City. Balearic Island
Mohamed Amine Mokcheh
1- Tell us a bit about your personal life…
Hello, first of all I would like to thank you for the opportunity and the trust you have placed in me and in my work to propose this interview, it is an honour for me.
About my personal life, I am Asturian by birth, I love my land, I have been living in the Balearic Islands for almost 20 years, when my wife and I decided to get married.
Now we are parents of a beautiful little girl of almost 6 years old, living in a small village in the Sierra de Tramuntana surrounded by forests and mountains, my life is quiet, I dedicate my days to my hobbies, to exercise walking my 8 km daily, to read, to watch movies, to photography and to spend as much time as possible enjoying my daughter and my family.
2- Were your parents supportive about you wanting to become a photographer?
Well, not exactly, I have always had the support of my family for whatever I undertake, photography has been a hobby since I was
a teenager and to see that it excites me and gives me peace and serenity in my days, makes anyone who is with you support
it. Today it is my wife who encourages me and my daughter,sometimes we have fun together taking pictures of her toys
and she creates her own scenarios to do so. It's fun and besides,you feel the support and you share your illusions with those who
are next to you.
3- Was there anything specific that you can remember that made you want to become a photographer?
Maybe a lot of things, when I was a child I kept seeing over and over again a big encyclopaedia of art that my parents had, as a teenager I kept seeing it but as I was a bad drawer, I found in photography the way to keep those moments that I liked in my life. Then with the digital era I went further and started to recreate my illusions and way of seeing life, trying to transmit my feelings in each artwork.
4- Did your schooling affect your creative development in any way?
I don't think so, I studied the "branch" of science in high school and then also the access to the University. My reading, cinema and personal experiences have really influenced me more. I think I should have done my secondary school studies in the "arts" branch. At that time we could only choose "Science or Literature" and I opted for science.
5- Tell us about your favorite exposure style…
There is no specific one. I try to do many different things, in general I like everything that involves photographic editing and that the artist puts his mind into the work, that he intervenes in reality and shows us what "HE SEES". In my work you can find from editions of photographs in Multiexposure to photos worked on them with digital brushes or creative editions that are only in my mind and I try to capture forever.
6- How did you light the picture?
Almost all my work is made with natural light, there is no artificial lighting, although in the editing part I work on the lights and shadows. Now I do have a small studio equipment with some flashes and I keep doing tests when I have time...or I feel like it, you don't always feel the inspiration to get in the studio to create images.
7- How much do you research your subjects before photographing them?
It depends, many times it's all spontaneous and walking through the streets of a town or city, the beach, etc. I usually look on Google maps for places to visit or places that might interest me when I plan to travel. On other occasions, when I do something in studio or creative editing with some of my photos, I take notes, make sketches, etc of anything that comes to mind, this sometimes takes me days or even weeks, but it's important for me not to forget anything that crosses my mind.
8- I've been following your work for two years at least, so I can remember a number of key words about your Artwork: Human, City, Climate Change, Chaos, Dystopia, Resistance and Life… I find myself here talking with Philosopher and Archeological who try to develop his opinion about all those issues through Art… Please talk to us bout this direction you choose...
No, not at all, neither philosopher nor archaeologist, I am simply a person who likes to express his feelings through images, nothing more, it is true that I have made series like "The Man and the Elements" where I try to express my concern about climate change and deforestation, but it is just that, trying to convey one's vision of life.
9- Can you tell us about the challenges facing the artist if he chooses this approach that is committed to human issues in his artwork?
It's complicated, each person "is a world unto themselves" and sees life around them in a completely personal way. Trying to convey what "one" feels or sees is always a challenge that, on many occasions, is not achieved. The important thing is that you are happy with the results of your work and what you see in it.
10- what do you prefer? Full-time devotion to art or searching for additional sources of livelihood?
Well, my economy does not depend on art nor on my photographs,fortunately I have my source of income assured by another way.Full time, no, I don't do it either, at this moment of my life, I'm already retired although I'm young, I can choose what to do every day (always respecting the attention to my family, of course) and I do photography almost daily because I like it, it relaxes me and helps me emotionally to a peace of mind, we can call it that. But I do many other things that I like to do every day, building models, watching movies, smoking one of my favourite pipes on the porch while reading...
11- Please tell us about the prizes you got, the exhibitions you participate in and cooperation you’re engaged with
I have won quite a few prizes, it is true, although lately I have submitted few works for prizes, I have had a year and a half in which personal matters have kept me busy and with little time to think about competitions.
I have also done quite a few exhibitions and rejected many, almost weekly I reject some.
If I have to be honest in this, my vision or way of thinking about Competitions and the Exhibitions they offer you has changed a lot. I don't give them the importance I gave them when I started and nowadays, it is something I consider secondary, I find it more stimulating for me to create different things and to be satisfied with them myself.
This doesn't mean that I rule out participating in a competition or exhibition at some point, but I have reached a point where to exhibit works, for example, I have some personal "conditions" that if they are not fulfilled I reject any exhibition.
Competitions, well, maybe there are hundreds throughout the year and many to choose from...but sometimes I think... "COMPETE, WHAT'S THE POINT OF COMPETING, WHY COMPETE? ...." and this makes me not to send photos to competitions.
12- What camera were you shooting with?
I have always been a Canon user, until now I had two cameras, an EOS R and an EOS RP (the EOS RP converted to Full Spectrum for infrared photography), but recently I had the chance to try an R6 that I borrowed from my usual shop and I decided to change the EOS R for the EOS R6, I really liked the performance of this camera and during the week that I had it "on loan" I found that it is above the R in performance and decided to change it, so now, I am starting to experiment with the EOS R6 in more depth. I have several Canon lenses that fit both cameras, although not all of them are suitable for infrared photography and therefore I only use them on the R6. And the mobile, of course, nowadays mobiles have the option to take RAW photos, manage the parameters of the shot and are a great alternative for when you're out and about and don't want to carry heavy equipment. I am a loyal advocate of photography with a phone, in fact, some of the work I sell the most is taken with a mobile phone.
I also have a little studio equipment, various flashes, lights, etc, as well as elements that I have built myself, such as some backgrounds for the shots or supports for some images I have taken.
13- Regarding the transition from film to digital – when did it happen for you?
Well, it was almost by chance, at the end of the 90s, when I was moving into a new flat, I went to buy things I needed and I found myself in front of a photography shop, I went in and came out with my first digital camera, it was great to be able to shoot without having to buy film and pay for it, then with the ability to edit on a computer I found what I really liked.
14- What was the first digital cameras you started using?
Well, I left that shop with a small Nikon, but a few months later I had the opportunity to buy a Canon 400D and I was "settled" with Canon for good.
15- Are you very hands on with the post processing of the digital files?
Yes I always take my photos in RAW so that I have as much information as possible in the file and then I can edit it as much as I need to. I usually start with a few adjustments in Camera RAW and then move on to editing in Photoshop.
16- How do you feel about the transition from film to digital?
Well, like everything else in life, photography is advancing and the digital era offers an infinite amount of creative possibilities that were more limited with analogue. In general I always think that in life everything that improves and offers more alternatives is good, in photography the change from analogue to digital for me is a great leap to be able to offer more options to create art.
17- Do you have an all-time favorite camera/lens combination?
Not exactly, although the versatility of the Canon 24-105 lens (I use the RF L) usually works for almost any situation. It is a magnificent lens with which you can almost do everything. Well, speaking of the type of photography that I do. Obviously if I had to photograph fauna I would not go with this lens
18- Is there anyone, anything that you haven’t photographed yet that you’d like to?
I have never thought about this, in reality I do not have a preference about taking photos of anything or anyone in particular, it is usually spontaneous, nothing more.
19- Do you still find photography challenging even after all this time?
Of course, as long as my mind thinks and has illusions, translating them into an image forever will be a new challenge. Every day is a new challenge, that's why I take notes, make sketches, so as not to lose anything that goes through my mind and, whenever I have inspiration, try to take it into an image.
20- Do you have any tips for an aspiring photographer who’s picking up a camera for the first time?
Patience, photography or art is a path that has no end, every day you will learn something new and you will be able to advance. Experiment with everything you can think of and can. And above all, don't get frustrated, what didn't work out for you today may turn out much better tomorrow than you expected. You have to be very patient and not be in a hurry.
21- Thanks a lot for your interest, you can include any details you want to talk about…
I just want to thank Influx Gallery, you, Dylan or Jack and the whole team for your trust and interest in my work, it really is an honor for me to be part of your project.
I wish you all my best