APRIL 19, 2014 The Select

80 WEEKS OF THE WORLDS STREETS

Fascinating individuals are always difficult to find, but with the ability to link through the internet it has increased the chances.  My attention span on the net is usually tenths of a second, one scroll down a page and I’m on to the next.  But theres is always the ones that break that habit.  Lined up one after another were photos of picturesque subjects that had a slight vintage touch to them.  A few million clicks later , meet Yanick Delafoge.  

Please introduce yourself and your background:
I like to say that I am part of the first Internet generation as the world became only a few clicks away during my college years. Wanting to learn more, I therefore left my home country and spent the following 15 years in the US, Mexico, Switzerland, Spain and finally, Paris. I worked as a marketing professional making a livng and street photography takes up all my free time. So much that I have resigned from my position and will embark on a 80 week photographic journey around the world.

Tell us about the moment you first picked up a camera and started shooting?
I have always taken pictures yet I really got into street photography when I moved to Paris. I have kept most of my pictures.

Do you still have the photos?
The one below is probably one of my very first street photography shots.  Since then, I was bit by the bug and never leave home without a camera.

How does photography help you communicate a message or express a mood?
I would say that my photography is highly influenced by the impressionism movement that initiated in Paris. My goal is not to describe a scene but to render fugitive impressions, moods, feelings of a moment in time. Diverging from the reportage canons, I like to disgress from reality and leave the viewer all freedom to build his own story or impressions while looking at the picture. Finally, I focus on small facts of daily life and try to give a poetic and positive spin to my pictures, away from the overload of moroseness and sensationalism spread by news media.

Is there a person, place or thing that consistently intrigues you?
If a lady dressed in red crosses my path, there is very high chance that I’ll attempt to include her in a frame. Also, anybody wearing a nice hat will also have all my attention. I have no idea of the reason for that, I guess a psychologist would probably come up with a good explanation. In general, I love any scene which has a high lyric or surrealist potential. If I can add in a touch of humour, even better.

Do you have any tricks or advice for those who are learning photography?
Do not get obnubilated by the subject of your picture. The background, composition, tones and colors have as much importance for a successful shot. Too many times I see photographers rush to a potential scene without further thoughts on what is going on in their whole field of view. This is often the difference between a good and a great shot.

How important is Equipment & Technology vs Subject & Message?
The best equipment in the world will not help you to come up with a subject and message if you can’t define it yourself. Yet on the other side, you have to make sure that your camera does not get in the way of the vision you are trying to express. For that reason, I use my camera without any automatic assistance (manual focus and exposure) so if I fail a shot, I cannot blame the technology. This pushes me to improve further my technique and become a better photographer. My only technical requirement is that the camera has no shutter lag, meaning that when I hit the trigger, it has to shoot straight away. Half a second later, the moment initially saw will be gone.

Do you have a story/experience that you have carried with you throughout your life?
I left my hometown when I was 15 years old for a one year stay in the US. Since then, I have lived in so many different countries that I find it difficult to settle in one. And have no plan to do so in the near future.

Which films have great cinematography that you’ve would recommend?
There are two films that probably have a big impact on my photography. The first one is Cinema Paradiso, a great Italo-French humanist story whose scenes and plot are reminiscient of the best humanist photographer of last century. The second one is the modern “Blueberry nights” for its amazing colors, out of focus effects, creative framings and extraordinary ability to convey the mood of its scenes. I’d like my photography to be considered as mix of the great humanist tradition with the moods and aesthetics of our times.

You are going to go for cruise in your car/bus/scooter, what music do you select?
I take my MP3 player with my whole collection. Music selection is so dependent on where you go and your state of mind. This being said, I never listen to music while I am out in the street as I don’t want the music to influence my mood, and by consequence, my photography.

Do you own collection of anything, if so what is it of?
My only collection is my pictures archive, so I would say I collect instants of life.

We love food, please share some of your favorite places to eat:
So many great places in Paris, but “Le Baratin” in Belleville is anything you’ll want for great French food and the true Parisian atmosphere of a popular neighborhood. Also I recently discovered L’Orenoc at the Meridien Hotel where you’ll the best French gastronomy in a moody setting at still affordable prices.

1.Yanick’s residence perspective 2. Bir-Hakeim Paris Métro 3. Yanicks 1st  4. Interview 5. a+b 6. Pre-meditate  7. Thieves 8. Metro Transit  9. Rain 10. Tuileries garden 11. Economic crisis 12. Regulator (Various fictional descriptions)

Check:  Yanick & Leica Tech feature: Leica Blog • Yanick: Street Photography / b&w souls

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