Christopher Crouzet Marseille, France Hasselblad 500 C/M | Hasselblad XPan
How does your work as a visual effects artist inform your creations as a photographer?
So far my work has been mostly technical rather than artistic but only the fact of being immersed within such an environment has been highly inspiring. Staring every day at the artworks from top class artists helped me to develop a sense for recognising quality work. I can now sometimes feel, without always being able to explain why, when some composition, colours, or lighting, are off. Having a better eye made me more picky and demanding regarding my own work, which positively impacted how I approach each photo.
Do you ever try to bring the two together in your photographic work?
My photography style is at the opposite of my profession. When in a movie we try to make a shot more visually appealing by embellishing the reality, or to match a specific artistic direction, in my photography I tend to minimise any digital manipulation to the bare minimum. I even try to stay away from any digital device for as long as possible, which is in part why my main go-to cameras when not globe-trotting are analog: an Hasselblad 500 C/M for portraits and an Hasselblad XPan for landscapes. In fact, I’m using photography as a way to expose the natural beauty of the world and of the people around us, thus without any artifice nor visual effect.
What is the highest peak that you have photographed, or travelled to?
The tallest peak I have photographed is Mt Cook, the biggest mountain in New Zealand. It’s a wonderfully charismatic mountain propped up in the midst of the Southern Alps in NZ. Unfortunately I am usually adventuring around Australia, the flattest continent on Earth, so when I do go abroad, the mountains always pull me in.
What role does social media play in your work and how do you use it to your advantage?
Social media currently provides people with the ability to connect with the world over, quicker and on a larger scale than ever before. The amount of information I can send or receive, whether it be photographs, text, videos, is simply bewildering. The support I receive from others over social media is often the only contact I have with anyone while I am out hiking and taking photographs and is tremendously warming. To be able to support other photographers and artists in a similar fashion is a big appeal to my use of social media. Connection is everything!
As a visual journalist, what has been the most inspiring story to discover?
The most inspiring story that I’ve discovered so far will bring me to the village of Bora, Ethiopia this November. This remote village lacks the healthcare infrastructure that most of us take for granted. Sadly, many of the women and children are dying at childbirth. In 2011, the organisation Health Gives Hope oversaw the construction of the Hidota Health Clinic on top of the mountain where the village is located. Each year, Health Gives Hope co-founder, Amber Kaufman and her medical team travel to the remote village to provide maternal and paediatric healthcare to those in need. I will be embedding with the team to document their efforts and promote awareness of the healthcare situation in the region. If you’d like to donate or find out more, please visit www.healthgiveshope.org.
What has been your favourite subject to photograph?
Landscapes are always nice to photograph; however, I prefer photographing people, in relation to their surroundings, so that a compelling story can be told from a single photograph. Composition and timing are crucial in documentary or street photography. I love to wander the streets to find interesting angles, framing, or the perfect light. It is a constant experimentation and trial-and-error period. But when your subject and composition align for that perfect 1/125 of a second, there is no better feeling. I also enjoy the aspect of meeting and interacting with the people that I photograph. Traveling and hearing their stories have provided me with a greater understanding of the world that we live in today.