Pericles Lavat is the winner of the March FujiLove Magazine photo assignment “Self-Portrait” (see the winning photograph above). We wanted to know more about Pericles and his work. Here comes our conversation with him!
Tomash: Who is Pericles Lavat?
Pericles: I come from Mexico, I studied piano and double bass at the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City and later on I studied in California. I lived in New York City, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Basel (Switzerland). When I was 18 I saw a photo exhibition and became hooked on photography. Had a Praktica LB2 as my first camera and since that time I have always being photographing. I have close to 70 solo exhibitions and more than 90 collective ones. After my Praktica I had Nikon F2, up to the 4 and then a Leica M6. Presently I work with a Fujifilm X-Pro 2 and Fujifilm X100F and love both of them. After a more than 6 years as a principal of a school of arts in my hometown (Cuernavaca) I am back in photography.
When did you start using the Fujifilm camera system and what are its features that you enjoy the most?
I started using the Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro camera in 2002 and I bought it because in comparison to Nikon it had a better price and was compatible with my Nikkor lenses. And then I kept buying the S2 and S3. Love the colors, the knobs and the feel of the cameras. Now I use something smaller but powerful. The X-Pro2 and the X100F and the quality of the lenses is amazing. The X100F is my daily companion because the size and the power it delivers.
The self-portrait I submitted has to do with the fact that during the last six years I was working as the President or principal of a School of Arts and it was a very heavy and arduos work. Suddenly I was not a photographer anymore. Finally, when I left the position I returned to my photography and this portrait is about that and the passing of time. I am crossing the threshold from “slavery” back to the luminous world of image-making. It has to do also with age ( I am almost 65 years old) and time has gone so fast! So this is a second threshold I am crossing, therefore the self-portrait. I took it with my X-Pro2 and the XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R lens, a tripod and natural afternoon light, slow speed, self-timer and it took like 4 shoots to get it as I had it in my head. I did some cropping and post processed in Photoshop.
How about a few more favorite photographs of yours? What do you enjoy shooting the most?
I like to watch all kinds of photography but for me, working the streets pleases me the most. Also I like to take objects in my studio. Since I come from the old school (film photography) I do not take too many photos, do not like to review in-camera the images I just made and have no use for the screen at the back of my X-Pro2 or X100F, except to change parameters. The tripod I use it in the studio only.
Anything particular you would like to see coming from Fujifilm in the upcoming months and years?
I would like to see the next generation of the X-Pro with some gains in noise-reduction and more pixels, why not. The medium format cameras are amazing but in the moment out of my reach. Maybe an X-Pro that takes only still images, and the space left (taking away the video capabilities) fill it with more film profiles, more pixels (I already said that), etc etc etc. Maybe a shift-tilt lens would be great.
Photography, for me, is not a profession nor a hobby. It is what defines me, and I am glad I am back doing what pleases me the most, making images.
Thanks a lot, Pericles!