What is your view on the current situation?
We have to be positive, we have no choice. Even if all the signals show us to which point, the fact of wishing to live as before leads us right into the wall. This containment due to the pandemic could be a unique opportunity to tend towards a certain decrease, happy sobriety, slow down this infernal spiral of competition, excessive consumption and take the time … Take time to create, to think, to think, to daydream, to enjoy, to please, to be amazed… We knew that the current world is unfair and violent, but this unique period shows it to us even more.
You recently spoke about the real usefulness of the profession of photographer, what is your feeling on that?
We are inundated with images, photographs, videos… How can we give more meaning to our profession? Difficult question. I do not have the answer. Perhaps by avoiding also sinking into consumerism, in the accumulation of beautiful images, to follow the trips … stop following the movement, be more unique? I'm afraid of this immediacy, these social networks (a-social in my opinion) at all, right away. It's so contrived.
You have long been aware of the idea of photographing the beauty of proximity, what does this process consist of?
Photography as I understand it is to “catch” poetic intuitions, to grasp them, that is to say, to have a look, which by our history, education, ordeal, pain, joy… is singular, personal. I like to say that we do not photograph what we see but what we feel. And for this, the secret is time … take time. This is the rule in animal photography, but I also think for other areas of photography.
How do you find the beautiful near you?
He is everywhere! Even if mediocrity and ugliness invade our countryside, our cities, the beautiful is on our doorstep. We need it, like spiritual food. And beauty, which is also singular, leads to love, and love to protection and protection to respect. We don't normally destroy what we love.
Also, be careful, “nature” is not a human playground. And that we tend to believe, especially with these photographic trips, which sometimes remind me of those of trophy hunters, among others. But also this local tourism where we are no longer satisfied with simple happiness, but we have to go on delusional and ecologically irresponsible projects. See how we “use” our mountains, how concrete eats away at the wild. it is distressing! For futile, ephemeral pleasures … I sometimes have the feeling that we owe it to the people who get bored, who have to consume because they are formatted for that, from an early age.
I reread Giono and he says in “The Hunt for Happiness” a sentence that I find correct: “Very few people live in the present. They inhabit the past, the future or both. The blows, they receive them twice. The joys, they blunt them in advance. They live in fear of misfortunes that this disproportionate foresight, in the expectation of happiness that the distance will exhaust ”.
There will come a time when it will be “has-been” to have a series of trips. There comes that time when we should be ashamed to fly. That's my case! For the past ten years or so, I have been in this paradox that I am trying to correct. I get there and feel more in harmony with what I stand for.
Finally, what do you think will be the challenge for photographers in the years to come?
Don't be a victim of this company. Stop going with the flow. Perhaps on the fringes … also more humble. There is a levelling out in all areas. I like the roughness, the reliefs, the differences… the diversity! Whether within living beings or in culture, photography etc… It is a force. I am no longer surprised by photography now because it is homogenized. Hopefully the uniqueness and authenticity.