We are delighted to present the overall ‘Spirit of Tango’ Award 2017 to the Tango Photographer, Marcos Angeloni, for the image ‘Essence’.

Marcos said: “I am really happy for having won this Award! Thank you!”

The Judges said: “The image has an unusual quality of stillness, a very nice use of the blackout or black backdrop technique, as the dancers emerge from the inky canvas into the light like creatures from another world. The photographer has captured a moment of poignant, unchecked and uncomplicated emotion here that compels the observer to feel respect for the dancers’ intimacy. Neither can we dispute the composition which, from every angle, allows the eye to glide easily from one detail to the next in circular. These three elements in combination made us return to this image again and again. A beautiful portrayal of tango.”

May we introduce you to Marcos!

Where are you coming from?

I live in Cologne, Germany but I grew up in Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Favourite photographic genre?

I love to photograph Portraits, in unusual situations and remote locations. I also love to do Documentary Photography while I am traveling.

How would you describe your style?

My style is based on giving each picture a concept, a feeling, that appears at the moment I’m taking the photo.

What do you do when you are not taking pictures?

I dream of realising my travels. Traveling is the thing that takes the rest of my time. It is something I would like to do for the rest of my life.

Why did you start shooting tango?

It was kind of incidental. I just wanted to start dancing Tango again. Then I found a group of young people (“En Tus Brazos, Köln”) giving free classes in a very charming atmosphere here in Cologne. I ended up taking pictures of every meeting.

What’s so great about being a photographer?

For me the most important thing is to bring a message with my pictures.

What was your first camera?

A Film Samsung (1993). My father bought it for the family and the camera was always kept safe in a closet. For me, it was always incredible to open the closet and take this little black camera out.

What camera do you use now?

A Canon 5d Mark iii

What catches your eye and compels you to take the shot?

Details and the meaning of the movement in front of my camera.

What is something you are still learning?

To embrace my life as it comes.

What advice do you have for photographers just starting out?

I can only say to try to combine the power of your eyes with your feelings. The camera doesn’t matter. YOU have the power!

What is the greatest challenge for a tango photographer?

I think it is the fight with the ambient light. I am not the kind of photographer who uses flash. I try to be invisible when I am taking pictures. The goal is to not disturb the people dancing and let the magic happen with gestures and movements.. and then clack!

Who inspires you?

Lots of photographers inspire me, but I would have to say Sebastiao Salgado, a Brazilian social documentary photographer and photojournalist recognised worldwide for his work during the war. He started as a documentary photographer in the war and eventually became involved in environmental  photography.

Congratulations once again Marcos! It is a beautiful image and worthy winner.

We are delighted to present the overall ‘Spirit of Tango’ Award 2014 to Philippe Gauthier for the image ‘Cindarella’s Dream’. Philippe receives £100 in gift vouchers to the photography store of his choice.

Congratulations Philippe, its a wonderful shot!

“This is such a great news! I’m very honored. I know the competition was tight and I’m very happy my picture could get so far.” Philippe Gauthier

‘CINDARELLA’S DREAM’

The judges said: One of the best images so far. Its editorial quality! If I took it I would be delighted. The dancers stand to the side to let the central focus through. The image is beautifully lit. The thin line of light coming from under the couch draws my eye to the subject and ties the dancers on each side together, creating a line of motion.

MEET THE PHOTOGRAPHER BEHIND THE LENS

FROM: I live in Paris, it’s a great city for tango and photography so I’m quite happy about it.

GENRE: It’s a difficult question, I like them all : street, night, portrait, macro, … and of course tango !

STYLE: It’s something evolving, and I’m just discovering what is my style or styles. I like deep blacks, warm reds, textures, but maybe more importantly giving a sense of depth. Technically, I like to be discreet, to be unobtrusive and not alter my subject, to capture it as it is. Then, it might sound cheeky, but there is something about love and optimism… Trying to find the best framing, the best color, waiting for everything to be just right, to make you love the subject. It’s like the half-empty/half-full glass dilemma, but I try to make everyone see the glass…, full.

THE SHOOT

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the northeastern suburbs of Paris in a little house, with a front and a back yard, and a park nearby.

What do you do when you are not taking pictures?
I’m also a computer engineer in a state research institute for health. I do a LOT of tango. I’m also in an amateur band. We play for theatre. Sometimes I play piano or ukulele. I love to travel and watch movies.

Why did you start doing tango photography?
Well I started photography for tango! Something was so fascinating about a couple dancing tango, so many delicate emotions kept within, yet, sometimes so strong. I wanted to fix that somewhere and prolong the fainting moment.

Why do you love being a photographer?
It’s my personal therapy! I’m a bit shy, so that’s my way to say I love you to the world, and you should too !

What was your first camera?
My father gave me a compact Olympus Lumix LX3.

What type of camera do you have now?
I have an “hybrid” camera which means it’s very compact, without any mirror mechanisms like reflex cameras, but I can still change lenses and have good image quality. I trade the operability and auto focus system the pro cameras have for something cheap, light and that I can carry everywhere! I work mostly with legacy and manual lenses, I lose auto-focus, but there is something self-rewarding by doing all that manually and the camera still helps me.

What catches your eye and compels you to take a shot?
Usually emotions like a smile. Or something you can guess but not quite see yet. Sometime just sunlight beaming at grass makes me run on my knees to take a shot. :p

What is something you are still learning?
I have learned most technical aspects of photography and now I’m learning what is my style, what I’m naturally good at, and am pushing it to the max. I’m also allowing myself to get out of it sometimes and try something new, even if the result is bad at first, it gives contrast.

What advice do you have for photographers just starting out?
To try to find a camera he/she can have fun with. Something easy at first. Smartphones are getting better and better if your geeky or an Instax camera that can give you a real photo you can share. So yes, something to get the result, a photo, fast and be able to quickly re-try. Ok, night photos and interior photos will require a better camera but you can still do long exposure shots, and it seems I won with a long exposure shot. The most important thing is framing, the line of a photo, a pro camera won’t teach you that but could lose yourself in all the parameters available.
Then be curious about everything. Ask yourself, ‘what do I like about this photo?’ Then ask your friend. Then try to make that photo again. Look at others’ works, painting, …

What do you think is the greatest challenge for a tango photographer?
If can mention three of them. I would say it’s about scenery, light and patience. The light is usually so dim inside milongas that it restricts the scene possibilities. Then it’s to renew that scenery, its scale, to find a new story to tell with the same couple, something original. Finally patience is key. I usually choose my frame and wait for a good scene to form itself in it. I sometimes get tired of waiting. But that’s exactly how I made the shot of Cindarella’s Dream, so it’s worth it !