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The making of 'Sea Baths' by Stéphan Krécina

Tutorial led by Editor Michel Romaggi in collaboration with the author Stéphan Krécina.
Edited and published by Yvette Depaepe, the 11th of January 2023


Stéphan Krécina freezes the characters in a moment of their everyday life. In this tutorial he reveals how he proceeds to capture these moments.


'Sea baths – Varnia – Bulgaria' by Stephan Krécina


Thanks for telling us about the way you work, Stéphan.

You often capture small scenes of moving characters. What are you trying to convey with this type of photography?

The presence of characters is essential to me apart from some very specific themes. Their movement in a specific space is what interests me. It is the presence of the character that gives meaning to my photography. Some persons have a specific place in the photo, others just leave a trace or a shadow. I show individual subjects focusing on a single individual at a specific moment in his life. It’s a metaphor for each of us in the world.


Can you tell us more about 'Sea baths' and about the circumstances in which you took this photo?

Like all the best photographs, it was made by chance. Experience shows me that this is how we make the best shots because there is no calculation and we manage to capture spontaneous the moment. I try to keep this in my work but it is not easy because it is more reassuring to say that we control things…
This photograph was taken at the end of October during a holiday in Varna, Bulgaria. I was walking along the sea and seaside baths were below. This offered me an interesting angle. The characters, the colour contrasts, everything was interesting so I triggered my camera. I work with a Sony alpha 7III, the lens FE PZ 16-35 F4G, and the settings were: ISO 100, 33mn, f5.6, and 1/320s.


Most of your pictures are b&w ones . What justifies this choice?

I keep the colours if they bring something more to photography, like a graphic effect, energy, a better aesthetic. 


'Shadows army' by Stéphan Krécina


How do you capture these moments? How do you choose your subjects?

I capture these moments by mingling with people, being among them, and by observing them. That’s also what I like about photography. Observing the world and especially people. I love it, I could stay with them for hours.
About the choice of subjects, I look in the crowd for people who have something distinctive, something specific. They’re the ones who catch my eyes and attention. 


'Beach session' by Stéphan Krécina


Please, tell us a little more about yourself and how you came to photography.

I am not a professional photographer but I always was an amateur since I was a child when my uncle lent me his camera. It was a Mamiya.
I need the balance that photography brings to my life. I like the way it allows me to look at the world. In the beginning I tried to copy other photographers but now I’m working on finding my own expression, my own style. It’s very challenging.


'Summer dog' by Stéphan Krécina