The peacefulness of Jaume Creus' nighttime shots paired with the faint glow of lights and their playful colors make for a mesmerizing spectacle. We've seen a lot of artists use light and colors in their work but Jaume takes it up a notch by carefully using composition to tie it all together. Refusing to be defined is a strong motivation to keep moving forward. In this interview, Jaume shares how film photography became a break in his life and soon became an artistic expression. The night may be dark and cold at times but with sights like this, we certainly wouldn't mind.
Hello, Jaume and welcome to the Online Magazine! What do you do and what got you into film photography?
Hey, Lomography! Thanks for inviting me, it’s a pleasure. My name is Jaume Creus and I work in the film industry doing visual effects. Right now I’m based here in Vancouver (BC) but I’m from Barcelona (Spain).
As I said, working in visual effects means being in front of the computer for really long hours, so I guess for me going back to film photography was a way to escape from the digital world and technology in general. I wanted to go back to the basics and learn the whole process again, for me that was an adventure and a challenge.
I remember trying to make my digital pictures look like film, so why not shoot film instead? I love the look, the imperfections, the element of surprise, the way it slows you down… I really enjoy the process from shooting to developing the film at home.
Your street shots are magnetic. They have this visual quality to them that draws viewers in. What made you pursue street photography? What inspires you to shoot?
Oh, thank you! In street photography you don’t need much equipment, you don’t need a model or anything and everything is spontaneous and authentic. You have total freedom and the world is your movie set. I think Fan Ho said “I’m a director” and I think that’s how I feel when I’m out on the streets. I love cinema and I also work in the film industry so it’s easy to say that I’m really influenced by it.
We can't make our mind up how to define your style since there are hints of cinema, street, and humanist photography in it. How would you describe your style?
That’s a difficult question… I’m not even sure I have a style, but I guess people relate my work to nighttime street pictures with colorful neon lights. It’s funny I started taking pictures at night just because of my long hours at work during the day. Taking pictures after work became part of my routine and a way to take a break from stress.
I find defining a style could be limiting — it limits an artist to just do one thing. And the truth is that I love trying new things and shoot in different conditions, styles, formats, and cameras.
We noticed that light, colors, and composition play big roles in your work. How did you learn to use those elements? Which is your favorite and why?
Out of those three concepts, I think composition has to be my favorite. I like having a good light source and nice colors in my scene but that’s out of my control. Framing the scene and composing the shot is where you create the picture and you show yourself and your point-of-view. I learned a lot of those concepts by watching movies and looking at other photographers work.
What's your go-to place when you're in the mood to take some photographs? What makes it appealing to you?
As I said before, taking pictures at night is for me an escape from my daily routine and a way to break with the stress. I enjoy feeling alone and lost in the darkness, there’s a sense of calm and peace into that. But hey! I also enjoy crowded places during the day with plenty of people and stuff going on :)
We learned that you like shooting with Lomography CN 800 film. What do you like about it? How long have you been using it?
Yes, it’s my favorite!! I tried it for the first time about a year and a half ago and since then I always have some with me. I really like the saturated colors, warm tones and strong grain of this film. ISO 800 allows me to shoot during the night but also I can shoot fast with small apertures during the day for quick street snaps. I totally recommend it as an all-purpose film.
What other Lomography films would you like to try?
I really want to try Lomochrome Purple! This film has a unique character and I love all the images I have seen so far. Really reminds me of the tones of Kodak Aerochrome infrared film, that has been discontinued for so long. I’m glad you guys keep creating new and exciting films like this. I might have to pre-order some before they are all gone!
What does a perfect day look like for you? What do you like to do when you're not taking photographs?
I consider traveling a perfect day situation. Discovering other countries, new places, and people, different cultures, food… That’s what helps us to create memories that stay with us forever. Obviously sharing the moment with the people you love and ALWAYS having my camera with me!
At the same time, I also enjoy having a super lazy and relaxed weekend at home, watching movies with some popcorn and pizza. :D
Any last words for our readers?
I wanted to say that it doesn’t matter what camera, lens or film you are using. Good pictures are made by people, not by their instruments, and we should always keep that in mind. I’m probably not the best person to say this cause I also love to collect cameras hahaha! But at the end of the day, I always remind myself: Keep it simple, one camera, one lens and go have fun :)