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LFI.GALLERY PHOTOGRAPHERS

02.08.2022

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Equipped with a Leica Q2 Monochrom, the American photographer's artistic, aesthetic and intimate eye captures people in an urban life setting. His images reflect the emotions of a city that is always in movement, pulsing with an energy that is reflected in its people. Patrick Stevens wants his pictures to convey the pleasure he feels while producing his work.

Strictly speaking, you photograph the "faces of the city". To what extent do they reflect urbanity?
Patrick Stevens:
My photography is frequently character driven, candid, and carries some form of tension. Having a level of emotional tension is important, as I feel that best expresses the urban experience of today. Especially, with all that we’ve gone through over the past 2 years. This emotion can come from the subject, the light, the scale of the subject to their environment, or any combination of those elements. I'm attracted to photography with an unscripted layered narrative, that captures fleeting mundane moments of everyday life with an artistic edge and a timeless ascetic.

What fascinates you about black and white photography, and how does the Leica Q2/Mono perform in this regard?
For the past 3 years I’ve been shooting fully black and white. I enjoy the ascetic and timeless feel that monochrome photography provides. Stripping away color allows me to focus on finding images that have strong emotion, textures, and contrasting light. My daily carry camera is the Q2M, which fits my street style perfectly, with its amazingly fast and sharp fixed 28mm summilux lens. The form and function of the Q system continues to inspire and expand my creative process. I enjoy the simplicity of the camera and the flexibility of being able to flip between being fully manual or automatic without having to dig into my settings. Being able to streamline my workflow and removing any un-needed distractions is so important for me to stay present in the moment while on the street.

What feelings do you want your images to evoke, and what does the "right moment" mean to you?
The true enjoyment and inspiration that I get from the creative process of street photography is what continues to motivate me. Having said that, if I can translate even a fraction of the pleasure I get through the creation of the work to the viewer, that’s my ultimate aspiration. My thoughts on the “right/decisive moments”: my opinion is that these moments are all around us and are infinite. The elusiveness and challenge of capturing these moments is, in my opinion, more about the photographer being emotionally and physically present to witness them. When I’m creating what I feel is good work and finding moments that excite me, I notice myself being in a relaxed flow-like state. I’m able to anticipate interactions and react much quicker to a developing scene. This meditative state is fleeting, and when it does presents itself I do everything I can to exhaust the opportunity. (Interview: Katja Hübner)

All images on this page: © Patrick Stevens
Equipment: Q2 Monochrom, M10 Monochrom with Summicron-M 28 f/2 Asph
© Patrick Stevens

Patrick Stevens

Patrick Stevens is a street photographer living in San Francisco, CA. He bought his first camera at the end of 2018, which was a Leica QP. He has immense respect for the rich history of Leica and for the legendary photographers the paved the way within the documentary and street photography genres.

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