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Latin American Fotografia: Tomas Arthuzzi

By David Schonauer   Wednesday August 19, 2015


It’s a good idea to always say “yes” when you’re asked to accomplish a difficult photo assignment.

Even if you have no idea how you’re going to do it.

In February, 2014, Brazil’s Superinteressante magazine approached São Paulo-based photographer Tomás Arthuzzi  about shooting a demanding image for an upcoming special issue on diets. “Translating from Portuguese, the title for the photo would be something like, “The Diets That Work,” says Arthuzzi.

The magazine’s art director, Rafael Quick, had come up with an idea for presenting a number of healthy foods in a graphic way, sliced and floating together in a virtual “stack” of nutrition.

“He asked me if I could shoot something like that, and I didn’t know if I could really could, but I said ‘yes’ and started thinking about how to do it,” says Arthuzzi. He soon arrived at a way to do the job:

“I shot each item separately, each placed on top of a piece of black plexiglass,” says Arthuzzi. The top ones, I shot upside down, inverting the lights so that once I rotated them I would get the same light as the bottom ones. To give the picture the ‘spread’ feeling and movement, I had to move the camera for all of the different shots. I shot the egg and then tilted up my tripod head by 1.5 degrees and lowered the camera to match the same focusing point on the cheese, for example. It was all a little bit tricky and easy to mess up, but patience and planning was the key to getting it done.”

After shooting the individual pieces of food, Arthuzzi put together the final image in Photoshop. “That part was not too complicated, as the background is pure black and everything was shot like that,” Arthuzzi says. “It was just a matter of positioning and making sure to put shadows to make it believable that the individual foods were floating on top of each other.” The image was later named a winner of the Latin American Fotografia 3  competition.

Born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Arthuzzi came to photography when he was 16. “A friend said that his uncle was looking for someone to help in a photo studio, so I went there and this guy taught me my first steps, and I started shooting graduation ceremonies back in 2005 with a Praktica MTL3, a fixed 50mm lens and a battery shoulder flash,” Arthuzzi says. “I kept doing that for some time, until I quit and started working on advertising and fashion photography as an assistant.”

In 2010, Arthuzzi moved to Ireland and assisted in a photo studio there. “Then, in 2012, I was back to Brazil and decided to try my luck in São Paulo, which was the best decision I’ve made,” he says. “Everything happened really fast for me here and I started shooting for really big magazines on a daily basis, shooting everything from still-life images like the food stack (see image at top) to celebrity portraits.”

 

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