Alfredo Aleandri is an Italian street photographer, currently based in Pisa, Italy. Though his main interest is street, Alfredo finds himself recently focusing more on abstract and surreal photography.
He started shooting street photography in 2014, so his interest in street photography is quite recent. During our interview Alfredo also mentioned to us that he is still looking for a personal and distinctive style.
Currently, he doesn’t have a personal web page so he shares his work through Instagram and Flickr. Both links are shared at the end of the interview.
Alfredo Aleandri is the winner of the October 2017 Street Photography Contest and the theme of that contest was “Shadows Telling A Story”. Today we interview him so you can get to know him and his work a little bit better.
Alfredo Aleandri, Street Photographer
First of all, can you please share some personal information with us? Where are you from, when did you start shooting and what keeps you going?
I’m an Italian amateur photographer, I was born in 1977 in L’Aquila, a town in the middle region of Italy. After graduation I moved to Pisa and I live there since with my wife and my daughter.
I have been fascinated by photography since I was a child and I have been focusing on Street Photography for just under 5 years now. I like Street Photography because you can do it anywhere (also in own your neighborhood), with any light conditions (without having to wait for the golden hours), you can use any kind of equipment and you don’t need to spend a lot of money (unless you suffer from gear acquisition syndrome).
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement so far and what do you want to accomplish next?
My greatest achievement was moving from pure illustrative photography to something more conceptual, even if it is still built on a strong graphic base.
Currently my main goal is to develop a distinctive style that can be recognizable and unique.
Have you had your work published? If so, where and when, if not, is it something you are thinking of doing in the near future?
I’ve never had the opportunity to show my works in a solo exhibition but some of my pictures have been selected to be part of some group exhibitions:
– Gudberg Nerger Gallery, Hamburg – July 2016, July 2017 – Officine Fotografiche Roma (Italian Street Photography Festival 2018) – April 2018
My photos were published in “World Street Photography” book (2016,2017 editions), and “FOTOIT” magazine (May 2017).
I’d like to note that all profits made from sales of the “World Street Photography (WSP)” street photography photo books are donated to charity organizations. Streethunters.net readers can order their copy at https://streetphotography.today.
And now one of the questions that interests our techy readers usually. What gear do you use and why do you prefer using that particular gear?
I think that the camera doesn’t really matter in street photography. What is important to me are the ergonomics and the possibility to have manual mechanical controls on the camera body and lens to adjust shutter speed, aperture and iso without having to look at an lcd screen and avoiding to navigate through menus. Currently, the Fujifilm X-T1 is my preferred camera body. The (prime) lenses I use the most are the XF 27mm f/2.8 and the XF 18mm f2.
Despite my obsession to be invisible in the streets, the X-T1 has a sexy mechanical-sounding shutter!
Did you always know you wanted to do street photography? How did it all start for you and when? Besides street photography do you enjoy shooting any other types of photography?
I consider my interest in street photography quite recent (end of 2014) but I don’t really remember the moment, or better, the reason why I fell in love with this challenging photography art.
In the past I enjoyed some other photography types like landscape or architectural, and I also experimented with still life and macro photography… (never kittens!) All those pictures now look really boring to me, they are only technical shots and don’t grab my attention anymore. I think the world already knows what it looks like, there is little, if anything at all, that remains to be shown. Street Photography challenges the photographers to make the ordinary look extraordinary/captivating: that it’s definitely harder but also much more rewarding.
Many of your photos are very graphic. You won the October 2017 Streethunters.net contest called, “Shadows Telling A Story”. Can you tell us more about the photo that won the contest? How long did you wait in that place for the perfect shot to happen?
I made this photo not far from my home, it was during a public art festival. In a narrow alley, there was a light-art installation, candles everywhere but also a strong narrow beam light, the one that produced the strong shadow on the wall you can see in my picture.
I didn’t wait a lot to get this picture because there were a lot of people walking into that light. First I took some pictures of single figures but when I got this shot I realized that I couldn’t get a better one. The couple adds a story to the picture that otherwise would be only something aesthetically pleasing.
I am very fond on your photographs with strong shadows. I am just wondering if they just randomly happen or do you expect and wait for the perfect shadow in specific places? I really like this one in particular. Was it a spontaneous shot or a calculated one?
I’m glad you liked it, this image is part of the series “In Broad Daylight”.
I’ve never plan in advance the place and time of my photographs. I usually find myself in a good place with nice light conditions just by chance, then I usually wait for a good subject, but never more than 15 minutes because I always feels like I’m losing some other good opportunity to make another photo elsewhere. So, if nothing interesting happens soon, I walk away.
That was what happened for that picture: I noticed that good place so I started making some pictures. I took just a couple of pictures and the man with the pipe entered directly in the frame (I didn’t see him approaching cause he came out from around the corner). I was already in place so it was easy to react fast and get the shot.
When it comes to great photographers, who would you say has influenced your work mostly? Who is the photographer that you hold the most respect for?
When I started, I was inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson and that’s probably the reason why I started working in black and white. Then, with time, I have been fascinated by the works of contemporary street photographers like Alex Webb or the members of the iN-PUBLiC group. These are just some famous names but there are many other talented street photographers out there, often unknown to most people.
Looking through your Flickr photostream and IG profile, I noticed that you seem to be equally comfortable working with both black & white and color. Do you prefer one to the other? What parameters determine your choice? Does your mood or the elements within the image play an important role in your decision (color, shadow, etc)?
When I started with street photography I used to shoot only black and white, mainly because I was inspired by great photographers of the previous century that are famous for their monochrome pictures, but also because I had the wrong belief that a bad shot could work well in black and white.
Gradually I became more interested in experimenting with colour and as of today I shoot in RAW format and I postpone to post process phase the decision between the two choices. Sometimes I enable the B&W preview because it helps me to focus more on composition.
What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future? Do you have any projects, exhibitions or publications currently in the works?
Recently, I stopped to shoot (and share) individual snapshots because I’d like to focus more on photography projects. I have some concepts in mind but nothing really concrete yet, so I hope to stay motivated to keep going and publish something new soon!