Hamid Ghazi | The Purist

Hamid Ghazi's work spoke to me immediately as having a kind of street photography purity to it. You can always recognize people who are trying to push their work artistically - as much by what's not in it as what is. Hamid stays focused on how people and their environments come together, juxtapose, create harmony, discord, energy and, sometimes, just plain miracles. For me, this is the essence of what street photography is all about. Nothing set up, but somehow it works as well (or better) than anything I've seen on any set. Isn't that the true beauty of great art? This is exactly why I love this medium.

I asked Hamid a few questions about his process and how he does what he does. Great opportunity to get in the mind of an artist. Right off the bat, the way he sets the rules about what he is and what he isn't - you know you're dealing with a purist. As always - his images, his words. 

"Firstly I just want to say that I don't consider myself a photographer. I know it's a crazy thing to say when being interviewed about photography, but it's true. And there's a reason behind it: I love photography and I have a great passion for it, but I think that as soon as it turns into a career I will lose the joy it gives me. Thats exactly what happened to me with Graphic/digital design, I’ve lost such a great deal of the joy that I used to get when Graphic design was simply a hobby."
"‘I graduated as a textile engineer before teaching myself design, taking enormous benefits from self-study methods and private technical classes and together with a Degree in Associate of Arts studies (Design and Visual Communications) I started my career as a Digital/graphic designer."
"Even though most of my pictures are taken with an Iphone 6 i also use cameras like the Fujifilm x100t and the Lumix G3. I think  the reason that i often take my pictures with my phone is just the comfort of always having it with me, just in daily life and without any expectations and pre-determined schedules for street photography.  I feel that the simplicity of the mobile phone makes it more playful and relaxed with my street photography, above all is that it makes me more able to interact with people in their natural mood and blend more easily into the scene. I really enjoying playing/experiencing with so many different apps for developing my snapshots, for example i’m a big fan of Hipstamatic, it’s quite a lot like film actually. For example I have to wait after 9 frames to take any more photos. I also have the same feeling when Fuji x-shooting by using it’s analogue/mechanical features and simulations."
"Taking away the color gives the images a more graphic feel, you just follow the light or focus on the subject and the emotion of the picture. For me the process of photography is not much different from how graphic design works, you just remove everything from your composition that does not contribute to the desired objective and it works."
"I feel that the simplicity of the mobile phone makes it more playful and relaxed with my street photography, above all is that it makes me more able to interact with people in their natural mood and blend more easily into the scene. I really enjoying playing/experiencing with so many different apps for developing my snapshots, for example i’m a big fan of Hipstamatic, it’s quite a lot like film actually. For example I have to wait after 9 frames to take any more photos. I also have the same feeling when Fuji x-shooting by using it’s analogue/mechanical features and simulations."
"I am really interested in embedding my interest in design, Geometry and even sociology into my street work. I think working as a designer and Studying design has made me critical of light, shadows, reflections, form, geometry, and shapes in the world around me in many different ways – and I wish to expose that through my photography."
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"I usually follow 5 Simple steps in order to achieve my so called decent shots! Those I learned from masters of street Photography! 
 

    • Finding the subject/place 

    • Figuring out how to approach it and how many elements i can/want to include

    •  Framing ( f.ex: get close enough, think in square) 

    •  Pre focusing

    • Shooting (wait for the decisive moment to happen and shoot). I really love the idea of looking for the perfect image in your head, and when it starts to look as you imagined to capture it."

 "I just try to do as little as possible with the image and only do the most important things like perspective edits, cropping and tuning."