Pini Hamou is a wonderful photographer from Israel. When we first saw his wonderful female portraiture at Flickr we were spellbound with the sheer visual pleasure his conceptual and fine-art images provide. They are so mesmerizing- the lovely feminine figures placed in minimalistic yet very creatively managed spaces bring out the magic with use of fantastic props and artifacts. You are sure to fall in love with those lovely ladies! Later we explored his website and found Pini’s exceptional projects covering Jewish and other culture and traditions, travel portraits of people around the world, some very impressive nature shots specially those of birds and water bodies. Pini is simply pure inspiration for young artists and lovers of great photography. For this post he’s provided some of his conceptual/fine-art portraits of beauties. Please do visit his website and explore more of this amazing photographer. Here’s our simple interview with Pini Hamou:
I am 46, I was born in Israel and I live in the suburbs of Tel Aviv. I like art from an early age, I started painting, and then I studied graphic design and photography. I combine my art with my work. I teach Photography and Art history and photography workshops at various places.
Visual Arts has always attracted me for long. Ever since I was a little kid I was into drawing. When I was 15 I bought my first camera, it was a simple Agfa Film Camera. When I had to choose a profession, I chose to study Graphic Design, and a few years later I also began to study photography.
Tell us why you like shooting images:
Photography for me is a continuation of my painting. I feel like I’m painting with a camera. I love the immediacy of photography. Photography is instantaneous, it happens at the touch of a button on the camera, and you can immediately see the result on the camera’s monitor, unlike painting, that can take many months,
The photos I take vary in topics. I shoot documentary, nature, and recently I’ve been taking photos of art and concept. I have lenses that fit each subject. Wide view lens for landscape and telephoto lens for nature. I take the Canon 5D Mark II camera for shooting portraits. The Lenses I use the most are the 50 mm 1.4 and the Canon 2.8 24-70. The 50 mm is my preferred choice it is very easy and has a very wide aperture that helps in poor lighting conditions and allows me to shoot photos with shallow depth of field.
I try to plan ahead for the photo that I take, and put in the frame exactly what I want. In Documentary and Nature photography, I don’t do any processing apart from color and contrast corrections, or easy conversion to black and white. In Art Photography, I take my ideas and my fantasies so I have lots of freedom during shooting and processing and I make arrangements adapted to any image, I plan in advance the photo shoot and I know what I can make, while shooting and what I will have to work
on later on the computer.
In the commercial field, I work with large organizations and government offices in Israel. Photography and Design for the Israeli Stamps post office, The National Railway and more. In the Art Photography, I have won several photo contests and I have had photo exhibits in galleries and museums throughout Israel.
All my photography starts with an idea, many ideas come from my background in Art History. Before filming I prepare a sketch or drawing and plan how to process it: what will be the most suitable location and who will be the best model to convey my ideas. Because I prefer to shoot in natural light, I wait for the perfect time and light for photography. Usually I take shots in the afternoon, when the sun is soft, and has good color and shadows.
I work with the same models that I have lots in common with. The atmosphere is very important during the filming, the atmosphere should be relaxed and not stressed. It is important to take breaks so that we don’t get tired. I’d rather not have lots of people during the shoot, it’s usually just me, an assistant helping and the model. Other people drive me and the model out of concentration.
While filming it is important to see all the details of the whole picture .The body language and expression of the model, the background behind her, the lighting, the folds on the clothes that shouldn’t be problematic… these are some of the aspects we need to constantly monitor.
It is hard for me to define artistically, what contemporary photography is. People today take shoots in a huge variety of styles and techniques. But technically, the digital photography gives a lot of positive options for photography… but it also has many disadvantages. In the past during the period of film photography I had to think before shooting. Today I see a lot of pictures that aren’t well thought because photographers shoot tens and hundreds of images in each session with the intention to get at least a few good picture. Nowadays people post a lot of photos that are very similar to each others’ photos.
My ambitions for the future are to continue to enjoy the photography. I hope that the viewers of my photos will continue to love them.
Any words to share with our readers and new photographers:
The advice I can give photographers is to enjoy photography. Process your images well and review the results again and again. Share and accept criticism in order to improve upon and excel in photography.
Note: All images used with permission. Please do not copy or distribute without the approval of the photographer.