Here’s an interview with Paris-based director and photographer Leo Berne.
A couple of months ago, this writer featured Two Door Cinema Club’s _Tourist History_ EP for my _Weekend Album Review_ series. And as if the EP wasn’t fascinating enough, it interesting to know that the images used for the album cover and inlay were captured on film.
The photos were shot by Paris-based director and analogue photographer Leo Berne, whom we were fortunate enough to interview recently. Here are snippets from that interview.
Tell us about yourself.
Hello, I’m Leo; I live in Paris and I mostly work as a director in a team called Megaforce.
When and how did you get started with photography?
Around 8 with a toy camera, then nothing till 17 with a mju2 [Olympus µ2], then nothing till 24 with a Ricoh GX100, then nothing till 28 with a [Leica] M8, then an M6.
How did you land the project for Two Door Cinema Club’s Tourist History?
As a music video director, we’ve got some contacts with labels like Kitsuné.
Do you shoot only in film or do you also shoot digital?Why?
I shoot 98% film, I don’t feel at ease with the sharpness of digital.
“I shot this pic with my team MEGAFORCE. The scene is shot in real, in a studio, no photoshop except for smoothing the link between the fabric around the girl and the ceiling.”
Any photographers you particularly admire?
Araki, Nachtwey, Parr… and less famous ones like Ruben Brulat, Asger Carlsen, Raimond Wouda, Vivianne Sassen…
What do you like about analogue photography?
It has some lovely accidents that digital will never offer, and even the sharpest pictures on film have something soft in its edges.
What cameras and film do you use?
Leica M6, Contax T3, Olympus µ2, Olympus Trip 35 and Polaroid image elite pro.
What are your favorite subjects and why?
I don’t have a particular favorite subject. I mostly take pictures as a tourist, randomly.
How would you describe your photographic style? Do you follow a set of rules when you shoot?
When I take pictures, I don’t pretend to have any particular artistic approach. I just take them to create images that I like and to help me to remember. However, I often organize them following an arbitrary method. By color or analogy on my project I Barely Remember or in a more conceptual way on my project For The Aliens
Leo expounds on this on his website, i barelyremember.com.
“I take pictures like a tourist, mostly to create nice images and souvenirs but in a way, I feel that photography is a weak way to help you to remember. It creates images that become stronger than your souvenirs or memories and consumes them. With time, I find myself trying to recreate the memories starting from the picture, instead of including the picture inside the true memory.”
Tell us about your favorite projects and/or projects you’re particularly proud of?
I’m pretty happy with our two last music videos for Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Is Tropical, you can check them on our website.
Any cool projects you’re currently working on?
I’m working on an M.I.A music video.
What is your dream project?
A feature film.
Any last words?
Thank you for reading!
It was indeed an honor to have someone as talented as Leo answer a few questions for us. Thanks, Leo!
All images in this article were used with permission from Leo Berne.
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