Interview with Philippe Marchand
#1 Please introduce yourself:
Born in 1961, Philippe Marchand lives in Nantes in Brittany (West of France).
#2 How did you get interested in photography?
I discovered photography when I was 16 through a friend who was studying art. He lent me an old Russian camera of his (Zenith).
#3 Do you have an artistic/photographic background?
No I am a self-taught photographer.
#4 Which artist/photographer inspired your art?
A lot of photographers.specially those who were a lot of black and white I discovered famous photographers by reading magazines and I tried to imitate them I think it is a good way to discover your own style. Among all those who influenced me if I had to choose one, I would say Jean Loup Sieff.
#5 How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph? Are you planning every step or is it always spontaneous?
I am like a hunter, I prepare my materials before and I go to interesting place and after the hunt begin, it is always very exciting, I love this moments. Strangely I always have a camera on me but I use it rarely, I need to know I am looking for images to do my best.
#6 On most of your photographs there are really harsh weather conditions, rain, fog or even snow. Is this your favorite setting for photography?
I try to capture and recreate the atmosphere of a scene or of scenery as I see it or would like to see it. It is most interesting when the wheather creates strongs conditions. I have an endless admiration for those writers who in a few sentences are able to evoke the touch of rain on skin or the smell of a crushed mint leaf between ones fingers.
#7 We can see your photographs only in black and white, why have you chosen to present them in this form?
Images in black and white are more timeless and less rooted in reality and this suits me perfectly.
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#8 Could you tell our readers how to reach such excellent results in photography?
The first thing is to master the technique enough to know what you do then you choose a theme and treat it with your feeling. I think all themes are good so long as you make them your own: the crucial thing is to bring something of your own touch to any theme that you adopt. That being said, originality just for the sake of originality is pointless. Other than that, I believe that all is permitted.
#9 Do you work as a professional photographer or do you pursue the art as a hobby?
I am a professional now, but I began like an amator.
#10 What do you do in your life besides photography?
I share my time between my family (I have a baby a few months) my friends and my job.
#11 Are you planning any exhibitions of your works in near future?
Not in near future.
#12 Can you tell us about the equipment that you use? (digital or traditional)
I have used all sorts of cameras both traditional and digital. At the moment, I am working with a Nikon D2X, and a D3 soon.
#13 How do you prepare your prints? (LAB, darkroom, digital printing, etc.) What is your favorite kind of paper?
The experience I acquired in the dark room is essential and the only difference with computer is that the tool I use has evolved. I think that is very important for a photographer to have control over his images and so for him to master the different techniques that will allow him to achieve his objective. Now I print my images on a 4800 epson with K3 inks on Hahnemuhle paper called baryta.
#14 Is it possible to purchase your prints and, if so, where?
At the moment my images are on sale at: www.photoslimited.com
#15 What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?
I have differents commercial projects on the go but as soon as I have a free moment I work on my personal black and white project that I started in 2002. I had initially anticipated that this would take 6 months to a year to complete but I am still working on it today. In fact, I am beginning to think that this project will never come to its end- a thought that, if I am to be honest, I find hugely appealing.
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