Melchior Tersen

Where are you from/based now?

I live in the suburbs of Paris for 25 years.
I have always lived in the same place.

What is your background in photography? What got you started?

I learned to take pictures during concerts and being paparazzi front of the cinema.
I have no academic training, the internet and Flickr have helped me grow. The internet is an incredible tool for photography.

What equipment do you use?

I started photography using digital and after a while I came to use film.
Now I use a Mamyia rb 67, an Olympus OM 20 and a small compact.
I just bought a Fuji GA 645.

What are your feelings on digital vs. film?

There are several rasons I started using digital and then moved to film.
It was after looking at the pictures of Ryan McGinley, Terry Richardson, Tim Barber and Peter Sutherland that I asked about the silver.
From the moment I started to develop my films, my photos have changed dramatically. I pay every photo, every frame, much more attention. You learn a lot about  how to take photos. It would be very hard to go back to digital.

Do you have a creative process?

Most of my work is photojournalism, so I go to a place knowing that I have a chance to take pictures, but I do not know exactly what I'm photographing.
I'm not planning what I take, I am moving and I am involved in each photo, but more, I want to compose images.
This may not be the current fashion on tumblr to work this way as photojournalism is considered tacky.

Who or what inspires you?

There are many things I love but it does not necessarily inspire me in the photos.
Musical genre's inspire me a lot, mostly Hip-Hop and metal, but also electro, the world of clubs is something fascinating.
French culture in the broadest sense is something that I love.

Is there a particular photographer, the site, a series of images or a photo album that you return to for inspiration?

Recently, I read a book by Mary Hellen Mark at the library, I am very impressed with all the work she has done, it's amazing. I'm not a big fan of black and white in general, but level photojournalism, I think everyone agrees.
A recent series that I found amazing is the number of Pieter Hugo with hyenas, monkeys.
Lastly, I interested in people like JH Engstrom, Roe Ethridge and Torbjørn Rødland.
I want to understand why these guys works are so expensive in the gallery, I want to understand why they are credible when there are plenty of equally talented photographer who are not taken seriously.
But on the whole a photographer who touches me the most is Peter Sutherland, he has a job that is an avant-garde junction between many things, photography internet, fashion, contemporary art, photography galleries.
His work is symbolically very strong, he's someone who does not copy, but is a true creator.
A few years ago, I saw a show where he was selling pictures, if I had money, I would like to buy these photos. That problem of not having money

Are you working on a project right now?

I bought a new camera 6 x 4.5 so I'll learn to use it and it will surely give a new type of image. At the moment, I'm shooting fashion photos with cool stylist, it changes me, I like it.
It allows me to be free and to adhere to my own aesthetic universe.
I would like to do more.


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