Luca Ellena is a young and dynamic photographer from Fribourg, Switzerland. He likes to visit places around the world and document the life of people and pulsating cities. He shoots with both digital and film cameras. His street work is full of surprise, color and humor.
About me : I am Luca, 19 years old living in Switzerland in a small town near the alps. At the moment I am working at a school for disabled children where I support the teachers during the day. However I will start university in the summer of 2017. Maybe I will try to start photography studies somewhere, but I am not quite sure yet. As my dad is a professional photographer I‘ve been in touch with photography since my very earliest days. Nonetheless I wasn‘t really interested in photography until I was about 15 years old. At this age I started taking the casual landscape or macro photographs which already exist like a thousand times.
After some time I got interested in more documentary style photographs when browsing through the photo books of my dad and was most impressed by the work of Sebastiao Salgado and, of course, Henri Cartier-Bresson. Those impressions combined with traveling with my dad for many times made me change my style. Nowadays I do still take some nature shots, mostly for my project called ‘Nature, Grain and Simplicity’ which is shot on color negative film.
My artist statement / methods : In my city series I try to capture human beings with its surroundings to give an overview of a city. I don‘t give myself any limitations regarding the genre, so people will discover an architecture shot or street portrait from time to time. When shooting in a city I usually take with me my Olympus OM10 II with a 17mm f/1.8 Lens (=34mm). The Lens is very fast and the body has a nice image-stabilization. But the most important point is that both lens and body are very small and handy, what makes the camera much easier to carry around than a huge DSLR. When working analogue I either use the Olympus OM2n with different lenses or the Olympus 35RC, one of the smallest 35mm rangefinders.
Furthermore I work on ‘Nature, Grain and Simplicity’, a project focusing on minimalistic and symmetric nature images. With this project I wanted to create an antipole to regular landscape shots we see everyday. Those pictures seem very sterile and clean to me. I try to create pictures which are imperfect, with much grain and exaggerated colors.
Then I have just started a new project about what we humans leave on our planet once we won‘t be here anymore. The first images will be uploaded to the website during the next few weeks.
My influences : Like already mentioned, I was attracted by the work of several contemporary street photographers and documentary photographers such as Sebastiao Salgado, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Gary Windogrand or Joel Meyerowitz. However, the person who really inspired me and still inspires me every day is my dad Charles Ellena. He is an awesome street, press and documentary photographer and was actually featured on this page about one year ago. He gives me tips, honest critique of my work and sometimes we visit a city together.