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Marx Cui sees picture-taking as a way of life, and as a way to open up his heart to his surroundings. He pays particular attention to the balanced symbiosis between buildings and people. On some days he takes between 6 and 7 hundred photographs, waiting for the weather, the waves, the people, their clothes, the movements and the emotions to align with his criteria.

LFI: What do you consider makes a successful pictures composition, and which perspective do you take as a photographer?
Marx Cui: In order to get a satisfying photo, I most frequently place myself within the environment and spend most of the time observing, exploring and waiting. Specifically, I’ll observe the situation and what various people are wearing, to see if they suit the environment I’m in; and I’m constantly looking for the best angles and spatial relationships to take pictures. If, however, I decide to take a shot, I spend most of the time waiting for all the factors that I think will influence the quality of the photo to reach a perfect balance. Sometimes I shoot the same scene at different times, in order to better understand the different effects caused by the time of day.

Your pictures show the beauty of architecture. At the same, they are architectural works of art in their own right, in which people also find their place. How important do you consider the symbiosis between buildings and people?
This is indeed a good question. There’s no doubt that the symbiosis between buildings and people is crucial to my photography. However, how to define or how to quantify this importance is something I haven’t thought about before. It seems to me that it’s the connection between people and the buildings that gives emotion to the cold buildings in my photographs; or, in other words, it’s what brings them to life.

You used the Leica M10-P. What special features does it bring to your type of photography?
I chose the Leica M10-P with a 35mm focal length lens, and this combination can give me the ideal street photo. Firstly, the simple design of the Leica M10-P, with only three buttons, makes it easier and faster for me to better capture the light and shadow of the buildings. Secondly, with the 35mm focal length lens, it’s possible to put the landscape, the buildings and the people in the ideal state that I desire. 35mm focal length lenses do not focus too much on the detail nor do they take in a wider landscape, which ensures that the buildings, landscape and people achieve a perfect symbiosis. Most importantly, I’m a huge fan of Leica cameras; they have become a part of my life. Staying passionate about the things I love, is a philosophy I live by. A Leica can not talk by itself, but the pictures I took with it tell its story. (Interview: Katja Hübner)

All images on this page © Marx Cui
Equipment: Leica M10 and Leica M10-P with Summilux-M 35 f/1.4 ASPH.
© Marx Cui

Marx Cui

Marx Cui is a semi-professional photographer. He has been learning photography by self-study since November 2020, and has been taking photos with a Leica camera since August 2021. His photos have already been published in SIZE magazine.

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