The city of New York is a protagonist of the collective imagination, as it represents movies, photography and memorable scenes, which marked modern history. The skyline and the skyscrapers have been interpreted in the most diverse styles and perspectives.
During his trip in the American metropolis, Andrea Tomas Prato chose to capture streets and people with the Ilford HP4 Plus 125 film, which gave the images a quiet but suggestive charm. He also used a 20mm lens to capture as much as possible of the urban landscape around him.
Hello! Can you tell us something about yourself?
Hello! I am 45 years old and I live in Tortona, Italy. I have been taking photos for 6 years now. My daily job is something unrelated. The encounter with analog photography happened because of curiosity and of respect of those that actually make and made it. After I discovered it, its results truly touched me, so I kept practicing in a way always more artisan: spooling the rolls, scanning, printing ... both in color and black and white.
What are your impressions of New York?
I have been wanting to see this city for years. In my personal imagination, America is New York: I consider it more visceral and impregnated compared to other American cities. I love cinema and for a long time I have been storing specific places in my mind: seeing them in person was incredible. I was impressed with the people, the smell, the rhythm and also by how livable it is.
Tell us more about this series.
For these pictures, I wanted to highlight the contrast between the verticality of the buildings and the inhabitants' movement. I usually shoot with the 50mm, to have the same natural visual ray of the human eye. In New York instead, I decided to mount the 20mm and I never changed it back. With this lens I could fairly frame the subjects, getting closer almost in front of them, not with the intention of making them main characters but simply extras, complements (fundamental). I played with this concept, trying to enhance the movement but also giving space, in a symbolic way, to the fact I was also there, and I was the only one still.
I do everything at home, I buy the steel, I make the rolls, I shoot, develop and finally scan. Then, slowly and when I have time, I print some of those. I have been doing this for at least three years. I love everything about the manual process: counting the seconds with your head, feeling your hands dry because of the acids, touching something that you created with your own hands and has your mark on it.
To see more of Andrea's works you can visit his Instagram.