Tomaso was born in Germany and completed his photography studies at the Berliner Technische Kunsthochschule in 2012. Three months later he started his portrait Project Anti Mono Stereo in which he photographed and interviewed 400 people. This was followed by collaborations with the German Zeit Magazin, larger exhibitions plus publications around the world. He is represented by the agency Kelly Kellerhoff in Germany as a commercial photographer. As an artist, he is represented by the young gallery Blond and Blond Contemporary in Berlin. He has worked for larger clients, private collectors and sees himself as an independent artist.
Q: What was the inspiration or drive to create this project.
My photographic work is characterized by the proximity to the people. After the end of my studies of photography I’ve been working hard on a portrait-project which deals with us humans. I have these people not only photographed but also interviewed on film. These interviews focused on words like destiny, love, destination and childhood. People always fascinate me. That is why I have photographed around 400 people within 2 years. The project is called AntiMonoStereo. Through my work as a photographer I have always searched for different approaches to tell stories about people. Street photography is the purest and sincerest form of photography. Henri Cartier-Bresson, Philip-Lorca diCorcia or Lee Friedlander and Bruce Gilden are photographers I appreciate and adore.
Q: Talk more about street photography and the relation between the city and its people.
In street photography there is no control over what’s in front of your lens. It takes a keen eye that has to closely monitor what is happening in your environment. The photographer is a passive actor and takes part indirectly in the life of the photographed person. It’s about the whole package with a mixture of environment and the personal story of the photographed people. Nothing creates more beautiful moments as real life the moments in which we are in mourning in thought. A street-photographer creates an image of a situation without really knowing what is going in that person’s life. It is the fusion between the environment of a metropolis and the person. The beauty of everyday life are those moments which we ourselves no longer realize and I’ve tried to capture them.
Q: You traveled for 7 days mainly in D.C. and NYC, share some of your experience with the Leica Q.
The United States East Coast has this special lighting in late summer. The reflections of light in the deep canyons of the skyscrapers in Washington D.C. and New York City have overwhelmed me. In these 7 days I created a kind of photographic film where I am purely focusing on people. It is particularly important to me that the people I photograph don’t realize I’m taking a picture of them. Therefore, I cannot always look through the viewfinder, the camera hanging around my neck and through the 28mm lens Leica Q I have developed a good feel for how I should position the camera without creating too much attention. They do not realize first that I photograph them to ensure that I get an authentic picture! I do not jump in front of people – it’s not my style.
Q: You had some pretty intense days, followed by a bronchitis, how was this represented in the images below?
For me it was a very intense journey that lasted 7 days, driving from Washington to Annapolis, and New York. The last 3 days I spent in New York were the most intense days of my life. I got trapped in an intense bronchitis by the constant air conditioning. Often there were borderline situations in which I could barely walk or breath. However, the camera was always there and I not only shot images in total exhaustion but also every moment was experienced as if it were my last. This photographic film was born and holds not only the moment in these places but also my view on things and life.
Q: What’s so unique about Leica that made this project what it is now?
Leica is a brand that stands for tradition and sense of duty. The brand has its origins in the documentary photography and is known to build the best tools to work perfectly under the most difficult conditions. In each picture what I do with the Leica I can feel the history and tradition.
Q: What camera(s) and lenses did you use to shoot this project?
Eight weeks before I left for America I bought the Leica Q. The 24MP sensor and 28 mm optics are the perfect combination for street photographers.
The camera has no mirror and is therefore very quiet. In addition, the camera is so small that no one perceives and I can so theoretically put directly in front of a person. Each controller is in the right place and I can illuminate at full aperture to 1/16000. A really great tool that I have with me every day.
Day 1: Washington D.C.
Day 2 – Downtown Washington
Day 4 – Interstate behind Annapolis: Walmart
Day 5-7 – New York City