Luis Colmenero’s Incredibly Composed Photos Will Inspire You

All images by Luis Colmenero. Used with permission.

Photographer Luis Colmenero is a special breed. A while ago, he won our mission with EyeEm entitled “My Favorite Photo”, and his body of work is different in that it relies heavily on geometry, negative space, and color. Bresson would be proud of him.

Phoblographer: Talk to us about how you got into photography.

Luis: As a child I was given a small Kodak camera and started to take photos and describe things that were there, and turn them into an image. Later I bought an SLR camera and took a course with the University Photography Group. From that moment, the relationship with photography was present at all times: on the street, in books, in the cinema, at work, and it has never left me. Since I started with EyeEm in 2012 this relationship with photography has intensified to become daily, increasing the perception I have about what surrounds me.

Phoblographer: Tell us the story behind the winning photo.

Luis: I chose this photo because I like the atmosphere: the pale green color and contrast created between the two athletes and the large area of urban river in Seville.

Canoeing is a fascinating sport in which the entire body gets an intense and complete workout. And on top of that you practice in a river like the Guadalquivir, which is already an amazing experience: feeling the canoe glide smooth and fast on the water surface, the feeling of freedom when navigating in nature, how the dugout responds to your movements, nobody bother you while paddling. 

One morning walking around Sevilla I was standing on one of the bridges that cross the river Guadalquivir, when in the distance I see two rowers coming, advancing quickly but gently. They’re approaching to pass under the bridge and I make a picture of that as it happens. When I was done, I packed up and left. No one bothered me.

Phoblographer: Your particular creative vision uses and skews towards working with lines and being very particular about colors. What makes you want to capture the world this way?

Luis: I want the compositions to be simple and balanced so that the image is easily explained, and in turn explains a small story. I look at common things that normally go unnoticed to reflect upon them in another way, because I like to capture the world with images that speak of geometric abstraction, poetry, and silence.

Phoblographer: Where do you draw your influences from?

Luis: I am interested in almost all kinds of photography, but especially urban photography, architecture, geometry. I am very influenced by advertising, architecture, cinema, and how to tell some stories, especially artists who represent images suspended in time, the relationship between urban space and nature, and the mystery intrinsic to the landscape. I think of Bleda and Rosa, Andreas Gursky, Axel Hutte, Niko Luoma, Ola Kolehminen, and Petra Wunderlich.

Every time I look at an exhibition or go to a museum I overload on information and it seems that the explosion of impressionist colors and, above all, the works of conceptual artists and minimalists: I put many things in the head.

Phoblographer: When you’re looking at a scene, what determines whether or not you actually take a photo? Lots of folks may in fact just see a lake, but you see different things altogether.

Luis: Photography has a very high component of discovery, of curiosity for what is there and the need to translate it into an image. I think it’s thanks to that curiosity that I look at different things that normally go unnoticed because they are very common and everyday.