Interviews / Stories
Interview: Photographer: Relroy Eldad Pnini (Israel)
Tell us something about yourself
I am Eldad Pnini, an artist from Tel Aviv, Israel. I am 43 years old working as a graphic designer and photographer in an advertising agency and also photographs in my spare time
How and when did you get into photography?
At a young age I started painting. Painting was my whole world. I studied art and painting at an extension school of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. My studies included classes in painting, colors techniques, models drawing, still life and more. it was then that I fell in love with the human figure.
At age 15 I bought a camera and I started taking pictures. At first I enthusiastically photographed houses, my family, objectsֹ I photographed almost everything. I didn’t go to study photography. I just taught myself, by trial and error. I studied the camera, the speed, the exposure, and got to know the camera in general.
in a later stage While studying Anatomy and model painting, I used to take pictures of other angles, other details of the model in order to complete my drawings later. I took pictures just in order to get to know and understand the technical aspects of the camera.
I began to fall in love again with the camera and turned to photograph more and more. In one of the drawing classes the instructor told me that I can develop the film and enlarge the photographs in the school laboratory. Thus I was exposed to the world of photography.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography is my way to express and reveal my secret dreams, thoughts and feelings. I am using the camera as my “paintbrush”
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
My photography style is Art Nude. I live in Israel, a small country where everyone knows each other, and the subject of nudes is a very sensitive one, due to the religious aspect.
People here are not open enough to the subject of nudity; nudes cannot be displayed publicly and galleries and museums are always wary of nudes, because a small part of the population is upset by nudity. I am saddened that people give in to their dictates.
I think all the time how to bring in my imagination and thoughts wich include nudity into Photography.
In the past several years, the subject of nudes has been breached often and there is a lot more modernization and personal awareness of human and of nudity.
Think you in advance, what you want in the picture?
The final picture is very important to me. I chose fine art nude photography, and there is a lot of thought and ideas behind every photograph.
It is important to me that people will look at the photograph for more than just one second. I want people to see beyond the nude, which immediately catches the eye.
I photograph and also edit photographs on Photoshop, it’s important to me that the photograph looks really perfect, visually perfect. However, if I took the photograph with poor exposure, or open/closed aperture, that is of less importance to me because all of my photographs undergo digital processing and the technical aspect is less significant in the photograph.
Studio, on location or both?
i like them both, It really does not matter to me if it is a studio or location, indoor or outdoor. I prefer to choose the place that fits my idea of the painting
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
For me it is more than a hobby it is much more than that it is my love. From time to time, I am participating in exhibitions sometimes it is my own exhibition and other times it is a group exhibition. What makes it paid professional is that people buy your photographs, so from this point of view I am also a paid professional photographer.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
My most memorable session is my take off for “The Last Supper” painted by Leonardo da Vinci.
I really like the picture and, it spawned many “imitations” and different styles in the world of art. Almost every idea had already been painted or photographed and displayed. I also wanted my own version of “The Last Supper”, this great work of art in my style.
I found a model, set up a photo shoot, and printed out the original painting for that I can explain to the model what I want to achieve and how we are going to photograph this painting. I made two versions of “The Last Supper”, one classical and one “in my style”, something different. My “Last Supper” photographs where created with only one model. The rest of the work I done using Photoshop. In the classical-style photograph, the model and I staged scene after scene while looking at the print, each of the twelve figures in the painting. I stood with a camera and a tripod in the studio with a setting and lighting that I set up.
After I had finished the classical photograph, I moved on to make one according to my own style.
Again, I was with the camera and tripod, the model sat on the set and I staged each scene differently according to the sketch I made.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
My photography began with painting, and at that time I was drawn to surrealist painters.
I love the artist René Magritte. He influenced me by his way of thinking his style and ideas.
Nudes were an integral part of human history and artistic history. From a very young age, I was exposed to nudes. Nudes are a major part of humanity and art. Nudes for me are the source, they symbolize something primal, initial, and a genesis; something sexual, power, weakness, exposure, invasion, beauty, fears, sex, lust, hate, love… almost everything revolves around nudity.
When my wife was in our first pregnancy, I saw from aside this thing called pregnancy and birth. This enchanted me in a way that is difficult to put into words. This period of the pregnancy and the birth occupied my mind a lot… thoughts and imaginings went through my head constantly. During this period I took a lot of photographs about the subject of the female cycle, pregnancy, childbirth, post-birth, and photographs of women and about female awareness gave me inspiration for a lot of photographs. I am drawn to this subject as a female nude is conveying so much.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I am a canon photographer since the beginning. My first camera was a secondhand Canon film camera, which i bought with a set of lenses.
and all over the years I only changed the model and today I'm using digital canon camera 70D and my favorite lens is 50mm/f1.4, I love the angle and sharpness of it.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
I advise photographers who want to photograph Fine Art Nudes to first go to classes for Fine Art Nudes with experienced photographers and teachers, and see and learn how a class with a model is conducted. It’s important to understand that a photography session with a model isn’t a “date” and the photographer isn’t supposed to flirt with the model. The photographer should be very professional and respectful and treat the model with respect. The photographer has to understand something important: it’s difficult sometimes for the model to expose herself in front of the camera, so it’s important to show respect for her.
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