • Tadao Ando: I love the purity and simplicity of his schemes, the simplicity of his shapes, and the way he manages light within spaces.

What are your thoughts about trying to find the best gear possible versus working on making the best possible image with the gear you already have?

I often find myself composing a fabulous scene with only a regular camera and without additional gear. I also very frequently carry sophisticated gear, including several cameras, and am unable to find the proper scene, light or favorable circumstances to create an image. In photography, it is important, undoubtedly, to have nice gear, but I have encountered many photographers that carry state of the art equipment, but they haven’t committed to training their eye. Images are not created with just state of the art gear. One must also have aesthetic training and an artistic background, both of which are even more important than the gear itself.

How would you define fine art? Is it just a label?

Fine Art means achieving an image that transcends the ordinary to become art. To achieve it, you must have a previous vision of what you plan to create before even getting to the location. Fine Art means closing your eyes and imagining how you want your image to look and what you want to achieve. It is not only creating a beautiful image; it is, even more importantly, creating something that transcends aesthetics, something that reaches and moves the spectator’s interior.

"La Balandra" (c) Moises Levy

“La Balandra” (c) Moises Levy

If you had to come up with one very important lesson that you think every photographer needs to learn, what would it be?

The most important lesson is something I am always learning during every photographic session: Adapt yourself to the circumstances; photographic work is unpredictable. As photographers, many of us spend a lot of time planning routes, time frames, weather, etc., but when we arrive to the location we always find something inconvenient, which might either block our creativity or help us. Improvisation, which is as important as the camera itself, must be part of our gear.

What are your thoughts about the benefits of online sharing? Are there any particular social media or image sharing sites you prefer or do not prefer?

I think that the digital revolution has had a tremendous impact on how all information is shared, but photography has certainly been one of the most affected activities.  We all know the advantages but we must be careful with the risks it brings. But here is where I want to go deeper.  While the speed in which images are rendered and shared through the online world is impressive,  it also makes me think about how disposable photography may become.  Many photographers spend very little time composing and creating their images. Having access to so many images can make us creatively lazy, many becoming copycats. I think that it is very important to always cultivate our vision and avoid being overwhelmed by the flood of images that are available on all the online sites.

My favorite sites are Flickr and Google+. I think that there are some other interesting sites such as 500px, but I don’t have time to engage very many sites and keep them updated. It can become so time demanding that your own work may be in jeopardy due to lost time socializing.

What photographic cliché or common photography question, if any, irritates you the most?

"Bandon" (c) Moises Levy

“Bandon” (c) Moises Levy

By far the most annoying question is: Do you process your photos in Photoshop or they are natural? Photoshop is merely another tool in the creative process. Tools have always existed that help one to create and edit photography; just take a look at the analogical work created by Jerry Uelsmann.

Photographic prints have always been edited in the darkroom.

If you were stranded on an island, and you could have one camera, one lens, one filter, one tripod, two books, and ten CDs, what would they be and why?

  1. The Bible: I think that it would be a nice time to discover its wisdom.
  2. Don Quixote of La Mancha: situations that arise in the book seem to me too interesting and ingenious.

My favorite music has always been a mixed salad; only one genre may result in boredom.

  1. Mozart Requiem
  2. Mozart Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
  3. Coltrane Saxophone Colossus
  4. Sonny Rollins Tenor Madness
  5. Joaquin Sabina Best
  6. Leonard Cohen Songs from the Road
  7. Silvio Rodriguez Best
  8. Jason Mraz Love is a Four Letter Word
  9. Vivaldi Four Seasons
  10. Supertramp Breakfast in America

Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?

"Path" (c) Moises Levy

“Path” (c) Moises Levy

I think long exposure photography has reached a point where much of what is being done has become repetitive; it is now a real challenge for every photographer to find his own vision and avoid repeating what has already been done many times. It is always a challenge for any photographer to find his or her vision and not repeat what has been repeatedly produced. My vision is sometimes very ambitious. There are a lot of fronts that I am willing to cover with my images. I really like long exposure, night photography, textures and street photography.

Is there any specific place that you would like to visit to take photos? I am, once again, most interested in the why.

Iceland and Japan: lots of water, waterfalls, beaches, rocks, and incredible weather for my kind of photography.

Is there anything else you wish to add?

It seems to me that long exposure photography is facing a point where very few photographers have something new to offer. We have fallen into a cycle of copy and repeat, which is very important to be aware of and to avoid. Every day I encounter photographers that repeat scenes and compositions that have been over used. The actual challenge is to create new proposals that link with the spectator and move his interior.

If you feel up to it, try and write a haiku that expresses something about your overall photographic direction.

Thick fog lifts
unfortunately, I am where
I thought I was

————————————————————————————————————————————

Explore more of Moises’ photography: Website

————————————————————————————————————————————

Spotlight on Three Images

“Lighting tree” (c) Moises Levy Trees have a special meaning within the human mind and even more when mixed with light.  They represent a divine concept. I think this image is powerful because it mixes several concepts: Light (Lighting) Dawn (Restart) Soledad (Being alone) It's an image that makes the viewer's vision penetrate the composition. This image has a special meaning for me because I took with several friends who told me that this was an almost impossible image. I ran to this place from far away while I visualized the image. I knew  that there was an image there as several factors were coming together to create a special moment I shot several exposures due to the difficulty of the backlight and manually took the best of each in Photoshop.

“Lighting Tree” (c) Moises Levy
Trees have a special meaning within the human mind and even more when mixed with light. They represent a divine concept. I think this image is powerful because it mixes several concepts:
Light (Lighting)
Dawn (Restart)
Soledad (Being alone)
It’s an image that makes the viewer’s vision penetrate the composition.
This image has a special meaning for me because I took with several friends who told me that this was an almost impossible image. I ran to this place from far away while I visualized the image. I knew that there was an image there as several factors were coming together to create a special moment
I shot several exposures due to the difficulty of the backlight and manually took the best of each in Photoshop.

“Ready” (c) Moises Levy Ready is a symmetrical image that was hard to resist, combining static elements with moving ones that match their movement via a symmetrical composition with highly contrasting elements that blend with soft elements and invite the viewer to participate in the adventure. When I first saw a person in this boat it looked insignificant, but I knew it had potential for a powerful image, so I asked him if he would let me take a portrait of the boat. I took advantage of the elements: clouds, water, perspective and a beautiful boat, as well as some details that at the time may have seemed insignificant. It is, in part, a symmetrical image but those seemingly insignificant details ultimately break that symmetry.

“Ready” (c) Moises Levy
Ready is a symmetrical image that was hard to resist, combining static elements with moving ones that match their movement via a symmetrical composition with highly contrasting elements that blend with soft elements and invite the viewer to participate in the adventure.
When I first saw a person in this boat it looked insignificant, but I knew it had potential for a powerful image, so I asked him if he would let me take a portrait of the boat. I took advantage of the elements: clouds, water, perspective and a beautiful boat, as well as some details that at the time may have seemed insignificant. It is, in part, a symmetrical image but those seemingly insignificant details ultimately break that symmetry.

“Fusion” (c) Moises Levy My photographic vision is composed of high-contrast elements enriched with elements that have a rich tonal range. “Fusion” is an example of how the high contrasts may be accompanied by a rich tonal range. The composition is interesting because it takes the diagonal from above (right) and bottom (left). There are moments in photography that should be exploited. I visited this pier with some photographer friends one evening, and I was the only who decided to take the pier with backlighting. I thought I was doing something wrong, but after capturing the chiaroscuro with such great strength I knew it was the right decision. Then I waited for the sun to enter between the structure to capture the moment. Sometimes patience pays well.

“Fusion” (c) Moises Levy
My photographic vision is composed of high-contrast elements enriched with elements that have a rich tonal range. “Fusion” is an example of how the high contrasts may be accompanied by a rich tonal range. The composition is interesting because it takes the diagonal from above (right) and bottom (left).
There are moments in photography that should be exploited. I visited this pier with some photographer friends one evening, and I was the only who decided to take the pier with backlighting. I thought I was doing something wrong, but after capturing the chiaroscuro with such great strength I knew it was the right decision. Then I waited for the sun to enter between the structure to capture the moment. Sometimes patience pays well.

The Gallery Selection

 

"Water Tree" (c) Moises Levy"Water Tree" (c) Moises Levy"La Balandra" (c) Moises Levy"Bandon" (c) Moises Levy"Path" (c) Moises Levy"Bull" (c) Moises Levy"3 postes en Brooklin bridge" (c) Moises Levy"Gondola and Cruice" (c) Moises Levy"5 Gondolas" (c) Moises Levy"3 Gondolas" (c) Moises Levy"My Boat 4" (c) Moises Levy"My Boat" (c) Moises Levy"Bicycles" (c) Moises Levy"Mr Eiffel" (c) Moises Levy"I have an Idea" (c) Moises Levy"Prada 1" (c) Moises Levy"Piscina en la Habana" (c) Moises Levy

All images on this page are protected by copyright and may not be used for any purpose without Moises Levy‘s permission.
The text on this page is protected by copyright and may not be used for any purpose without Moises Levy or Nathan Wirth‘s permission.

17 Comments

  1. Linda Hill March 29, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

    I love your connection with the earth and nature. I am particularly passionate about the trees you have captured – their stillness, solitude and tenacity in the often harsh and unforgiving environments they manage to survive. My eye was immediately drawn to the spectacular light and subject matter of these monochromatic images. My preference is always for the natural elements, in fact all the artwork in my home has a common theme of water, sand, rocks, trees, or native wildlife.
    Suffice to say I am extremely pleased to have found your work – it has given me hours of pleasure.
    I’m from Australia and I think you should make a trip ‘down under’ to capture some of our incredible landscapes with your magic touch.

  2. Moshe Bar January 25, 2014 at 6:58 am #

    Great interview, Moises. I really love your photographs and I love that water plays such an important role in them. Moshe

  3. Guillermo Bruno November 6, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    Exelente manifestacion de arte copn fotos

  4. Vicky August 1, 2013 at 12:11 am #

    Artista maravilloso! Creativo! Me siento privilegiada de tener fotografías de Moisés q iluminan la casa! Gracias y mucho éxito!

  5. Vicky August 1, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    Creativo! Me honro en tener fotografías de Moisés q iluminan la casa?
    Gracias!

  6. Violeta Levy July 26, 2013 at 1:54 am #

    Muy orgullosa de ser hermana de Moises y tener en mi casa esas fotos q inspiran, dan paz y mucha elegancia…. Te quiero hermano, todo mi orgullo para ti.

  7. Jenny Cohen July 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Fotos que inspiran, trabajo extraordinario.
    Orgullo de tener a Mioses cerca, orgullo de su entrega y pasión.

  8. Frida Dabbah July 25, 2013 at 5:47 am #

    Hermosas imágenes, muy inspiradoras e intensas,
    Se nota tu entrega y dedicación en ésta, tu gran pasión, así como la perfección con la que tomas y creas cada una.
    Te felicito por tu gran trabajo. Como siempre estoy muy orgullosa de ti. Te deseo todo el éxito!!!
    Frida

  9. Emilio Cohen July 23, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    Moises: this images are powerful, they invite me to seat and meditate for hours just by looking the subtle beauty of this scenes.
    im deeply admired by your work and words!

  10. Fanny July 21, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    Moy es un gran artista por la dedicación
    que imprime en todo lo que hace,cuidando
    siempre hasta los más mínimos detalles pero
    por encima de eso es un gran ser humano y
    su obra constantemente lo refleja.
    Felicidades me encanta tu obra.

  11. emilio behar July 21, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    moises tiene un gran talento que lo ha llevado , no solo en la fotografia , sino en todo lo que hace , poniendo mucho cuidado en los detalles de todo lo que realiza …
    en especial la fotografia , de la cual me siento muy orgulloso de ser su amigo.

    muchas felicidades Moze !!!

  12. Miguel Cabezas July 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    Moises realiza unas fotografías extraordinarias llenas de mucha elegancia y saber hacer, mucho talento, Moises!

  13. Juan Eugui July 20, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    I really like Moises’ work. He is a great photographer and a better friend.

  14. Diana July 20, 2013 at 3:30 am #

    Me encanta como en una misma imagen la estática y el movimiento crean un efecto muy especial al igual que los contrastes de luz y texturas que transmiten sensaciones mágicas… Más allá de la realidad… Me encanta tu fotografía! Gracias por compartir un poco más de lo que hay detrás de estas obras y de lo que te inspira. Es un gusto poder tener algunas de tus obras y apreciarlas cada día! Un abrazo!

  15. Pablo Meyer July 19, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    Moi, como siempre, un gran trabajo. Creo que ya es hora de dejar los tabiques y dedícate a esto!!
    Un abrazo,

    Pablo

  16. Xavi Fuentes July 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    Tones of grey, “minimal” processing and best of all: Powerful composition.
    I discovered Moises Levy several years ago I and Still enjoying his images. Every new one makes me smile :-)
    Very interesting interview, thanks for share it.
    Keep up the good work
    Xavi

  17. Adina July 19, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    Amazing artist. His photography is, at the same time, so real and so ethereal. I am one of the lucky few to have an original work of his at home

    It looks like I might now need anotherone

Post a Reply to Jenny Cohen

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*