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Gathering of the narrators – The Leica digicam Weblog

The storyteller Ben Staley grew up in Alaska below the best of circumstances. He didn’t have a carefree youth – with visits to the cinema and eating places, festivals and tv – or perhaps a bathroom that flushed. As an alternative, there have been a number of books, bonfires and tales. Privations … sure, but additionally a wealth of expertise that he attracts on in the present day and that shapes his work as a director, cinematographer and photographer.

Ben Staley met the British singer and photographer Seal for an interview on behalf of Leica to speak about his signature digicam, the Leica Q2 “Daybreak” by Seal, and about Leica and the similarities between music and pictures. It was a gathering characterised by a particularly relaxed environment – simply as if two actually good outdated pals have been getting collectively. In reality, it was solely the second time the artists had even seen one another in particular person.

How Ben Staley skilled the appointment with Seal, whether or not there are similarities and what his subsequent initiatives are, we found in our interview with him.

Ben Staley, anybody who takes a take a look at your curriculum vitae will shortly notice how essential tales – the photographs that come up in your thoughts, for instance, while you take a look at {a photograph} or a movie and become involved with it – are in your life. From in the present day’s perspective, are you glad you grew up within the isolation of Alaska, or would you quite have gone a special means?
After I was younger I longed for a “regular” life, for the issues different youngsters received to do, easy issues, experience rollercoasters, eat at eating places and even watch TV. However for me these have been all uncommon and particular occasions. There have been no eating places close by, we didn’t have electrical energy and thus no tv. We ate wild sport and fish. I chopped wooden to warmth our home and, by all accounts, I’m positive life was harder than for many. Trying again now I see how my upbringing has formed and benefited me later in life. Working as a filmmaker and photographer I concentrate on distant and difficult places. Proper now, I’m doing a mission deep in a South American jungle; I’ve additionally labored excessive within the Andes mountains, sleeping alone at over 17,000 ft. I’ve spent a whole bunch of days at sea in tough and cramped quarters on small boats, and I’ve been deep into caves in Southeast Asia. Africa, the Amazon and even the far reaches of distant Siberia, have all been work places. The best way I grew up simply made me extra snug with discomfort, and for that I’m grateful. Certain, I like working in a studio with a musician, actor or mannequin, however I’m simply as at house excessive within the mountains or deep within the jungle.

The tales you inform in your articles in the present day encourage many individuals. What which means does this have for you?
My very own inspirations are sacred to me, so if one thing I do evokes another person, properly then that’s the best reward. Our ancestors used to attract on the partitions of caves with blood and ash and plant pigment, and now we’ve got rather more superior instruments. However the impulse is identical, to share our human expertise, to proclaim, ‘I’m right here and I’ve seen these items, carried out these items. I’ve lived.’ If something I write or seize is seen by anybody, I’m simply grateful to be alive and contact one other human.

Within the interview you performed for Leica with the British musician and photographer Seal, it turns into clear how a lot your tales captivate folks. Seal appreciates your images and movies and calls you a buddy. What does that imply to you?
Seal is an iconic, legendary artist, and his work has touched thousands and thousands of individuals world wide. It’s an ideal honor and privilege to have the chance to work with him and Leica. Most of my shut pals are artists and creatives, actors, musicians, filmmakers and photographers, and with Seal it’s no totally different. He’s extraordinarily educated about pictures and digicam expertise amongst many different issues. It’s an ideal pleasure to debate artwork and creativity with him. I at all times be taught one thing. We share photos by way of textual content on a regular basis, even when we’re on reverse sides of the planet. Proper now he’s in France and I’m in a jungle. He’s a pricey buddy and I cherish the connection.

Seal says {that a} Leica “decelerates the best way you {photograph}, it captivates you in a means that different cameras can’t”. What’s your expertise with Leica?
I don’t have to consider a Leica after I’m utilizing it. There isn’t a barrier between what I wish to seize and urgent the shutter. The cameras really feel excellent in my fingers. They really feel RIGHT. I can’t say this about some other cameras. Right here is an instance: for my shoot with Seal I needed to make use of the M11 for some pictures however I didn’t personal one, so I requested Seal to deliver his private M11, so I may apply it to our shoot. Now it is a skilled shoot with a giant crew, a deadline and loads of strain, and I’m going to make use of a digicam I’ve by no means used earlier than. Doubtlessly a really dangerous selection. I picked it up and there was no hesitation, no studying curve, and the photographs I captured of Seal along with his M11 are perhaps my favorites of all the shoot. I had the arrogance to try this, positive; however it speaks volumes about ease of use, the simplicity, class and performance of the digicam.

What do you’re taking away from the assembly with Seal?
Having the honour and alternative to {photograph} Seal for Leica has been one of many nice joys of my skilled profession. He’s an artist I’ve the best respect for and somebody I contemplate to be a pricey buddy. I do know that we’ve got extra artwork to make collectively, and I can’t wait to see what that shall be.

In your web site, you say you’re wanting ahead to all of the tales that haven’t been informed but. What do you suppose is the extra acceptable car for that: textual content, images, or movies?
Proper now I’m writing the screenplay for a function movie I hope to direct. I’m additionally making ready a pitch for a documentary movie I hope to make a few scientific and conservation expedition into the deepest, most distant a part of the Amazon jungle. Considered one of my nice goals is to go on tour with an A-Record musical artist or band, and {photograph} and movie the tour with my Leica cameras in a verité, reportage model. This can be a main objective of mine and one thing I’ve needed to do for a very long time. Crossing fingers that a possibility presents itself!

Director, filmmaker and photographer Ben Staley (1973) was born and grew up within the remoteness of Alaska. Tales have captivated him from the start; they have been his solely window into the world. Immediately he tells them along with his digicam. Staley produces unbiased movies, music movies and commercials, in addition to documentaries and tv packages for Netflix, Discovery Channel, Nationwide Geographic, Historical past Channel and extra. Discover out extra about his work on his web site and his Instagram and Vero channel.

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