Serge Hamad is a visual artist of French and Algerian descent who is currently based in New York. He specializes in photography and has a background in conflict zone photography and videography spanning several decades. In 2011, he made a significant transition in his career, redirecting his creative focus toward the realm of fine art.
Artrepreneur: What considerations do you take into account when working with natural light versus artificial lighting setups? How does your choice of lighting affect the mood and atmosphere of your photographs?
Serge Hamad: I specialize in taking pictures of the sea and its surroundings. As with any outdoor photographer, I am subject to the unpredictable forces of nature. However, I minimize this by examining weather patterns in different regions to anticipate lighting conditions. For example, I know that the Bay Area in California often has a hazy, enigmatic appearance during certain times of the year. If I aim to capture this effect, I will plan my trips accordingly. The rest of the time, it’s a matter of waiting patiently and hoping for a stroke of luck, such as when a ray of sunlight breaks through the clouds to illuminate a sailboat on the water and add more depth to your photograph.
ATP: How do you find inspiration and maintain creativity in a world saturated with images?
SH: There is indeed an overwhelming number of images that people come across daily. However, many of these images are overlooked within a fraction of a second. The key is to find creativity in your own way of seeing things and not be influenced by any trend or style.
ATP: How do you incorporate elements of surprise or ambiguity in your images to engage and challenge the viewer?
SH: I created a series called Temporal Perception to encourage deep thinking and introspection by combining real and abstract elements. First, I take a photograph with naturally occurring colorful lines. Then, I digitally continue those lines onto a second or even third panel, resulting in a diptych or triptych. The concept was intentionally simple so it leaves a lasting impression on viewers.
ATP: How do you approach the concept of beauty in your work, and how does it intersect with social, cultural, or personal perspectives?
SH: As someone who loves the sea, I find great joy in capturing its stunning seascapes through photography. Nature gifts us with such beauty, and it’s my pleasure to share it with others. Growing up in a multicultural family and having traveled extensively, I’ve learned that people from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds can appreciate the wonders of nature.
ATP: How do you view the relationship between the photographer and the viewer, and what role does interpretation play in the appreciation of your art?
SH: I believe that a work of art is truly successful when it sparks a conversation. As an artist, I don’t feel it’s my place to determine its meaning. Instead, I find the viewer’s interpretation to be crucial in gaining a new perspective and connecting with others. However, when it comes to using photography in conflict zones as I did for decades, there is less room for interpretation as the purpose is to inform on factual events.
To view more of Serge’s work please visit his Artrepreneur profile.