Through his evocative portraits, France-based Community newcomer Thibault Guinaldo tries to explore the meaning of love and all the intertwining emotions that come with it. Being a man of science with an unwavering passion for the arts, he has a deep grasp on both the technicalities that make photography possible and its power as a medium of expression. In this interview, he speaks about his first foray into analogue photography, artistic inspirations, and more.
Please tell us something about yourself and what you do.
I’m currently a PhD student at Météo-France working on lakes. My interests in science led me to the film photography field seven years ago. My first step in this world date back to when I had lectures about optics in university. Thus, understanding how to capture light and how to use principles in order to put the world on a piece of paper for eternity was a revelation for me.
How did you find the Community and who/what convinced you to join?
My first contact with Lomography was at the time I was looking for new films to shoot with. I was specifically looking at something different and thus I entered into this world. From this time, I started to look at new cameras and new experiments. Afterward, I talked to photographers who told me about the Community and the possibility to post without being worried about the reactions of others and without being judged. It’s like being part of a group of friends who are always trying to support and help you do your best. It’s such a good synergy which is super rare nowadays in this fast social network development.
As you have read the 10 Golden Rules of Lomography, what rule do you apply in your everyday life?
The rule no.9 (You don't know what you've captured on film afterward either) definitely summarises all my idea of shooting on film. This "after" moment when the anxiety is at its highest point is incredible. The moment I'm sitting in my bathroom waiting for the film to be revealed, realizing that the photos you thought were missed is actually your best one is just something you can't find anywhere else. You can be so proud of what you have done, which you've created everything from the beginning.
In this digital age, why do you still shoot film?
I’m really bad at drawing or painting but I’ve always wanted to capture life around me. Photography is the perfect medium as I’m attached to something that is actually real in my hands, something you can touch and feel. It’s an alternative for me who's not able to paint a portrait. Moreover, as I said before, it comes from this atmosphere it creates. Going out with one or two rolls without knowing if it’s going to be good at the end fills me with so many emotions. Looking at the lights, the lines, trying to move around and capture what your eyes see as beautiful. It’s not just about taking photos but it’s also about sharing something with someone, a sort of link based on trust that you have to keep alive.
I’m aware of the technology conferred by the development of digital photography. I won’t deny the power of it and the potentialities coming from it. However, I’m a bit lazy and I really don’t have the patience to post-process. I prefer to keep working, moving and I'm more interested in the physics and chemistry aspects. I have my favorite film, my favorite camera and I know both of them perfectly. However, it does not stop me in experimenting with new films and cameras. I think also that this is not two completely different worlds and that we have to be aware of improvements in each side.
Your favorite analogue camera as of the moment? Why?
A friend of mine lent me a Fuji GS645S which I love. I love the sharpness of the lens and the lines it produces when combined with a black and white film. Moreover, compared to other medium format camera, this one is very easy to handle, plus it’s a telemetric camera.
What is the Lomography camera you’d want to have someday?
Linked with my passion for medium format cameras, I would love to try the Belair X 6-12. This camera looks so nice. One of the points that I’m interested in is the capacity to change the size from a 6x6 to a 6x12 and to be able to do multiple exposures. I also would love to experiment with different lenses. I’ve also thought about getting the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens for a long time. I have a Canon in my collection which is waiting for this lens.
Any song, book, or movie you live by?
I have in my life two movies that blew my mind. The first one is Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain by Jean Pierre Jeunet, which is basically the best movie ever and an endless source of inspiration. The second one is Love by Gaspard Noé. These two movies deal on the definition of love and how to make something real from the multitude and diversity of emotions we have inside. This is basically what I’m searching for in my projects. I’m trying to look at feelings and to capture this very short lightning of emotions in order to create something that might represent my perception of love in a broader sense. I’m searching for something natural and raw.
Share your current favorite Lomograph, could be yours or a friend’s. Why?
I love this photo because for me is exactly what I look for in a photo.
Any photographer you look up to? If so, why him or her?
One of my sources of inspiration is Anne-Sophie Annese. She is such a creative photographer who always finds the perfect combination of models and environment. Every one of her shoots is an innovation. She never stops creating something new yet she still remains true to her artistic signature. Everyone who needs a reason to shoot on film has to follow her.
What are you looking forward to in our Community?
I answered a bit of this question before — I’m here because it feels like being with friends. I’m here also to discover new people, new visions of photography, and strong creative personalities. It’s about entering in a community that gathers analogue lovers, where they don't think that they are the best (as we can see in many other groups) but are willing to help others. I want to discover this dynamic where everyone is pushed to the top.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and welcome to the Lomography Community, Thibault!
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