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With beguilingly beautiful landscape imagery, the Chilean photographer, Fer Parra, offers us insight into his spiritual life. Speaking in an interview, he talks of the beauty of the mundane, his love of analogue photography, and how he uses his camera as a tool to draw closer to his self and to others.

LFI: At what point in your life did you start taking photographs and what role does photography play for you now?
Fer Parra: When I met my wife, she was in the final stage of completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Photography, and she motivated me to try taking pictures. From that moment on I never stopped. I started to take the path of photography seriously and I wanted to learn everything I could, step by step. I'm self-taught; I've learned from books, documentaries and from my own mistakes.
I think photography is an interesting tool to connect with people and with everything around us. And, of course, to connect with myself. Photography is a way of expression that is easier for me than words.

Your images are very dreamy and poetic. Where did you take the pictures and do you have a favourite place to photograph?
Thanks a lot! This set of photos was taken in San Pedro de Atacama, northern Chile, and Patagonia, southern Chile. I don’t have a favourite place to photograph. The world is my favourite place. I enjoy photographing everything that is around me; there are stories to tell everywhere.

What makes a place interesting or attractive for you to take pictures?
It can be the light, the textures, the colours, the lines, the shapes, the shadows. I try to be very receptive when I go out to take photos; it’s important to be willing to be surprised. And if something catches my attention, I don’t hesitate to take the photo.

What are the biggest influences on your imagery?
Life itself: everyday life, people and their stories, travelling to new places and finding amazing landscapes, walking down the street and discovering hidden details, the evening light, my wife, my family – everything inspires me. I don’t try to impress anyone, I only seek to surprise myself with the beauty of the mundane.

You take your images with an M6. Why do you prefer analogue photography to digital?
I like to separate my commercial work (digital) and my personal work. When I shoot in analogue I don’t have to respond to any expectations other than my own. I feel completely free.  Then there's the aesthetics. I love the result of film. I use this format to decompress and desaturate my mind. It’s like taking a deep breathe. Also, I really enjoy the process of shooting, developing, scanning and printing. Although I started using a digital camera, it was very important for me to know the basics of photography. That is why I started shooting film. And I liked it so much that I will stay here as long as possible. (Interview: Danilo Rößger)

All images on this page: © Fer Parra
Equipment: Leica M6 with Summicron-M 35 f/2 Asph
© Loreto Castillo

Fer Parra

Born in Chile, Fer Parra is a freelance photographer working with the medium for the past 11 years. He is self-taught, develops his personal photographic projects in film, and likes documentary photography and taking photos of everything that is near to him: landscapes, streets, portraits, reportages, etc. Parra is permanently working on his “identity” as a photographer, and always tries to make his photos as honest as possible.

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