Daniel Castonguay: Photographer of the week
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Daniel Castonguay is a street photographer in heart and soul. Depicting the quotidian life in its simplest form, his unique style is pretty audacious and not necessarily following the rules surrounding this type of photography in the pure sense of its definition. His post-production work allows him to put the emphasis on the mood and atmosphere. Daniel brings his street shots to his own fantasy level and state of mind. Let's wander together through his inspiring world full of poetry and learn more about this passionate artist.
Street photography and what comes out in terms of art is none other than a mirror of my way of seeing what interests me, touches me and even disturbs me. When I look at my work over a fairly long time span, I realize that my progression in photography is a succession of experiences depicted in different “frames“ or episodes and from this point of view, this development allowed me, in my humble opinion to become a better person and to have a much better understanding of others and this is a key element and a motivation in the street photography discipline.
The quotidian life is more or less the same for all with a few variations. A part of my work as a photographer is to bring this daily life into a world of fantasy, something related to reverie. This will create a duality, a paradox. The paradox of the ordinary life in a universe that exists only in one's own imagination that can literally be anything but still being able to relate to.
However, the notion of presence and especially of anticipation is a key constituent since, at a certain moment, the desired image is neither more nor less than building up and the events have not yet occurred. It's like trying to predict a plausible scenario. So, one of the roles of the street photographer is one of a story maker and his intuition is his best ally. Let’s take as an example a man in a subway station waiting for the train, the train arrives, the doors open and simultaneously, a lady comes out of a wagon arms raised, and even if actually they do not know each other, the image story may be about their reunion or such. The importance of the connection process is more than punctual, the connection must be also anticipated and that's what I mean by being part of a theatrical sketch.
Also, in street photography, the notion of proximity is one of the first importance. The concept of proximity is very relative, depending on the number of people and the circumstances in which photography takes place. Shooting in a crowded fair helps to get close to the action while shooting in a deserted terminus at 10 pm requires a little more judgement and tact.
As a street photographer, I prefer to travel light so, I do not carry any bag or bulky items, It is less cumbersome when travelling by subway.
The photographic style and personality of Saul Leiter is, in my opinion, the pure definition of audacity. In his remarkable period of colour, Leiter made us discover his way of seeing his neighbourhood in a unique vision. The simplicity, emotion, and audaciousness in his works, as well as the modesty of the character himself, made Saul Leiter a reference and a great source of inspiration in photography as well as in life in general.
Joel Meyerowitz's view of his urban environment and his fascination towards the actors of the quotidian life is an inspiration in itself. The exceptional quality of his photographic work is due, certainly to his immense talent in addition to his understanding of the people. His intuition is an asset that enhances the whole of his work. To me, Joel Meyerowitz combines emotion, intuition and daily life scheme consideration, essential qualities of a street photographer.
In my opinion, by bringing together the main qualities of these three masters of photography, namely geometry, audacity and fascination, we can manage to transcend the photographic medium to reach a whole philosophy of work.
Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
Thank you very much to 1X crew for allowing me to say a few words on such a prestigious tribune and thanks to the readers for taking time for reading me, hope you enjoyed.
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