The Decisive Moment, with Pedro Correa

Posted in In the Studio by Teddy Hall on 18th July 2016

Pedro Correa is a fine art photographer with a difference. Having studied oil painting and comic art at the Brussel’s Royal Academy of Arts, he became fascinated by photography and its capacity to capture the moment. He decided to pursue the path of chasing these meaningful, fragile moments, seizing them through the art of photography while taking his impressionistic background with him. With a recent solo show in London, and a portfolio just launched on Rise Art, we decided to sit down with him and find out more about his work, and this elusive thing he terms the decisive moment.

Left: Safari

Right: Raining Pearls

You were just in London for your latest show ‘Urban Soul’, how was your visit to the city?
Yes, I love coming to London. I came for the opening of my new solo show with the French Art Studio Gallery, but stayed for the week in order to walk around the city shooting and checking out the art scene. My pedometer tells me I walked an average of 10KM per day, so I guess I was pretty busy! My highlight was the photography exhibition at the Barbican, curated by Martin Parr. I also loved the huge formats of Massimo Vitali at the Ronchini Gallery, Lee Jeffries’ portraits at the Salvation Army HQ, and the Tate Modern as always.

Pedro's photographs at the Urban Soul exhibition

Why do you choose to make cityscapes?
Only in urban landscape photography (and even more in street photography) does the “decisive moment” take its real meaning. I really love the fact that I have to be 100% alert all the time to what surrounds me, that if I blink I can miss a moment of grace and beauty that was standing just next to me.

Chandelier in the Sky

Was it difficult to transition from a formal education in painting to photography?
Yes, it was tough. What is really tough is not really going from one discipline to the other, but actually the fact that I didn’t know how to achieve what I wanted to be my style, my inner voice, my project. So yes, it was hard to find my own personal way using what I had learned, but on the other hand it is the same very hard process that any artist has to endure. An artist is by (my) definition someone that has a novel way of expressing something very personal, mastering a certain technique. In that sense every artist will endure having to find that personal voice, and master his own technique, so my case is not a special one.

Photo via Benoit Do Quang

Do you think you’ve ever managed to capture the decisive moment?
The decisive moment is at the centre of every photographer’s work. It’s what make us tense our muscles (*all* muscles: eyes, brain and heart included), and wander the streets for hours looking everywhere. Photography, technically is just about pressing a button, so it's pretty straightforward. What makes a good photograph or photographer is the eye, the moment and the emotions we are able to capture and transmit. When I shoot, the brain is not able to process everything at the speed of a camera shutter, so a big part of my training was to let my instinct guide me. Following my instinct has led me to be able to shoot some truly decisive moments (like “Wooden Cab”, “Piano Lady” or “Checkmate”) where everything just falls into place, but my brain was only able to process all the information present in the image (and say “aha, this is interesting!”) only much later, when contemplating it on my computer screen.

Photo via Gautier Houba

Describe your work in 3 words
Impressionistic / Light / Poetry

Left: Heaven Burning

Right: Wooden Cab


Unintentional Gathering