Impressed by his fashion portraits taken with the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens, we decided to get to know the photographer behind these beautiful portraits: Gianluca David.
Hi Gianluca, could you introduce yourself to the readers of our Online Magazine?
Introducing myself is the most difficult thing for me, but I'll try: I'm Gianluca, I'm 30 years old, I'm from the Marche region and I'm still figuring out what I'm going to do when I grow up (especially where I'm going to live!) In the meantime I make a living from photography and occasionally videomaking!
Tell us about your photographic background. When did you start your journey into photography?
Skipping the nostalgic, follower-catching part about spending my mum's entire salary on disposable analogue cameras as a kid, I would say that my journey into photography started due to a strong need for change.
2012 was a tremendously tough year, so I decided to enrol at university and start a path that would potentially put me into a totally different reality to the one I was experiencing. And fortunately, so it was.
Today, thanks to that decision, I can manage my life in the way I see fit. I have managed to achieve a lot of satisfaction. Most importantly photography has given me the opportunity to travel!
This fantastic series was shot with our Daguerreotype lens. What are the features you appreciate most about this lens?
Besides the vintage touch (which never hurts) without a doubt the feature I appreciate most is its ability to create a beautiful 'pattern' through the blur! It's not an easy lens to use to be honest (after all, it's a fixed 64 mm with a strong color and aesthetic feature), but whenever I get the chance, I try to use it!
This project seemed tailor-made for it. In fact, as soon as I showed the client company an example of the result that could be achieved, they immediately approved its use. (Thank you Complit)
This lens has a fascinating history and its aesthetic is very different from other lenses. What did you think when you first saw it?
Its aesthetic was a key part of my choice! One of my biggest dualisms is that I have a weakness for flashy things (such as the glittery cover for my phone) despite the fact that I am not too comfortable being the centre of attention. I hate the spotlight (unless I decide to shine it on myself!) I particularly liked the idea of having that silver lens attached to my camera. As soon as I opened the packaging my expectations were even exceeded!
What advice would you give to someone using this lens for the first time?
Probably the first thing to do is to test it! Once you understand how it works you have to be good (and I am not saying that I am) at adapting its constraints to your own concepts and ideas, such as its focal length or changing the pattern of the blur depending on the aperture plate you use.
I, for example, have found my favourite and I plan my works around that specific plate. Then, of course, you have to play with it a lot! I think the best advice is still your Golden Rule "don't think, just shoot!"
Which camera did you use for this series?
When I bought the lens, I decided to get the mount for Canon (my first love, as well as the camera I used for this series), but since I also had an adapter for Sony, I happened to use it on that as well. In both cases, I am very happy with it!
How do you decide whether to shoot on film or digital?
I have a soft spot for analogue. Every project I make for myself, especially photographs that I shoot as 'memories' are shot in analogue. I like digital, I enjoy it and I always want to improve...but film has a warmth all its own. In general, for work I prefer digital, in everyday life I prefer analogue.
What kind of camera equipment can never be missing on your travels?
Travelling has become a nightmare! If it was up to me I would bring EVERYTHING. I've been on holiday in Japan and spent more time deciding what to bring as photograph equipment than choosing places to visit...and I'm not kidding! (And I was there on holiday, I dread to imagine when I go back there specifically to photograph!) Of each of my cameras I appreciate one feature in particular, I wish I could have them all at my fingertips so I could choose as needed (but I suspect I wouldn't be satisfied anyway!) My last purchase was a Canon EOS300. I think I will try to give it priority over everything!
Who are the artists you follow and from whom/what do you draw inspiration for your photos?
Without a doubt this is the most difficult question on the list, the one that most feeds the dualism in me. I will try not to be too long-winded. It always scares me to use the words "art/artist" (they are literally banned words from my socials, if in reference to me). Firstly, because we abuse these terms so much and use them often (literally always!) in the wrong way; secondly, because I banally do not consider myself an artist, nor do I aspire to this title. What I make is not meant to be art (I wouldn't be able to even if I wanted to), so despite my great respect/love for the subject, I would not be honest to attach those terms (and that meaning) to my photographs.
This means that my sources of inspiration are not people I consider to be artists, although I obviously think they are at a level to be taken as inspiration. Twisted, isn't it? Yeah, I've always been drawn to the things around me, the experiences, the moments and the people. The two people who influenced me the most (certainly without knowing it) were two friends of mine: Giovanni Riccò and Virginia di Mauro (in chronological order). I wouldn't be here today without them. In fact, I probably wouldn't have even started.
As for the rest: I get lost on Instagram and in a few magazines, in pictures of Asian alleys, in portraits, in everyday life and in photos that tell of the incredible places in this world. I thus absorb everything that I think could be 'mine', without paying too much attention to it sometimes! The truth is that at least in my imagination I try to live the life I would like to, so sometimes I'm content to lose myself in other people's photos (see @lisainjapan.)
The Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens is now available on our shop with new sleek silver graphite and onyx black aluminium finish.