Bit of grain in Udaipur

Technical failures as aesthetic resources 

I became myopic with age. What I see is never 100% sharp. When I look at my photos, I have to put on my glasses now.  When I walk around and take off my glasses, everything becomes grainy, imprecise. Now I can’t read the names of subway stations without glasses. Shit…. I wish my eyes could not grow old… When the surgeon has a shaking hand, when the pianist becomes deaf, when the photographer becomes myopic, we have the same apprehension about time that passes.  Most of my pictures are very clean. They skillful camera hides my optical imperfections. So I decided to respect these defects and convert them into qualities. Let’s look at our eye; he will tell us that for the picture, the details fade away. But what am I going to do if I am a wise photographer? Do I have to sacrifice the details?

The sacrifice of details

We often refrain from using the term “fuzzy”, whose connotation in photography is too negative. We prefer to talk about the sacrifice of details. The sacrifice of details is aimed primarily at allowing representation to correspond to the human vision. In impressionist and pointillist painting, the sacrifice of details blends in with the notion of blur and small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image, because both share the same mimetic value, aiming to bring together the representation of reality and human vision. The painters Paul Signac, Henri-Edmond Cross or Maximilien Luce knew that human vision was imperfect.

Reproducing reality is impossible, so maybe I can suggest it.

Reproducing reality is impossible, so maybe I can suggest it. Here are some examples of photos taken in Udaipur. It is a peaceful city that I especially appreciate in the morning, at dawn. If you come to Udaipur, you will feel like you are travelling in time. So I tried to make old photos with visual imperfections. It’s a little fuzzy, there’s noise and the contrast is low. But when you print photos, the magic of visual suggestion works. I think printed photos have a timeless charm.

In Nat Geo France, october 17 TH

In October 2017, the magazine National Magazine France featured my photo of the Sikh and the two shadows.

The National Geographic France organized a contest around “shadows” and featured three photographers on printed magazine. My photography was among these. This photo had already been published by the American National Geographic in February 2016. Thank you National Geographic!

National Geographic’s publications

Between 2013 and 2017, the National Geographic published sixteen of my photos. Most of them are pictures from India. (my thanks to the National Geographic)

Back in 2014, I visited the Kathputly Colony slum. It was destroyed in 2016. National Geographic selected and published 5 photos. 

In 2013, I discovered the blue city of Jodhpur, where Steve McCurry’s books had made me dream of. The National Geographic published a photo of the pariah dog and the woman with the red sari.

Same year, I laughed at the summit of the Petit Mont Blanc. The National Geographic published a 282-page book, ’Getting your shot’, the black and white photo is on page 93. 

In July 2014, I was working in Casablanca. On the day of my holidays, I walked on the Port of Casablanca where I saw a young guardian of fishing nets taking a nap. National Geographic selected and published the monochome shot of sleeping guardian. 

Same month, back in Paris I saw a sleeping tourist. He was lying at the fountain of the castle of the Louvre. National Geographic published the funny shot and the photojournalist Benjamin Lowy wrote to me: “Wow. This made me - and Im pretty sure everyone else who has seen it - laugh out loud. Great street photography, can be mysterious and dark, questioning and vague, but it can also be witty and sardonic. This is life, but life is more than street beggars and commuters, life can be funny!”  (here)

Later that year, I did streetphotography for fun when I saw a Japanese woman and her Baxter dog. National Geographic selected and published this shot. 

In February 2016, I was working in Kolkata. Early in the morning, I took a series of photographs of Howrah Bridge. The photo of the sadhu coming out of the water was published by the National Geographic. This photo had some success which allowed me to do exhibitions in Switzerland and Russia.

Same month, I discovered the golden temple of Amritsar and three shots I took were published by the National Geographic.

In January 2017, I was working in Udaipur, Rajasthan. I followed a group of Jain monks. The photo was published in the National Geographic but also later in the French press (La Croix).

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