Halim Ina was born in Managua, Nicaragua of Lebanese parents. While on a visit to see his family in Lebanon, he took along a film camera to document his parents town.He spent the days just walking the streets and recording everything before him. Architecture, street merchants, and just the feel of the town. A cab driver thought he should see the migrants and Arabs living in a tent city not far from the town. He saw the most incredible faces and inspiration struck.
Black and White Film
Halim Ina soon returned to the states and developed all the film. He was shocked at how expressive and poignant the images were. Hence started his road down a path of portraiture. He uses 3 types of film in his work; Fuji Neopan Acros 100, Kodak TMX and Kodak TMY. He found these films most compliant to his darkroom printing. It’s been 2 decades that he’s used the same films.
Have Hassy, Will Travel
His cameras are few, but cherished. His workhorse camera is the Hasselblad 555 ELD. Most of his work is done with this camera. But the rangefinder Fuji GA645, (GA645i and GA645zi), is another camera he employs extensively. Especially for environmental scenes. He loves photographing people, and is always amazed at how sheer strangers are willing to bare their souls in front of his lens. His one main goal? To produce a faithful representation of that which stands before him.
Although he has done color work, Halim Ina has made a conscious decision to dedicate himself to black and white. His structure of working is always in flux. He may just take a few images or a few rolls. It’s totally dependent on getting the image he seeks. Most of his work is done overseas. He may be indoors, or just use the location backdrop as a prop. He’ll usually speak with the families to ask their preference.
Halim Ina – The World is my Studio
While in some countries the subjects are able to travel to a park or a beach, there are places like Africa where that is not possible. But having sitters be in familiar surroundings and feeling comfortable is of utmost importance. Maybe just sharing a cup of tea or a meal will do more than all the equipment in the world. He uses a simple gray card at the start of each shoot.
He’s always prepared with lenses, including the Hassy Zeiss 50mm, 60mm, 100mm and 180mm. In addition, his setup allows a Sony RX100 to shoot simultaneously as he fires the shutter. This allows the villagers to receive a print relatively immediately, and is paid back in endearing him to his subjects and other local villagers. His work has allowed him to bond with people he may have otherwise never met. While his images have inspired many, his goal is to make the world just a little better and inspire himself.
All his money from photographic images is donated to educating women in 3rd world countries. Enjoy more of the work of Halim Ina at the website link below.