Benoit Chailleux

Where are you from/based now?

I was born and grew up in the suburb of Nantes, France. I still live and work in Nantes.

What is your background in Photography? What keeps you interested?

I studied architecture from 1992 to 2000 and used photography as an analysis tool to document urban spaces. I was particularly interested in interstitial spaces made by urban sprawl and gaps between areas dedicated to mobility.
I'm still interested by the city that is constructed now. My purpose is not only to bring to light the aberrations of current urban planning, but to reveal atmospheres.

What equipment do you use?

Mamiya 7, I love the 6x7 format, its exceptional lenses, its relative compactness.
I always have a Mju II in my pocket.
I also have a digital camera for family pictures.

Do you take one shot of a subject then move on or will you take several and decide on the best in editing?

I like the fact of taking a limited number of photos due to analog cameras. I spend a lot of time scanning film, removing dust and adjusting the colour. So I always take one shot of a subject.

What do you look for when you are out shooting?

I look for the devil hidden in details.
My ongoing project is to photograph what can’t be mastered, in urban landscape as well as in interiors. The elements that make a city a city cannot be planned. I try to highlight the poetry of the unforeseen which give life to a space or which form the city.

How often do you go out shooting?

I always have my Mamiya 7II in my bag. I don't go out specifically with the aim of shooting. I can shoot at any time. But most of the time I need to be alone to be attentive to what surrounds me and to notice what deserves to be photographed.

Is there a particular photographer, site, set of images or a photo book that you keep coming back to for inspiration?

Well, If I had to name only one photographer, it would be certainly Stephen Shore. Not only because he photographed one of the greatest rock n roll bands, but also because he was one of the first ones to consider that everything deserves to be photographed.

I'm a fan of many DIY publications. Most of them are a source of inspiration."Tell mum Everything Is OK" is a fanzine with a high quality of printing that collects images from famous and less known photographers and is always well chosen. I often come back to those books with delight.

Are you working on a project at the moment?

I still document the place where I am and the period when I live.
That means that I continue several never ending series.

Donkey Soho

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