“Conceptual Noir” with Elvir Ali

Elvir Ali

Photographer/Videographer

“I’m on the hunt for who i’ve not yet become”

IG: @e.lvir

NYC

What got you into photography?

I actually started photography as a publicist in my high school by borrowing my friends camera. I also had a page on Facebook with some friends that was similar to Humans of NY but ours was called Humans of Murrow. Photographing students, teachers, faculty etc. with their own comment or statement about anything really. I was also part of the art field, in where I painted with oils and acrylics, drew constantly and even made sculptures. I think tho toward the end of my senior year those two just blended. I bought a camera and started using my creativity from painting to creating my visual photographs.

Im happy you said that because from looking at some of your work I see that you layer pictures to tell a message. . . what would you call your style?

“Conceptual Noir”  conceptual meaning I try to plan my photographs, and noir meaning I love the use of shadows to amplify the image itself or sometimes the message.

“Conceptual Noir” that got a nice little ring to it, so I know you  do both video and stills, do you prefer one over the other?

I actually first heard the definition of Noir first from films(videos), I think I do prefer film over photography because you are able to grab the readers attention for more than just that second they look at your photograph. But photograph can also be immensely more impactful, being still and silent.

With that being said, what is your favorite thing to shoot and what is your process, considering you said you like to plan your photographs?

I personally don’t have a favorite, but it might be a mixture of both portrait and landscape combination. I love shooting people with a more dark look ranging from masks to just the way they dress etc. My process cant start from one thing and then it just builds. Like for example, some recent shoot I did, I had a lab coat hanging in my room and I thought why not use that as a next shoot? I also watch a lot of films to get influenced or even inspired. My favorite film is 7 Samurais by Kurosawa

That actually leads into my next question perfectly, do you have anybody that influences you or like  7 Samurais is there anything you get inspiration from?

Francis Bacon and Akira Kurosawa are typically my main two figures that I look up to. Bacon is an outstanding painter that shows the true effects of colors and how it can change the viewers feeling. My favorite quote by him is “you could say that i have no inspiration, that I only need to paint”. I thought I had to search for something to paint but Francis taught me not to paint something that could be taken as a picture but paint something that can give a sense of emotion to the viewer, and so I did. Now of course I don’t paint but I use the same knowledge for taking photographs or making films. Akira Kurosawa’s style or better known as composition of movement to his stories visually is the staple of his films. Kurosawa also loved using environments to express more movement in his films, I do also with my films and sometimes photographs. I think i’ll stop here [laughs] But i also try to create my own influence for the most part.

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