Art

The Perfect Moment with Luis Pons

We as humans will integrate with technology in ways that will change us dramatically from what we consider “human” today.

Images by Luis Pons - Interview by Icarus Blake

The worlds of dance and still photography would seem naturally at odds, but there is a fleeting moment when the dancer achieves a perfect pose… That is the moment Luis Pons is perpetually searching for.

©Luis Pons

©Luis Pons

You say, very openly, that photography has saved you from depression. That is a very powerful statement. Can you, if you like, please explain to us the unusual role that photography has had in your life?
I felt miserable every day and photography was a way for me to get out of the house and, at the very least, get some sun and exercise. I started to notice that when I got the shot I wanted, I felt happy about it. I couldn’t wait to get home and edit it and show my friends and family the photo. Slowing but surely these were the moments that I remembered what it meant to be happy. It really helped in the healing process.

©Luis Pons

©Luis Pons

Let’s now talk about the choice of ballet as a subject. How did that happen?
It happened by accident. I wanted to shoot people looking dynamic. I was feeling better and wanted to reflect that joy in my photography so dance seemed like a good way to do it!

©Luis Pons

©Luis Pons

They say ballet photography, especially classical ballet, it’s very challenging because there is only one precise instant when the ‘position’ is perfect. Elaborate on that please.
Taking a good ballet photo is a lot harder than people realize. It’s about timing and the dancers overall technique. Ballet dancers are trying to be “perfect” and they realize there is no such thing, but ballet requires you to push yourself to find that moment when everything is perfect. I try to capture that moment and preserve it.

©Luis Pons

©Luis Pons

There seems to be minimal digital post-production in you images. That is refreshing. Is it an aesthetic choice?
I do shoot for beauty’s sake, so I do remove soda cans in a gutter if I happen to miss it while I am shooting, but, yes, I do believe that the setting should be untouched as much as possible. I don’t judge other photographers and how they edit, it’s very personal choice”

©Luis Pons

©Luis Pons

Classical dancers express themselves with their bodies; often their emotions are hard to find in their eyes/facial expressions, making them appear a bit ‘sterile’ in their pictures. Too much aesthetics, not enough content. Do you agree?
Yes, that is why I explain to the dancer what I feel at the moment in the environment and also ask what they feel while they are there. I ask them to channel that energy into the moment. I don’t always get it, but when I do it’s magical.

©Luis Pons

©Luis Pons

On your website you have a special section dedicated to Flamenco, which is an extremely sensual and passionate form of dancing. Why the special love for Flamenco?
Flamenco was the first dance I photographed, so it’s very special to me. It’s energy and passion are always on display, so it was a great way to be introduced to the art of dance.

©Luis Pons

©Luis Pons

You chose to bring classical dancers into an urban context. How did that choice come about?
Simply put, I can’t afford studio time! I also love being in the elements. I love taking a photo outside that looks like I had total control over the situation, when in fact I had no control over anything. That’s the challenge of shooting outside. You have to be extremely sensitive to everything around you and find the moment when, like the dancer, everything is perfect.

©Luis Pons

©Luis Pons

Although dance is the art of movement… You seem to be uninterested in shooting video. Why?
Photographers are too quick to move to video and I believe this is a mistake. I have only been a photographer for four years now and I have so much still to learn. I cannot imagine moving to another medium at this time. I am still finding out who I am in the realm of photography. I don’t like to rush my artistic development. I also believe this is why people are surprised I have only been shooting for four years or that I only devote eight to ten hours a month to my photography because I have a full time job. I make every hour count because it’s the only time I have.

©Luis Pons

©Luis Pons

The digital race and the search for A.I. are becoming scary. Scientists are convinced that one day the human brain will be programmed through a computer. That will make us into ‘organic’ robots. What’s your opinion?
The next step in human evolution will not be biological because we no longer have external stresses on us that would require our biology to adjust and change over time. We as humans will integrate with technology in ways that will change us dramatically from what we consider “human” today. To the degree that our human nature will remain intact, I cannot answer, but in 500 years from now, we will be something very different from what we are now. Also, remember that there is a difference between self-awareness and being a sentient being. Machines already exhibit self-awareness, albeit in a limited way, but none have proven to be sentient. A sentient being is able to feel and perceive the world around them. To look at a sunrise and feel its beauty is something that I do not believe A.I. will be able to do in our generation or perhaps ever.

You can see more of Luis Pons work on his WEBSITE

Or on his INSTAGRAM

©Luis Pons

©Luis Pons

 

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