A Trip Back To The 60's and 70's: An Interview With Valentin Duciel (NSFW)

2017-03-14 2

We just can't get enough of Valentin Duciel's stunning photographs inspired by the unforgettable hippie movement. Valentin's style is bold, timeless and his ability to find beauty in simple things is what makes his work stand out. In this interview, Valentin talks about his plans for the future and reveals how did Bob Dylan and The Kinks influence his photographic style.

Hey Valentin! Welcome to Lomography Magazine. How would you describe yourself in one sentence?

Hello Lomography, hope you're fine! I was really happy when you contacted me. I don’t have a sentence in my head to describe me, but according to my friends I was not born at the right time, or I come from the past...A kind of Marty Mc Fly.

You are really passionate about 60s/70s culture and fashion. How did this era influence your photographic style? What is it that you find most fascinating about this decade?

What I love above all in this era is its charm, everything was very photogenic, there was a craze in mindsets to move forward, change the world, people yearned for freedom. Even if everything was not so pink, it was the era of all possible, the wave of psyche, hippie, rock'n roll. This era has really marked history, and it is a great source of Inspiration in all areas. Fashion, art, music, cinema, etc. From the young age I was rocked by the sixties music: Bob Dylan, The Stooges, Hendrix, The Birds, The Kinks.

What makes analogue so dear to your heart? What is the most valuable thing your learned through film photography?

What I like in analog photography is its simplicity, the dirty side and sometimes random. Waiting before discovering the result is really exciting. During the travels, once the photograph is taken, the film is finished, it is stored at the bottom of the bag, it will be necessary to wait the end of trip, to develop them. No computers, no batteries, just the freedom to focus on the moment. And then when we receive the prints, we do the trip a second time, it's magic. With analog photography, I learned that perfection is not necessarily synonymous with beauty, this practice allowed me to find beauty in simple things. This allowed me to reconsider and have a different vision of the world around us.

Besides the obvious influence of the 60's and the 70’s culture, what else sparks your inspiration? What does your creative process look like?

I love cinema, as much the western as the current cinema, it is a true source of inspiration. The colors, the plans, the movement are very interesting in terms of inspiration in my opinion. Good books inspire me a lot as well because it makes the imagination work incredibly. I don’t really have a definite creative process, when a moment, a scene, an atmosphere, a light combines into one moment, that's when I enjoy taking photos. I do that with a special feeling, I don’t intervene with my subjects, I depend on them.

When have you realized that photography was something you wanted to do? When did it stop being a hobby and became something you do for a living?

I started photography two years ago, when I went to live in Manchester after a heartbreak and big questioning. It quickly became a passion, a kind of loophole. I knew from the bottom of me that I was not made for the world of work, it does not correspond to me, so I decided to do everything, to live my passion. Today I don't earn enough money, it is even very complicated, especially when practicing only analog, but it is even more motivating. But no matter, the purpose of life is not to have money, but to be happy and proud of what you do.

I understand you are a self-taught photographer. What are the perks of learning photography by yourself? What advice would you share to all the self-taught photographers out there?

There is no pre-requisite to be self-taught, you must be passionate, curious and determined. Being self- taught is really a choice for me, I didn't want to be conditioned in a photo school, and talk about it all day, otherwise I will get bored. This gives me greater freedom, without constraint imposed. What would I like to say to the self-taught photographers? Do it for you, with the heart, according to your style, the soul of the photo prime on technique, from my point of view.

Is there any photography rule you enjoy breaking?

Oh yes! Please, gods (of advertising) use film photography, rather than old Instagram filters, in your campaigns! Apart from the economic constraints, which are stronger than anything, as in all areas, there are not really any codes to break. I just want to see more photographs that fill us with joy and happiness, drunkenness and travel. In recent years, art and especially the photo, are very tortured, It's a bit sad, the world is full of all kinds of beauty.

You often capture people surrounded by beautiful nature and landscapes. What is it that inspires you about nature?

Nature is still timeless, she is beautiful, wild and so powerful. It offers something wonderful. She stirs up the guts, she is genuine, she gives without ever receiving. She is admirable.

Can we know more about the projects you are working on at the moment and what are you planning for the future?

Currently I am in Paris, as much to say that it is not the best place to make pictures of nature. I take analog photos for different brands, but also super videos. As soon as I have enough money, I would like to go to the United States, make a photo documentary, about the Amerindians, deep and forgotten America with a cinematographic style.

What’s a day like in the life of Valentin Duciel?

A typical day? I try not to have it, even though it may seem pretentious. Actually, I try not to get up too late, as soon as we can, we leave away from the city and its frenzy, with the buddies. In the evening we find ourselves in the cheapest bars in Paris, we drink and we laugh, finally, it is the purpose of life.


All photographs shown in this article were used by the permission of Valentin Duciel. If you want to see more of his work, follow Valentin on Instagram and check out his Facebook page.

written by Ivana Džamić on 2017-03-14 #people #nature #film #analogue #film-photography #valentinduciel

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