Despite living in Mexico City his whole life, Moises Levy’s photographical work is not particularly urban. He began his photographic odyssey nearly 20 years ago when he discovered how to combine his love for nature with his love for beauty through landscape photography.
As an architect, Moises Levy is singularly concerned with the manner in which light both defines and interacts with spatial environments. Whether he’s focused on a line of saplings reflected in still water, a lonely tree bearing witness to the passing darkness, or huge rocks sculpted by time into strange and wondrous shapes. Levy treats natural forms as if they were carefully designed man-made constructions.
Levy’s landscape imagery is distinguished by its minimalism where he tries to include as few visual elements as possible and still create a sense of mystery and complexity.
Levy shared a selection of images shot on a trip to Iceland with his Phase One camera system, equipped with the new IQ260 digital back. Having an interesting approach to landscape photography, we got to know more about his work.
"I couldn´t believe I could achieve so incredible results without any complicated setting, the menu is very clear and straightforward to use and everything is at hand."
Your final images are often black and white, but some of the images you shared are color edits, why?
I think photography it´s about forms and texture, it´s very conceptual. I usually work with color when I feel the image would loose the basic idea I try to convey. For example the image,Tired Trees (Image1), is almost BW and the few color spots in the scene are very important. The image is the story about the tired trees that are loosing almost all their leaves; the only leaves that are left represent the change from autumn to winter. Converting this image to B&W could lose some of its essence.
I’ve made a big print of the final image (240x100 cm) on cotton paper to give it a hand painted look. I like the small portions of color over the neutral color of the scene.
When and why did you choose to invest in a Phase One camera system and the IQ260 in particular?
I love working manually with digital medium format cameras. I have more control over the scene and the composition. I’ve tried to switch to 35mm DSLRs to make my workflow faster, but I always felt I lost something in the process. So, finally I made the decision to invest in the IQ260 digital back and keep a digital workflow without compromising image quality when shooting long exposures, in essence get bigger and better images.
Has the IQ260 lived up to your expectations?
The IQ260 is incredible. It is so easy to use. In the beginning I felt I was doing something wrong, I couldn´t believe I could achieve so incredible results without any complicated setting, the menu is very clear and straightforward to use and everything is at hand. I tend to get lost in my DSLR’s camera options.
The main reasons why I chose the IQ260 was for its long exposure capabilities. I can keep shooting my long exposure images without any loss of quality and keep using the very best optics. Additionally, I have to mention the sensor size. It was a big concern for me because I didn´t want to sacrifice my wide angle lenses with a big crop factor, but with the IQ260’s sensor I can capture everything in one shot.
What excites you as a photographer?
I like to discover and find new ways to look at iconic places and create magic, which others don´t see at first sight. I was on a trip to Iceland in 2013 with some friends and we were photographing at Skogafoss. After 2 hours I didn´t feel I had captured anything special, I discovered a small puddle in the ground and I knew that there was something to exploit and I captured one of my favorite images from that trip (Image 2). I don’t know if the image is extraordinarily special or maybe it is just the fact I saw something new, something that nobody saw in that moment.
"It was a big concern for me because I didn´t want to sacrifice my wide angle lenses with a big crop factor, but with the IQ260’s sensor I can capture everything in one shot."
What are your photographic aspirations for 2014?
I have already planed several photographic adventures to incredible places such New Zealand, Africa, and the West Coast of the U.S. And now with my IQ260, I’m so excited to go to even more locations all around the world.