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The natural relationship between light and architecture led Moisés Levy to photography. With his black and white images he is following the Japanese concept of Notan, the harmony between light and dark in a picture.

LFI: How important are geometric shapes to you in your photographs? What do they embody for you?

Moisés Levy: As an architect I always try to find geometric shapes and compositions in my images. I like to combine the organic shapes of people, nature with man-made objects, to create tension in my compositions. I like to find lines to compose my frames and to invite the eye to enter into the story in my images.

Do you compose your images or do you wait for the right moment?

I always try to create spontaneous images. I have some ideas before I start to shoot and let the flow of the moment give me a certain direction. I try to let go of my ideas about the particular settings of a scene. I adapt my mind to the reality, by filtering my initial thoughts. I also shoot a lot, so I can have material to choose from.

What does black and white photography mean to you?

I think black and white is very powerful; and even more so when you shoot with back light, because you can create very clean and iconic images. In Japan there is the term Notan, which means light and dark, harmony and balance. It is also very useful for painters. If you can create a Notan that works well in black and white, it means that your painting will be successful. This tells you how important a black and white image is; it is the most primary and powerful message for the brain – without any distractions.

Which camera do you use and what do you see as the advantages for your type of photography?

I use a Leica M-10 with a 28mm lens. I love how easy it is to compose with the electronic viewfinder in any position, and how fast you can work and have feedback. (Interview: Katja Hübner)

All images on this page: © Moisés Levy

Equipment: Leica M10 with Elmarit-M 28 f/2.8 Asph.

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