Italian photographer Paul Banner is at his best in an empty room at dusk. There, he shoots blazing images of a temptress electrified with eroticism and shrouded in shadows. We rarely see her face, but her limber body tells us everything. We spoke with Paul through poor translation to see what drives him to paint lust with light.
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Sez G: Where in Italy are you based?
Paul Banner: I'm in Puglia, a region in southern Italy.
Sez G: Your photos are so clean, balanced, symmetrical and form-based. Did you study art?
Paul Banner: I have not studied art, but I feel that the knack for it is something innate. Also, I was the art director in an advertising agency for over twenty years.
Sez G: How did you begin shooting erotic photography?
Paul Banner: Out of a desire to immortalize the perfect shapes of women.
Sez G: In most of your nudes, the woman's face is hidden by the angle or shadows. What effect on the viewer do you think this has?
Paul Banner: I think it is not always important to show the face; indeed, in not showing it, the photo becomes more intriguing and mysterious. The viewer must focus more on the body of the models.
Sez G: Speaking of the bodies, there are a lot of bums in your photos. Are you an "ass-man?"
Paul Banner: I can say that it is one of the parts of the body that I prefer.
Sez G: You have a dozen beautiful photo sets on your site based on a nude woman in a sparse location with one prop. How much of your shooting do you plan out and how much is spontaneous?
Paul Banner: A good 50% goes towards planning in advance.
Sez G: Many of your models seem sincerely and completely turned on. What's your relationship like with your models? What's the shooting environment like that allows you to achieve this eroticism?
Paul Banner: There is always a relationship of mutual confidence. This is important for the good of the photos.
Sez G: The lighting in your photos is most striking. Do you prefer natural light?
Paul Banner: I love to be able to control and play with the lights …to craft them in strange ways. I do prefer shooting on location to the photographic studio. From the bath to the bedroom, from the hotel to the outdoors...
Sez G: How much work goes into achieving that perfectly lit shot?
Paul Banner: It's all in preparing the set. Then the shoot goes much faster.
Sez G: Your images have such a soft, dreamlike quality. How much computer retouching do you do on them?
Paul Banner: With digital photography, the photograph cannot be separated from the computer. But I use Photoshop only to optimize the light effects.
Sez G: What's next for you?
Paul Banner: I hope to be able to continue photographing every time I have a new idea.
To learn more about Paul Banner, visit www.paulbanner.com.
Paul Banner - by Sez G.