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"I want to keep the craft alive"

E-M1 • M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:1.8 • 1:1.8 • 1/500s • ISO 400

As a documentary photographer, Stacii Samidin photographs the different levels of our modern society and records them in photo documentaries. Not just the different levels, but the different people, identities (stereotypes as well as subcultures), gangs, people from specific communities, or people who are just famous: all of these are "societies" according to Stacci. "I try to keep the craft alive by working with analogue instruments in addition to film and digital photography, because I feel that there is something poetic about them. That’s why I love my Olympus OM-D so much: it’s just like an analogue camera."

The young photographer travels far and wide, often to corners of the world that many of us avoid. Stacci is always in search of something unique. But what exactly is documentary photography? "Documentary photography tells stories. Through this kind of photography, I break the world up into three parts: me, my subject, and the world around us - the modern day. Each world has the same type of set pattern, the same way each day has a morning, afternoon, and night. I translate these worlds into images, blend them together. The creation of an open and honest image allows one to give an open and honest response. That is the real world." Samidin sometimes spends times with gangs, but is never afraid. "I am not looking for danger. Danger is something that you are taught as a child, but it is not necessarily the reality of the situation."

E-M1 • M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:1.8 • 1:1.8 • 1/1000s • ISO 200

His goal is to learn about new values and principles and to be inspired by them, to learn, and to present this knowledge in a powerful, raw, realistic image. Samidin: "I am also conscious of my generation, where the internet reigns supreme. I want to keep the craft that the first photographers established alive—in particular, by retaining the method and appreciation for photography through the use of film and other old-fashioned techniques. I record reality, continue to create analogue photos, and venture into worlds that others are unfamiliar with and where they may never go. I surround myself with beautiful moments and make contact with stunning, wonderful worlds. My life and photography act as a way for others to learn about these unfamiliar worlds. Sometimes, you have to set aside your own values and principles so you can open up to others, and see and learn about new worlds by doing so. It can often bring the people or the subject you want to record closer to you than you had thought.

E-M1 • M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:1.8 • 1:1.8 • 1/640s • ISO 100

In addition to striving for realism, Stacii still dares to dream: "I would love to set up large solo exhibits where 'societies' from all parts of the world could come together. It would allow me to create big landscapes of humanity and identity. Of course, I want to have a book published, too. And in the future? I want to be a part of "Magnum Photos." In addition to his analogue camera, Stacii Samidin uses an Olympus OM-D. "The Olympus OM-D is extremely powerful and can record images with a raw edge," he tells us. "In terms of its look, the device definitely resembles an analogue camera and the Olympus perfectly captures that poetic element, too. Even the size and feel give me a sense of that craftsmanship. Although, as a person, I am already a stranger in a foreign world, the Olympus OM-D makes me less conspicuous and allows me to take more compelling photos."

His analogue camera has a 35mm 1.4 lens. "I call this lens the eye of man." On his Olympus camera, he regularly uses the 17mm 1.8.

Photographer profile:

Stacii Samidin (1987) was born and raised in Rotterdam. In 2014, he completed a Photography program at the Willem de Kooning Academie. He does not come from a family of artists and does not have any creative background, so he has no direct connection to the sector, which is exactly why his work is so powerful and pure. "All my photography is a direct reflection of my inner self, the feelings involved, and the time and situation at that moment."