Back in the distant days of camera film, it was experimenting with his sister’s Pentax and the school dark room that kick-started Louis Amore’s interest in photography. While he is now adjusted to a 35mm DSLR, he sees himself as a traditionalist at heart, and, a self confessed “sharpness freak”. Art & Music caught up with Louis between shoots to find out the inspiration behind his winning photo, and what helps keep him focused.
I like reality. I find freezing a moment of everyday life far more fascinating than some blown-out- of-proportion fantasy image; I do like to throw the viewer into an unusual or uncomfortable situation, but always keeping it real.
As a teenager, I always wanted to be a war photographer but now I realise there are other ways of generating a strong body of work without having to go into a war zone.
Subjects for me are probably the ‘unfortunate’ in society. I am drawn to the emotion they bring; I suppose it’s the years of looking at Magnum Photographers and Don McCullin’s work.
The ‘Dogs’ photograph came about when I was on holiday in Thailand. The sun was about to go down; I decided to get my camera and practice taking some portraits of my friends on the beach using ash and underexposing the background, it was the perfect light for it. After taking some pictures I sat down to look through the images, this is when the dogs came to check me out, seeing if I had any food; I took quite a few pictures of the dogs.
I’m not a huge follower of contemporary photography. However, lately I have been looking at and liking the work of Michael Donovan; specifically his ‘Greetings from Space’ series. I like the way he seems to add ink and rips to create a kind of collage with his images.
Times have moved on in photography. Where once it was vital to be a good photographer, you now need to be a good photographer and a great re-toucher. This removes the old-school way of thinking, when a good photograph stood on its own. Unfortunately there isn’t much work out there based on pure photography alone; almost all of my commissioned work will include a retouching brief.
Let’s all be like Helmut Newton and get it out of the camera. His vision was far beyond anyone else’s in his lifetime. I admire him for creating beautiful images and not relying on post processing. Let’s not forget good subject matter, lighting and composition are key, not how much post you can add later.
Check out Louis’ latest work at: www.louisamore.com
“Usually photographs of dogs are either romanticised, cutesy or the pitiful type you nd on animal rights leaflets. This photograph, however, presents these two ‘wild’ dogs as both beautiful and menacing. The colours, lighting and intensity make this a striking image reminiscent of an old masters painting but with all the seductive lustre of a glossy photograph” – Gemma de Cruz