Raphael Bourelly

How did you get into Photogrpahy? What is your background?

I discovered photography in the laboratory of a photo club, when I was in secondary school, but at this time what interested me was the magic of the chemistry above all, not really the shooting. The photo club closed, and I just shot a roll or two, from time to time.

About three years ago, I started taking pictures again, a lot, I discovered something new, a way of expression and communication that suited me. I taught myself, and also had help from some gifted friends.

What equipment do you use?

Now I almost exclusively use a Mamiya 7II with a 65 mm lens, but I really want to buy a new FM2 to replace the one I broke. it’s a great camera,it’s sentimental, and was my first analog camera!

Could you tell us a bit about your Road Trip series.

I’m afraid there is not much to say about this series... I have a friend, a great photographer, who had some time to loose, and a car. We took to the road twice, with an idea of the final direction, but no hurry. We had total freedom, we could stop at any moment and see where the road would take us. It’s really great to have the opportunity to do that. It offers a really different look at your environment since you can take a highway, travel a lot of kilometers, and then decide to loose yourself on small roads... And again, stop each time you saw something that was worthwhile.Of course, these subjects are not chosen at random, they are the continuation of my urban work. I’m often questioning the place of human beings in their environment, and this series is like a rough portrait of an industrial France... Maybe the start of a bigger work.

What is your creative process, do you plan your shots or are they spontaneous?

I do plan my week-ends but most of my series are quite spontaneous. However, I can spend a lot of time on maps and on internet in order to check if there are some good spots to go to. The fact is I have no driving license, that’s why I have to walk a lot to take my pictures, which I think is an important factor in my “process”. Walking gives you time to imerse yourself in a place, and to think a lot.

I’m also a perfectionist, and sometimes almost a monomaniac, I can have images, or just feelings in my mind and take a lot of similar pictures, until I feel I have what I really wanted.

Who or what inspires your work?

Music and cinema have a great place in my inspiration, as well as a lot of photographers of course. It would be hard to make a list of them. Raymon Depardon may be one of the photographers that most inspired me when I started to shoot again, for his ability to tell stories with “nothing”, his approach, so human, and his colors (and black and white of course). Then, I discovered New Objectivity, Helsinsky School, and the “modern” American photographers like Alec Soth, and I’m closely following some great young photographers on flickr, like Alex Catt, or Salva Lopez.

Audrey Leignel, the person I live with, also photographer, is very inspiring too, because she helps me to progress a lot and often ask the good questions...

Are you working on any other projects at the moment?

Well, yes and no... I almost always have something on my mind, but not always the time or the money to do it.

For the moment, I would like to finish editing the pictures of my Mongolian trip, make a selection, and maybe work on a book project, I don’t know, we’ll see!


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