All the deep beauty and refinement of a flower in a photograph. The images of Carole Rey (http://josepha-amarantine.tumblr.com) captivate us with their simple beauty and intimacy. They seem to be a reflection of a personal universe that is very intimate. It’s as if they followed the rhythm of nature in search of inner peace. Although her photos are of exquisite refinement and entirely satisfying, we cannot help but to want a glimpse at the great passion behind them. All her work is imbued with the melancholy of memories, of snippets of intimate moments lived. Time flowing like water between our fingers… thus the flowers bursting with colour and life, but also wilted. The composition of all her photographs is focused to lead us, like taking our hand to feel those delicate moments. Technically, an intelligent and successful use of DoF reinforces the evocative power. Flowers that we can almost pet among other images that are so well done that we want to reach out and pet them too. A glance from a child’s eyes or a stroll through the field by a father taking his son on his back. She makes us want to feel it all. The colour is outstanding, for its simplicity and naturalness, without any overprocesed excess, all contributing to the velvety texture of her photographs. Her black and whites are also of great beauty, from contrasted images to others with a nice range of grayscale. To enjoy all the beauty of a flower and the refinement of her work we recommend you visit her blog: http://josepha-amarantine.tumblr.com/.
Born Carole Rey, I grew up and studied in France where I got a Bachelor degree in French Modern Literature, a Master in French grammar and Didactic for French as second language and I later specialized myself in intercultural issues in work environments. I moved to The Netherlands and for years I’ve been teaching in enterprises, ministries and university until end 2011 where I was “diagnosed’ with a an extreme burn-out after a total black-out. Going from working more than seventy hours a week to barely being able to read, write and have a proper conversation without stuttering was hard and desperate. For one reason or another, one day I grabbed the camera of my husband and started to shoot; it instantly felt good and helpful. Since that moment I take photos every day and learn by myself step by step. “Josepha Amarantine” is a pseudo, Josepha is my fantasy name, and Amarantine refers to the plant Amaranth that is said to never fade.
1.- QUESTION: What subjects do you like to shoot?
Carole Rey response: Flowers mainly and sometimes portraits of children or old persons.
2 .- Q: Colour or B/W and why?
R: Colour for flowers because their colours are subtile and delicate. Some flowers have such an amazing colour palette, such an incredible combination of colours and patterns that for me, the best way to pay tribute to this is to show it with colour.
3.- Q: Your inspiration is?
R: My motto is since day one that quote of Sir Paul Smith: “You can find inspiration in everything, and if you can’t, look again”. So I would say Nature itself first; more specifically how the flower is, the movement or the pattern of a petal. But my inspiration comes as well from things that I read, saw, listened. My background, my little inside world. Wise words of Lao Tzu, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela; the poetry of Emily Dickinson; the voices of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Renée Flemming, Jimmy Scott, Bob Marley; the way Uliana Lopatkina moves her arms in the Dying Swan, the light in Rembrandt’s paintings, the work of Chagall…
4.- Q: Tell us a little bit about your creative process.
R: First I observe the flower from all the possible angles, I take the time to “understand” it and at a moment I see something specific that I would like to photograph; it can be a pattern, the structure of a petal, layers of petal, struct… I grab the camera and I shoot until I have what I first had in mind. It can be a very long phase, I try many things with the settings of my camera, use different angles and since I do not use a tripod I have to be very calm and focus to not move when I click! Very often, the moment I feel very peaceful inside the moment that what comes in picture is what I was looking for. When I have that I open my file in Bridge and then in Photoshop to make adjustments that will make it more complete and finished.
5.- Q: What gear do you use and what´s your preferred equipment?
R: Canon E0S 5D with 50 mm on which I play with three extension tubes (12mm, 20mm, 36mm), very rarely I also use a 70-200mm. I’m at the beginning of understanding how this camera and those lenses work but there is definitely on my wish list a Canon 5D markIII and a Leica M9-P…
6.- Q: How do you develop your photos (digital/film/software used)?
R: Like mentioned above first in Bridge and then in Photoshop. I do little adjustments to reinforce what I want to show but if the photo is not good in first place then it’s just not good and it goes to trash.
7.- Q: What would you like to transmit with your photos?
R: In the first place it is a need to shoot, to see and to shoot; it is beyond words. Besides this, it is a fact that an incredible huge amount of people all over the world have to struggle with a lot of stress; stress to get their job done, to keep their job, to pay their bills, to take care of their family, to be healthy, wealthy, happy etc.. It’s all about stress, competitiveness. Meanwhile Nature offers a lot that unfortunately we don’t have time and/or take the time to watch and admire. So if I can share that beauty and the delicate emotion it gives with people and for one second make their life a little bit lighter than it’s wonderful.
8.- Q: Tell us a anecdote or a “secret” regarding your photos.
R: I once read this quote from George Eastman: “Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” This was and is like a key to a magic treasure and I try to keep this in mind every single time that I’m in the process of shooting something or someone.
Many thanks Carole for your collaboration and wonderful work that we enjoy in your blog.
Carole Rey PHOTO SELECTION FEATURED in our SUPPLEMENTAL POSTfind it here…