Yona Elig | Geneva, Switzerland

Hi Yona, tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how did you get into photography?

I got into photography long ago, when I was in my twenties (I am 63 now) and studying graphic design in London. I was lucky to share a house with some photography students from the same college. They taught me a lot and gave me a chance to discover the darkroom!

Unfortunately, because of certain personal events I stopped two years later and came back to photography about ten years ago when I stopped working.

You submitted pictures of your project ‘Cafe Culture, a Travellers Viewpoint’. What made you to start this project?

I love the intimacy of the cafes, their "decors".  That amazing light and of course all those anonymous actors who, each in their own way, occupy their space and tell a story, inspire me and thanks to the Leica I got the atmosphere I desired.

The fact of traveling helped me in discovering other cultures, baristas, interiors, colors and so much more... And walking in the streets made me thirsty and curious.

Did you have a particular procedure while you were shooting in cafés?

I usually shoot with the camera on the table trying to make myself as invisible as I can which is not always easy with a Leica as it is not auto focus... But I try at least not to have the eye contact, I am too shy.

Most of your work is post processed by using an iPad. I would describe it „Photography meets Painting“. How came the idea up to mix these two mediums und use this technique to edit your photos?

It started for different reasons. First of all, as a graphic designer I always liked mixing photography with another form of art even with typography. Secondly, I love technologies. I am very curious about new applications and objects that constantly give us a chance to discover and use new technology. I have to admit that I am very Apple driven... From the moment the iPad Pro came out with the pen, I knew, that I would find a way and application that would give me a chance to do what I wanted for a long time. And you described it so well it became "Photography meets Painting".

Would you say, that paintings have influenced your photography?

No, I wouldn't say that paintings have influenced me, it is rather my search for something different.  It is by using the tools that I came to realize that my photography had become almost like a painting...

You said you are photographing with Leica Cameras. Why did you choose Leica Cameras to express your vision? Do you think Gear matters?

Actually, I have Leica and Fujifilm now and before that I used to have a Canon for a long time. No, gear is not important. In my opinion, for good photographers, it's the vision that matters. My case is different. It started with a birthday present at my 60th. I used the Leica when I decided to concentrate on shots in cafes, in interiors and people... With the Leica I realized there was something different.  Taking time to focus means taking time to watch the scene. ...and the noise of Leicas is unique ;) - I am just an amateur photographer...

What do you enjoy most, when you are out in the streets taking pictures?

I enjoy most having an aim - searching cafes, looking at people, seeing cities with another point of view, discovering streets and sometimes I find pearls on my journey!

You are traveling a lot. Do you have a favorite place/ country where you like to take pictures?
Can you explain us why?

I am lucky to travel to three cities which are immensely photogenic - and these are Paris, Istanbul and Tel Aviv. Each bring their own magic. It is very difficult to explain. It is usually a mixture of visions and feelings that are indescribable except through a lens.

What and who inspires you?

What inspires me is creativity, people and places. Things that amaze and surprise me - that are breathtaking - just by existing.  This makes me feel extremely alive, also this world is suffering.

You can find more about Yona's work on her Website http://www.yonaelig.com