We talked to UK-based photographer Alexandro Pelaez about his series of double exposures taken on the LC-A+ and the process of achieving these surreal perspectives.
Hello Alexandro, tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a photographer who initially started as a graphic designer working for two Advertising Agencies in Florida, where I went to university in the late ’90s. In 2001 I moved to London where I did my second BA at Central Saint Martins in Design. During my studies at CSM, my projects started to be mainly focused on photography. I was working on different jobs at the same time; working in the computer room where I printed student’s projects and was helping them to use Photoshop and Illustrator, and at the same time, I was also working as an assistant for two photographers: Sports photographer Andy Hooper and Fashion photographer Tony McGee. My passion for photography developed and grew by then. After working around five years as a photographer assistant, I moved to work independently as a freelance photographer between sports photography and portraits. Since then and over the years, I have been able to work on various photography projects with different clients in the UK, Latvia, Germany, Italy, France, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Shanghai and USA. After focusing 100% in my photography career, I have been awarded by several photography competitions and institutions.
I have been participating in different group exhibitions since 2012 in the UK and abroad and had my very first solo exhibition last year at Herrick Gallery in Mayfair, titled “Londoners and Their Environments”. I exhibited a series of double and multiple exposure images capturing the unique environments, and its inhabitants, that are unique to London; revealing the fascination of a city that never sleeps and is continuously breathing from its changing layers of multicultural rhythms. I am very passionate about what I do, and I am very excited about what the future holds for me!
There are so many avenues you can take in photography, why choose the LC-A+ to shoot doubles?
My last two previous portrait series: “Heroes & Villains” and “Londoners” were shot on digital using the multiple exposure technique, hence the reason to feel that urge to change method and thematic by swapping from an indoor environment to street photography. There was something about being outside embracing the day-to-day wonders that attracted me in a way that it just felt right to change the working scenario! I chose to use the LC-A+ firstly because I wanted to shoot on film and take a bit of a break from the process-based and digital world of photography. It is also very efficient and fast pace when I am shooting on the streets. When doing street photography, you need to be ready to take the shot before you lose that perfect or magical momentum.
What are you aiming to capture with these photos?
In my way and style, I am trying to capture the true essence of a city or an area. What I want to convey is my perspective of “what you see is what you get” by capturing those unique moments when I catch an image. For example, in London I like to catch the traffic, the red double-decker buses, the black cabs, the cyclists, the Londoners on their way to and leaving from work, the tourists, the overall energy and colour that this magnificent metropolis city offers you every day. The double exposure allows me to capture all that but can take my images to a different level where I can be more creative by holding double layered scenarios that will give the viewer a magical, almost surreal perspective and sense of unnatural futurism.
What's your technique, are you very organised and considered about your work or not so much?
It is much work and extremely difficult to capture two different areas or moments that can both work or look good on the same frame. I try to keep it very simple and honest, but at the same time, I try to capture that picture, where colours, perspectives and subjects can be aligned into the perfectly balanced image - I shoot pretty much every single day with my LC-A+ that I carry with me at all times, in search for perfection! I think that one of the few things that I am extremely well organised in my life is with my work. This is something that I learned working as a photographer assistant, the more you are organised with your equipment, files and negatives, the easier is to find everything you need at work. I believe that I bring that very same organisational skills into my photographs.
What's coming up this year?
This year I am having my second solo exhibition in London titled “Eclectic” at Bermondsey Project Space this October from the 1st to the 12th during Frieze week, and curated by Mara Alves. There will be a panel discussion on the 9th of October hosted by Michael Barnett, Editor at large with STATE-F22 Magazine, where we will talk about the show, my background and current and future inspirations. The exhibit will show a new series of double exposure pictures that will show a derivative inspiration from a diverse range of sources, be they different locations or people - embracing diversity, multicultural roots and gazes from different countries.
All images were taken with my LC-A+. This exhibition is supported by Lomography, Aesthetica Magazine, All About Photo Magazine, and Genesis. My agent and curator and I have been working none stop for about a year to make this happen. It’s a project that I have been working on for over three years, and I am delighted that is finally going to see the light!
Visit Alex's website to see more of his work.