Enriched by many years of experience as a professional photographer, Basilio Silva from Buenos Aires has become a fashion photographer who shoots quirky and bold pictures. He tried shooting with the new Petzval lens and finally, here we are, happy to share this beautiful series of black & white bokeh swirling pictures.
Name : Basilio Silva
City : Paris
Country : France
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Basilio Silva, I am a photographer from Colombia. I started my career as a photojournalist for a famous newspaper in my country but I ended up changing courses, going from the editorial world to fashion and advertising photography. So now I have a way to tell my own stories.
How would you describe your photographic universe and your preferred subjects?
I’ve always been in love with images. All types of images, but what fascinates me most are human bodies, I think they’re magnificent. I like working with bright lights and with little contrast in my images. Images that imitate or transmit the aspiration of the moment. I have a passion for women’s bodies and all its imagery in general. Femininity, provocative and raw erotism. A fiction created to please the senses.
Why have you decided to move to Paris? Is there a difference in doing what you do in Paris and Buenos Aires?
Buenos Aires is a wonderful city. I’ve learnt the most important part of my work there. I made incredible friends and some very interesting work through different parts of the world : Norway, France, England, Brasil, Colombia, China and Spain. Even though there are not as many technical resources there as in Europe, you can find professionals with great artistic and creative skills in Buenos Aires. I decided to move to Paris because I’ve always dreamt of living in that city, learning about its culture and its language, but mostly because Paris is the world capital of fashion and you can feel that in the everyday life. The culture mixture, really great parties, incredible women to take pictures of… On the other hand, I wanted to take part in a project that aims to promote new artists in the world of photography, which was a great stimulation. In France, I am represented by the agency Butchers Paris. I am happy because aside from the fashion pictures, I also work with music artists, visual artists, DJ producers…I also enjoy the Parisian nightlife and it is great fun because you can meet some very interesting people to photograph.
Is there a fashion icon you’d like to take pictures of?
There are many fashion icons that I’d like to photograph but I prefer fresh faces, unknown people, splendid girls, unforgettable faces. I think it’s kind of boring to take pictures of famous people. You don’t get enough freedom in your work, which is vital for me.
Is there an unusual place where you’d like to shoot?
I’d like to shoot in many crazy places but I have realized that not a single place is truly unusual. For me, what is unusual in my world, are situations and characters. In fact, I think it’s a whole.
Is there a fashion photographer that inspires you?
I love and I’ll always love Helmut Newton and ARAKI’s work. They’re monsters of talent.
If you were to imagine a provocative shoot, what would you do?
I would like to take pictures of an orgy of people superbly dressed in fashion pieces created by new and crazy designers. All that on a red carpet with the ActionSampler and flash which is one of my favorite Lomo cameras.
You tested the Petzval lens for us, what were your first impressions?
I have always been a great Lomography fan, it’s a great universe where there’s room for beautiful mistakes. The optical result of the Petzval lens is a real jewel. I am very happy and proud I had the opportunity to try it out and prove it. It’s pretty incredible. It renders crazy effects and sensations in the photos.
Tell us about the series of pictures you took with the Petzval?
I did four shoots and each of them has very different images. I worked with Tomi Guarracino, a fantastic model who has worked with great photographers such as Mario Testino for example. We felt very comfortable and took pictures around Montmartre. Then I shot a beautiful Brazilian model, whose hair was in a beautiful contrast with the background of the neighborhood of Barbés in Paris. People came up to see the lens that they believed was made out of gold and to see the results in the pictures. It was great fun. In the end, I made a series of images with artists from Butchers Paris in the neighborhood of Strasbourg St Denis. I think I still want to continue taking pictures with the Petzval lens, it is a great lens.
What do you like best about this lens?
What I find interesting with this lens is its ability to blur backgrounds, to give body to the image and get incredible results. Other lenses wouldn’t be as good, the focal distance of 85mm forces you to be creative when making decisions. You must properly measure the light, carefully consider the backgrounds and the distance between the subject and what is in the back etc.. The most important thing is to always try to achieve more with the lens, so it stimulates your creativity and teaches you to be very careful during shoots.
Could you please share advice to people who will be using it for the first time?
I think the Petzval lens offers a unique and personal photographic experience. Each photographer who will try this lens will be aware of what I am talking about. It stimulates an interesting relationship of discovery. It is an adventure that I recommend. Never be afraid of technical mistakes. Sometimes unexpected things will open new ways to explore and push creation.
A big thanks to Basilio for sharing his experience and his lovely Petzval pictures and to the Butchers Paris team for the discovery !
The Lomography x Zenit Petzval Art Lens is a revival masterpiece of the iconic Petzval lens that blew the lid of photography many years ago. It comes in its signature brass and black finish for a head turner look. Use it on Canon and Nikon mounts and enjoy its effects whenever and wherever. Grab a Petzval Art Lens at the Online Shop now.