As much as I love learning from the Masters, I’ve been wanting to incorporate some photographers from our generation. Although there’s a lot of noise to sip through, we do have some very unique creators as well. Anthony Stagg is such creator.
I am ashamed to say that I was not aware of Anthony’s until recently. He purchased my current ebook and this brought me to his sight. His work intrigued me and I got in contact so that we can talk a little more about his series. What drew me to want to know more is his vision and this what I would like to share with you all.
This series is a must to share with all of you….
1 – What led you to pick up a camera for the first time? Your earliest interest in photography. What triggered it and when did you start?
I think the reason I love photography is because of films. Yes, it is paradoxical – a film shows a moving image. But films tell us stories in breathtaking pictures. It has always fascinated me. I want to freeze that magical moment in which every detail, every incidence of light and every shadow has a meaning and an aesthetic reason.
In 2006 I bought my first SLR camera. I started to take a serious look at photography and absorbed everything on it. Unfortunately after 10 years I fell into a creative hole and left my camera there for almost 3 years. I had lost interest and just couldn’t find any way out.I lacked any creativity and had no drive. I think every artist goes through this phase. Fortunately, after a long time, I found joy in photography again and was able to continue my visual creative process.
2 – The majority of your photography concentrates on architecture. What intrigues you about this subject and why?
It has always fascinated me to stand in front of a building, to be amazed, to explore every aspect, every line, every window and to enjoy the beauty. A building has the function of creating a living space for us. But at the same time, each building has its own personality through its visual appearance. There are such fascinating buildings on our planet and it doesn’t matter whether it is the „Colosseum”, „The Pyramids of Giza” or „The Shard”. Architecture invites us to discover, to be amazed, discuss and criticize. The exhibition “Tidirium” pays homage to the art of architecture.
3 – I came across your “Tidirium” exhibition and the concept really intrigues me. What made you start the series?
Due to the Corona crisis, I was unable to pursue my actual job as a Film and TV editor. All productions were discontinued and there was nothing fresh to cut. But I wanted to use the time at home and be creative. If you can’t go to the museum or to a photo exhibition, you have to use the internet for a digital exhibition. Of course, this is not the same as at a public exhibition but under the circumstances it was the best idea to bring all interested people closer to my artistic vision.
4 – Can you please explain the principle behind it?
The core idea behind „Tidirium” is that all buildings and objects that are shown exist, but they have been changed by small details and secret tricks in post-production. This creates new visual aesthetic approaches. It’s not about statics, functions or feasibility. It’s about breaking barriers and restrictions.
5 – If you can choose 2 favourite images from the series, which 2 will it be and why?
My two favorite pictures are “Noah’s Ark II” and “Katura”. In 2020, the modern version of the ark symbolizes the path we will take as humans. Whether it’s the corona crisis or the Black Lives Matter movement – you can feel anger, doubt, hope, fear, worry and helplessness in society. The question is, will we climb into the ark together and drive as a human being to a better future? I just don’t know and that scares me. The ark is meant to remind us that we inhabit and share this planet together. Every life counts. Every life has a meaning.
The “Katura” image is based on the Petronas TwinTowers in Malaysia. This building ultimately shaped my interest in architecture. Visiting the Twin Towers was the trigger for my passion for architecture. I love these reflections and razor-sharp edges. When you stand in front of this building, you are simply impressed. I just added two more towers to the building. As a result, the rhythmic patterns and reflections seem to repeat themselves endlessly. The building looks almost like a monstrous machine.
6 – What is photography to you?
Photography is like having a time machine. It allows us to freeze a moment or to accelerate it. Photography is time. It keeps track of events for eternity and for generations after us. Photography has become an integral part of our culture. In many 100 years, if hopefully, we still exist it will tell people who we were. In my eyes that is a precious treasure.
7 – How much thought and planning do you put into your work while taking an image and later, during post processing
It is actually very different. It happens from time to time that I approach a motif without any preparation and just get started. Sometimes it works well, but sometimes it works for the bin. It usually makes sense to prepare for a picture. The search for motifs, angles, lines, incidence of light to optimally photograph the RAW image will save you time in post-processing. In post-processing, I usually limit myself to minor corrections such as retouching, gradients or object removal. It is about minimal corrections and not about making Buckingham Palace out of a bus stop.
8 – Can you name 3 photographers who’s work affected your approach to your photography
Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Alan Schaller, Jay Vulture.
9- I am familiar with Jay Vulture and Alan Schaller but not Yan Arthus-Bertrand. Vulture and Schaller work are quite different other than it being black and white. What in particular about their work influenced yours?
My first photo book was about Yann Arthus-Bertrand. “New York from the air”. I was blown away by his aerial photos and that was the moment when I understood the importance of architecture for me personally. The buildings with the many different architectural styles and countless details had a magical effect on me. So I started to slowly approach architecture photography. Many years later, when I became addicted to Instagram, I discovered Jay Vulture and Alan Schaller. Vulture’s long exposure architectural images in black are beautiful and absolutely aesthetic. Everything in black and white, that brings me to the next photographer. Alan Schaller’s black and white photos look like paintings to me. His street photography is often so minimalistically beautiful and focuses on certain aspects. That inspired me and sparked the joy of black and white in me. I love to use only shades of grey, this draws the viewer’s attention to certain details and you can also create dramatic scenes. It is simply a timeless style that will never lose its fascination. At least not for me. I’m sure.
10 – What artistic influences outside of photography have had a significant influence on how you approach your photography?
This question brings me back to my love of Movies. Movies influence me the most to get new inspiration. Science fiction films play a major role in this. Films from the eighties like “Blade Runner” fascinate me because of the production design and the architectural visions. Or in Star Wars, for example, the industrial city in the clouds called “Bespin”. I like to be inspired by it and also make allusions to certain aspects of a film.
11 – This question is asked often but I will ask it anyway. If you had to come up with one very important lesson that you think every photographer needs to learn, what would it be?
I think the most important lesson is patience. Take your time for a picture. It’s not about generating as much output as possible. It is about implementing your visual idea. Don’t be put under pressure. Feel the light, feel your surroundings and feel the story you want to tell. If you feel the magic in the moment of the photo, the viewer will feel it as well.
12 – Last question is about the future. What direction do you see your photography in the future?
I have no concrete plans for the future in terms of style, genre or certain concepts. A director once told me “Go with the flow”. Projects and ideas mostly arise from unexpected situations or inspiration. I think you shouldn’t commit yourself to something that blocks the creative process and your own development. But I am really excited to see what kind of project I will do next.
Thank you to Anthony for trusting me to tell his story. We are looking to collaborate on some work together and I would love to share this with you in the future. To see the full series and if you have any questions for him, please click on https://didirrio.wixsite.com/didirrioart.
Although it is easy to see why this series is unique, each image is uniquely strong and his vision is felt through. I can’t wait to see what he creates next…..