Photographer’s Statement

Statement

My photography  is  very much about what’s happening around me, at a human scale. In that sense, I have essentially  been a documentary photographer of my life’s encounters with people and places.  Most of my photographs are descriptive, and are nothing more than mementos of how I see and feel and think about what’s before my eyes. If I were a writer, I’d churn out poems about all these moments, but I’m not, so I take photographs. There are no hidden meanings, no messages, but of course these ‘descriptions’ are tainted by my preoccupations and values .

Clouds, hills, trees, streets, people and even rocks are living colourful things before our eyes and I’m endlessly in wonder at how, through the power of our minds, they live on in this still flat thing that is a carefully crafted photograph.

Soft focus, shallow depth of field and long lenses are rarely friends of mine: they most often disconnect and isolate where I am interested in connections and relationships: the blades of grass at my feet to the hills and clouds above, the buildings to each other and to the road and the sun or the rain, people to the street, a person to another, a person to his or her inner self: this is what I am after so I’m most often inclined to use anything that behaves like a standard or a moderately wide angle lens.

I strive not to under or over embellish anything. I am sensitive but not sentimental: as I age I find myself less and less romantic.  Be it at the time of capture or at the time of processing, I most often avoid dramatic effects that I feel betray the very experience of being alive that I want to share. For the same reason, I avoid too stylised an approach: too clever, too cold, too simplified and detached to have a heart.

Although I occasionally use colour, my preferred medium is black and white. To quote David Vestal : “Among the pleasures of the print are the surprising beauty of fortunate passage of tone.”I obsess with the rendering of detail in shadows, mid-tones and highlights.I now work digitally but naturally gravitate towards the facture of traditional black and white film and prints that I practised for years. 

And recently, I have started to explore new ways of seeing, which I will be showcasing soon.

Experience has shown me that photos are most powerful in print form and also that the ideal size of a print has nothing to do with the size of its subject. That is another mystery of photography. But I am happy, at whatever size, to risk sharing them on-line. I’m starting a series of 1 minute long narrated video portfolio posts . 

 

About

christophe chevaugeon head shot in black and white

 

English

I am French and started taking and processing my own black and white photographs in the early 80s in Paris where I lived and worked as a teacher up until 2005 when I moved to the United Kingdom. I started using digital cameras in 2007.

I work mainly in black and white . After two and half decades of using film,I now exclusively work in digital but continue to favour a film facture. I print my work  using archival inks and papers, including photographs from my 35 mm and roll-film archives that I scan and edit digitally.

I live in the Northumberland, in the North-East of the England.

Français

Je suis français et j’ai commencé à prendre et à développer mes photographies noir et blanc début des années quatre-vingt à Paris où j’habitais et travaillais comme enseignant jusqu’à 2005 lorsque je suis parti vivre au Royaume Uni. J’ai commencé à utiliser des appareils numériques en 2007.

Je travaille surtout en noir et blanc. Après avoir utilisé du film pendant environ vingt-cinq ans,je travaille désormais uniquement en numérique mais je continue à préférer la facture de la photographie argentique. Je fais les épreuves sur commande en utilisant des papiers et des encres conçus pour l’archivage, y compris des photographies d’après mes négatifs ou positifs sur 35 mm et moyen format, que je prépare numériquement.

 

J’habite le northumberland, dans le nord-est de l’Angleterre