Solly Levi’s photography shows the wondrous beauty of the African continent. Based in the UK, we chatted to him about his love for Africa, his unique style and the reasons he chose Fujifilm.
How did your photography manage to take you to Africa?
I was born and raised in the Congo, so Africa always feels like home but also Africa has the best wildlife and landscapes in the world.
Africa has something that keeps you coming back for more as if you can’t get enough of it. Photography is an excuse to let you explore and discover new things all the time.
Like the saying goes: “The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa – for he has so much to look forward to.”
Your images have an ethereal, dreamlike quality to them. Was this your goal when you started working towards a style?
I always believe that you need to have your own style and stand out from the usual. I still believe that telling the story is more important than the technical side of the photo. If you manage to combine good editing with a good composition, your story becomes interesting and therefore you have achieved a good photo.
You develop a style that works through the years, so at the beginning you still are in the discovery process until you reach the style that makes who you are and what you want to represent in a photo.
As a European, do you think you might have a different perspective on African wildlife and landscapes?
It doesn’t matter where you are based, African wildlife and landscapes will always intrigue and amaze nature lovers like nowhere else on this planet.
What’s one thing about photography you wish you’ve known earlier?
I wished to have started earlier to help people, through photography, be aware of the importance of wildlife parks in Africa.
Is there a specific reason why you chose Fujifilm?
Fujifilm is perfect to avoid carrying too much weight on your trips. The quality the camera delivers is number one. If it works, instead of investing in more equipment, invest in mastering what you already have.
What did you have to learn/change when you took up drone photography?
Drone photography is no different than regular photography, you still need that great composition. The only downside is the camera which you cannot compete with a DSLR or mirrorless camera in terms of quality. Hopefully that will change with time.
If you had to choose only one country to photograph in for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
Namibia, it has everything and more. You just can’t get enough of it. (I also run workshops in Namibia, with more information available here: https://www.sollylevi.com/Workshop/Namibia-Workshop)
Any tips for photographers looking to improve their fine art landscapes?
Understand good framing, understand the light, master editing, all with passion added.