Yvette Depaepe - Editor in chief
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Now it's time for an interview that is long overdue. As head of the editor team, Yvette Depaepe has played an enormeous part in making this magazine what it is. Besides her great contributions to the community, Yvette is also a wonderful photographer in her own right. Thanks to Paulo Abrantes for conducting the interview.
First things first. If I was checking in at 1X at this precise moment and the first thing I did was to read this interview, briefly, what would I need to know about Yvette Depaepe.
Traveling not only means new horizons. It also means experiencing deeper emotions. I capture these emotions in my images, which give them much more meaning than just being a recording of a landscape, a tree, a waterfall, the sea. My photography is purely emotional. I want to give my photos a soul, I want to capture the emotions I felt when I took the photo and show them in the processed image. Every photo is a reflection of my soul.
Now we know about Yvette the photographer but what about Yvette, head of the 1x editorial team? Are these two persons “connected” in some way or do you try to keep them apart to do these separate taskes?
Then, my Canadian photo friend discovered 1x and thought that this was a site fitting perfectly well for me. I opened a Pro account and started to do what I used to do on the old Photoblog: uploading images and commenting to get inspired by the many talented photographers I was amazed to discover. Yes, this was my new home … I went to a few meet-ups and the circle of new friends increased very fast. In Spring of 2014, I organized a 1x meet-up together with Piet Flour in Bruges. It became a huge success. About 36 members from 15 different countries arrived in my home city. We spent two fantastic days together. Ralf Stelander, the founder of 1x was there too.
Because of my “popularity” due to my comments, he asked me to function a little bit as a 1x ambassador and asked me to start doing interviews with our members and with well known photographers. It was very exciting and I loved to do that. Later on, the idea was born to create a Magazine together with a team of editors. Every three months there was an issue in magazine format.
Since November 2015, the concept has been changed and became an online Magazine with daily publications. I love it, and with the help of a fine team of editors it is becoming better and better. Uploading my own images and commentary is closely connected to my “job” as Head Editor. For me it is one single package.
Can you tell us how you became interested in photography?
In less than 3 years, my amateuristic love for photography became an passion. I began to develop my films at home and made my contact sheets by turning the bathroom light on and off. Crude but effective. At school, we had about 8 small darkrooms with Durst enlargers. We used to develop 5 pictures out of one filmroll with a specific theme each week. I felt so limited to only having the opportunity once a week to develop my images, that I bought my own enlarger, a fantastic Meopta.
I established my first darkroom in the bathroom, which was a huge job installing everything, sometimes for only one picture. My enlarger was on the edge of the bath tub and I projected the images onto the floor. After developing I rinced the prints in the bath and dried them on the tiles around the bath. Eventually the attic became my real darkroom. Every Friday evening I spend hours in it. Sometimes going to bed when the sun was about to rise. I was in my own magical world, just me and my photos.
I had some exhibitions and particpated to many photo contests. I won a few awards and am still proud of especially these two:
“Best Journalism Award” - 1st Bayer International Exhibition For Pictorial Monochrome Prints in 1998 in Leverkusen
“Bronzen Lens” - International Photo Festival Knokke-Heist in 2000
My love for photography became not only a passion, but an obsession. And that is all the fault of my oldest daughter (smiles brightly).
Photography is a big word with many meanings. What is “photography” for you? Are you “open” to all kind of meannings or are you more restricted in the meaning of the word?
As a viewer of other´s work, what do you expect to see in someone´s image? What are the qualities and flaws you seek in other´s pictures?
You shoot a wide specter of motifs, as we can see in your 1X gallery. What is your drive or motivation to chose your photography subjects?
We all know your outstanding work as head editor and as a photographer, here on 1X. Outside the “web” do you have other photography projects?
I would never have believed that I would have been able to do what I'm doing today as head editor. Secret projects concerning the magazine … no!!! Producing more interesting articles of high quality by having a good collaboration with all the great editors in my team (who have all become pretty close friends) and of course, constantly increasing the amount of readers. These are my main targets.
It is not only my first published image on 1x but also very precious to me. Why? Well it is a location that many photographers go to and a beloved location for workshops. It is also a location that I see very often while driving to the coast. I took it on a winter day at noon. I didn't have my tripod but was so fascinated by the beautiful symmetric reflections that I used the fence on the bridge instead, not to miss the opportunity. Since that day, I have never seen the same light and unique view of that canal.
When in love with photography it´s a common place, for everybody, to have also some favorite photographers. Can you mention who influenced you the most and why?
The list of my favorite photographers is endless and varied. But to name one who had a huge influence on me: Robert Capa! A long time ago I went to an exhibition about World War II in Ypres and at the entry there was a huge photograph by Capa with one of his best quotes: “If your pictures are not good enough, you weren't close enough”. And those words became a leading thread in my photographic life. Since then I rarely used a telephoto lens.
The gear I use is very limited. My most essential tool will always be my eyes ;-)
Being a person coming from the analogue times, being someone that actually developed their own film, how do you see this “image (re)evolution” of the XXI century? Do you also take pictures with your smartphone and do share them imediately on Facebook and Instagram?
You are an accomplished and experienced photographer. What advice can you share with the less experienced ones in the search for some help during the always hard time as beginner?
The last question is maybe the most simple and maybe the hardest one. Now, at this point of our talk we already know Yvette, the photographer and Yvette, the head editor, not the woman behind those two. Can you briefly tell us who is Yvette Depaepe?
I'm traveling a lot. In 1996 I went on my own backpacking in Australia..
On each journey, I try to meet the many photographer friends I have all over the world.
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