Hajime Art quotes: ''One song...an inspiration, one night...an inspiration, one world...an inspiration, one life.......inspirations". His creations are sometimes dark, sometimes more cheerful reflecting our life, our society, our world. He likes to shoot with all kind of devices, SLRs, smartphones and uses second-hand accessories. Cyril developed a very unique style and insists to tell us that his creations wouldn't exist without the help of Odonata Art, his alter-ego.
I hope you all will enjoy this most interesting interview and learn more about the man behind his amazing story telling creations.
Dear Cyril, please tell us briefly about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
My story with photography started two years after an industrial accident. Forced to stay home for 5 months, I discovered the world of photography thanks to the SLR belonging to my wife. I didn't absolutely have knowledge in this art. In the beginning, I was shooting birds and cats from the window of my kitchen.
Then I discovered the picture 'Thomas' by Lee Jeffries on 1x.
That image was a real revelation to me. So I bought my own SLR, a tripod and started to take BW self portraits in my living room with no additional light. And the adventure began !!!
What first attracted you to photography?
My first attraction was to play with natural light and my own face in BW. I made lots of self-portraits mostly very serious, with different light and different poses. After a while, I bought additional lights. Step by step, I discovered that I could make something different, in colour creations and that was exciting. To me, photography became the way to share messages - funny or not - about us, our society, our world with sometimes a touch of 'madness'. I like to use all kind of technologies like smartphones, tablets often used in my creations.
Why are you so drawn by creatively edited portraiture?
My creations represent my vision on the day to day life of our society. Our actual world inspires me a lot and why not using my own face to express my very own vision on this world. I try to transfer the message to the viewer by editing creatively my portraits.
Together with my wife, it is easier than with other persons (my son for example) because I I'm striving for the final result with a specific expression on my face and the right pose or body language etc, etc.
What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection ?
Most of the time, both. The mood or story of my creations has to be as close as possible than what I had in mind. I don’t look for perfection. Nothing is perfect, I think. But I focus on my pose, details, staging and post-processing.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
Most of the time a Canon EOS 6D with a EF28mm f2.8 lens when I need a wide angle. Otherwise I use a Canon EOS 80D with a EF 50mm or a 70-200mm f2.8
What software do you use to process your images?
Only Lightroom, Analog Efex pro 2, Color Efex pro 4. Sometimes Photoshop to remove some materials used to the set-up (pieces of cardboard, wire, string….)
Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
Mainly, my ideas are born at night. Then I need some accessories, second-hand stuff or things found in collective wastes along the roads, in nature. Sometimes I buy them in Charity associations, like Emmaüs. I modify and transform them. No waste! If I don’t find what I need, I wait till I find it and that can take a long time. And finally, I have to find the location: my bedroom, my garage, my cellar but always in my house.
When the accessories are found, the location selected, my wife and I can begin.
I prepare my SLR, the way to shoot (adjustments, lights…) and my wife helps me for the hairdressing, the cloths, the pose and when everything is OK, she shoot….
But if we're both on the picture, it is more difficult, happily there is the self-timer.
Anyway, without my wife, I wouldn't be able to do what I create.
Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
I like all the work of Willy Ronis, Sebastiao Salgado, Philippe and Claire Ordioni - creators in the South of France, Louis Blanc…and so many others great photographers all over the word.
Nowadays, I’m impressed by gNo for his wonderful portraits and mood in his creations, I love Sebastian Kisworo for his amazing ideas and Manuela Deigert for her wonderful self-portraitures.
Of course, Carlo Ferrara for all his work. He inspires me a lot to start working outdoors in the future. And last but not least, my friend Luciano Corti.
I really love to discover photographers because to me: 'Art is nothing without sharing...'
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?
My next goals ? I would love to try to make some creations outdoors and have some projects in mind. And of course, hold and exhibition, my very first exhibition!!! I'm working on it.
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
Probably 'Endangered farmers', because this creation took lots of preparations and time (accessories to transform, use of the light in my cellar...).
The message I want to share is a strong one to me. I’m very careful with the quality of food I eat and its origin. I buy most of my vegetables (I’m vegetarian) from small local producers. But nowadays, they are disappearing and I’m very sensitive to that. It makes me sad…
Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
I discover photography on 1x two years ago. One of the most beautiful and interesting photo site. Every day, I discover here wonderful images from amazing 1x photographers.
To end this interview, I like to share we you the photo from my wedding on the 28th of June 2019 ;-)
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