Along with his beautiful experimental work in analogue that instantly captivated us, the Chile-based photographer, Hernán Curtis, stroke another deep impression on us with how he sees the tides of life through the film lens. We loved how Hernán was enthusiastic about sharing his analogue story that remains a work in progress. He shares, ” There is nothing more fortifying than talking about something that generates passion. As inspiration continues to grow, develop, and ferment, nothing can be wrong.”
From his imagery to words, Hernán shows profound meaning within his analogue life, and he’s here to share it with the Lomography Community.
He always likened film for being more cinematic and movie-like compared to the digital format. At first, Hernán thought analogue was difficult but was proven wrong. And when he did get into film photography, it was love at first sight with the Smena 6 – the Soviet Lomographic machine being his first and favorite film camera due to its capability to take multiple exposures. Multiple exposure technique was one of the earliest things he learned and started on, and it was instinctual. Hernán could almost say that this was like a predetermined path that forms him. After discovering the work of Harry Callahan, his love for film photography solidified further.
For Hernán, he and his beloved Smena camera are made for each other – the perfect soulmates.
Hernán is on a relentless expedition in finding and exploring styles, for each day seems to set a different path for him – as shown in his images, at times he prefers to create and imagine surreal universes, and other times he wants to express rarely noticed observations from reality.
When it comes to his multiple exposure shots, he strives to make them harmonic by being mindful of the space, but also by not making his shots predictable. It’s a trial and error process.
On his other name as @perrodeasfalto, he focuses on street photography and daily life. Each image has his soul imbued – what surrounds him, what touches him, what inspires or despairs him, his fears, and his hopes.
“There is much of what has happened to us, in each painting, in each burned and revealed parchment. In my case, I want to overcome the fear of walking and photographing strangers. without neglecting the multiple exposure experience, the soup film, and other secret techniques... [laughs] There is a lot of photography therapy.”
The key to having a unique imprint in photography is authenticity. Hernán stressed out that being honest about yourself and being comfortable with your feelings is what makes one’s photographic signature. However, this does not come at ease for many artists. Fear of failure and making mistakes can hinder – but imperfection is what helps growth. For Hernán, something is always born out of each crack from ideas, thoughts, and the soul.
“Fail as much as possible, that the nature of your soul shelters each photograph. I feel that the main thing is to play... destroy, build, analyze, and replay. Experiment again and again...”
Hernán draws inspiration from everything – from music, feelings, good or bad. Fear and losses also inspire something beautiful in him. In spite of loneliness and the trials of life bring forth creativity. And he also seeks out works from great masters of photography to light his way in times of darkness.
Though he cannot process his new materials due to the pandemic, Hernán continues on with his analogue routine. His experimental work is put on hold and as he is prioritizing his street work with a gritty black and white aesthetic.
“I am losing myself between what the city and its roads want to teach me. I'm just letting myself go.”