All images by Mario Palufi. Used with permission.
Mario Palufi is a 22 year old photographer from Indonesia living in Sydney. He’s a street photographer and absolutely loves the medium due to the inspiration he’s gained while shooting. He works light with minimal gear and instead focuses a lot on geometry and colors.
But most amazingly, he’s found great ways to deal with angry people on the streets.
Phoblographer: Talk to us about how you got into photography.
Mario: I got into photography after I got some compliments from my friends when I did their photo frm the iphone when we were down to exploring. And from there I realized that I need to take photography in more serious way. Seeing some works from a lot of good photographers made me even excited to create my own photos and get to their level!
Phoblographer: What made you get into street photography?
Mario: Street photography is the first thing I have done since I bought my camera. I found some of big names out there such as Vivian Maier, Eric Kim, Fan Ho, etc. Their works made me overwhelmed and had opened my eyes for seeing things in different perspectives in a regular daily life.
Phoblographer: You’re a photographer that uses color very, very well with street photography. What techniques and tips are you usually keeping in mind as you shoot?
Mario: I always try to look for the attractive colors that are around me during the photo hunt. getting the object which can provide contrast in these colors is a big bonus. And for street photography you want to grab everything really quick to capture the right moment, so I don’t mind putting my ISO settings in auto mode sometimes when shooting in the place that always have a rapid change of light condition.
Phoblographer: Have you ever sat there and tried to figure out what specifically makes you want to shoot a scene? You’ve got some aspects of geometry in your images but also a bit of creative use of color and the overall moment.
Mario: Yes, the chance and the match of the object to the scene is something that I want to catch from the scene that I see. Good drops of lights, shadows, lines, colors, geometry, ambience of the place and the people surround it. I’m currently a big fan of Fan Ho!
Phoblographer: Have you ever had any terrible altercations on the street while shooting? How have you gotten passed them?
Mario: So far everything is going well, a couple of times people were got a bitangry and came to me to delete the photos, but its always easy to deal with and handle them. Just be nice. But there is an interesting story about how I connected with people that captured in my photo.
There is a man that I captured in the Chinatown area of Sydney, he was stopping by the Real Estate agency place and was looking at the list of properties on the glass wall, he was once think a bit, dreaming about the houses. I captured it and got the shot! Couple days after, I went to the airport and met this man that I captured with his same cloth when he was in Chinatown. I was shocked and ask for a selfie and told him that I met him before, he was laughing and happy when I showed him the picture. He was about to fly back to Italy.
Phoblographer: What photographers influenced you? What was so appealing about their work to you?
Mario: Fan Ho, Vivian Maier, Eric Kim, Paula Franqui, Hound, Takashi Yasui and many others. They got their own strong style and always putting out a lot of good photos. lighting, contrast, shadows, all of those important elements are there.
Phoblographer: What do you think about shooting from the hip?
Mario: Shooting from the hip is fun! I used to do it when I first started my photography, it’s really using your common sense to think whether it’s a perfect angle, position, focus point by measuring your position and distance to the object.
Phoblographer: Talk to us about the gear that you use. How does it help you to get the shots that you want?
Mario: For my street shooting, I mostly use my Nikkor 50mm f1.4 lens with me or sometimes 24mm Sigma art lens f1.4. 50mm is a good lens for street portraits and capturing a moment from a distance and the result is intense to the object. It’s also a light and small lens to bring around for walk while shooting. I shoot with 24mm when I need extra room for the place that has a close distance to the object, so I could get more room for the scene.
Phoblographer: As you’re culling images, what determines whether a photo makes it to the final selection or not?
Mario: I think the photos have to show the consistency. The look that its taken by the same photographer or not, like having a unique and strong style of images that makes that photographer is different compared to the other photographers. To not submitting generic street photos that been pretty mainstream from the old days to these days. Something fresh and different