• the pictorial mag

in conversation with: JOSE LUIS BLACH LEYENDA

For Jose Luis Blach Leyenda, every small improvement in his photography is a win! Jose Luis is an autodidact living in The Netherlands who only just started photography a few years ago when he picked up a camera seeking to capture the streets and its architecture.


Tell us a bit more about yourself and your background. When and how did you start getting interested in photography?

I have a technical background and work in a Medical Device Company. My interests have always been on Architecture, Interior Design and History (civilizations). Photography has always been there as a kind of nostalgia of the film days when my father shot on film.

About 4 years ago I went to Japan Tokyo on vacation and bought myself an Olympus OMD EM5 with a 35mm and a telephoto lens 175mm to capture my summer vacation and was curious to experience it through photography. I was a little overwhelmed by Tokyo as a street photography city with all its lights and buzzing streets. I was shooting on full automatic because at that point hadn’t figured out the triangle of photography as well as metering and more technical stuff that I wasn’t at that point much familiar.

"Life hasn’t no limitations, except the ones you make."

Where do you find your inspiration?

From interior magazines, architecture buildings, museums and by watching the streets and absorbing all kind of fields .

I have always been interested in art actually.

Is there anything particular you want to express through your photography? And what are some of the elements you always try to include in your photographs?

I try to let the photography speak by itself or at least give an expression that characterize my photography. Let others judge...

It can be a moment a spot or a subject passing by and frame it to make the overhaul an interesting perspective. Freeze the moment!

Are there any books that you have read that have inspired your creativity and that you would like to recommend to us?

I live at The Hague in the Netherlands and visit several times the Escher Museum and read the Escher journals by the graphic Dutch artist.

Do you prefer to shoot alone or with friends?

Prefer to shoot alone and concentrate on the street commuters and random people that I find interesting or shooting architecture and trying to find lights and shadows that can add more to it.

Who are your favourite artists/photographers? Who has mostly influenced your style?

Fan Ho has an amazing style of shooting and I casually got his name from a YouTube channel about photography and Hong Kong that I was following.

Where is your favourite place to shoot?

Rotterdam because of its modern architecture...London City for its small streets and alleys against high buildings, the Brutalism buildings and the vibe on the streets...Berlin with its mix of modern and old buildings, museums and also the mixture of pop culture and people...Oporto because of its modern mixed with old...Santiago de Compostela in Spain especially the impressive Gaia’s Center Museum, an architecture masterpiece of multiple buildings and granite shapes on top of Mt. Gaia. By the way, an architecture photography a must see.

How does the equipment you use help you in achieving your vision in your photography? Do you have a preferred lens/focal length?

A few years I wanted to change my Olympus OMD and decided after watching reviews on the Fujifilm X system and was quite excited about its handling with the dedicated buttons and the sensor of the X Pro 1 and the well known film simulations. It's a tool but actually I like the handling very much .

I started with a 23mm f2.0 and tried to frame a story and then switched to a 58mm Optic Meyer new lens with a vintage look for street . Now I have a telephoto R mount lens 135mm with an adapter to try minimalistic architecture and experience something different and have another perspective of shooting .

Have you ever been involved in the artistic world before photography?

I have always been in a certain way attracted to it but no!

Are there any special projects you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about?

Not really but I wish I can make ideas ongoing to improve my skills as a different way of shooting. Maybe more abstract.

What are some of your goals as an artist? Where do you see yourself or hope to see yourself in five years?

Improve my skills and find consistency on my work and try to see photography from different angles and perspectives.

“When I am not out photographing, I (like to)…”

Like to read biographies and also about Ancient Rome civilization as visit museums and archeological sites if I am on a short vacations.

Thanks Jose Luis!

All photos © Jose Luis Blach Leyenda

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