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Timeless Islands

“I work from inspiration, not preparation. What matters to me is the place, the light and the colors.”

Thomas Jorion

Thomas Jorion (born in 1976) is a contemporary photographer currently living in Paris. When it comes to photography he’s self-taught.

Artist statement

“I photograph urban ruins and condemned buildings, spaces that no longer serve the purposes for which they were built. My work explores the built environment in a state of entropy, inviting viewers to reflect on the relationship between the material and the temporal.”

Interview with Thomas Jorion

Thomas, what was your most memorable moment shooting pictures?

Luckily, I regularly live memorable moments when I shoot. The last one was in Italy in January, when I was visiting an abbey which had been abandoned for 25 years. I felt the same emotions I was feeling when I was 16 and first started visiting abandoned buildings, I had a dry throat, and could not think of taking pictures anymore.

Why did you become a photographer?

Because it was in me. Even though I studied law before and it took me ten years to realize that it was photography that I truly wanted to do. Then I finally listened to what I was really drawn to and became a professional photographer.

What does photography mean to you and what do you want to transmit with your pictures?

I like to make and build beautiful images, it’s a way of expressing my soul and it’s necessary for me to do it.

Which photographer has inspired you most?

As a self-taught photographer, I came across photography by myself and only later discovered other architecture photographers that I liked. My true inspiration came from movies, movies by Ridley Scott for example, or “Akira” by Katsuhiro Otomo.

How would you describe your photographic voice and creative process?

My work explores the built environment in a state of entropy, inviting viewers to reflect on the relationship between the material and the temporal. I work from inspiration, not preparation. What matters to me is the place, the light and the colors.

What’s important in order to develop an own photographic language?

Believe in your subjects and your photographs.

What do you consider to be the axis of your work – technically and conceptually?

I use a 4×5″ large format camera and color negatives.

I prefer working with color negatives because there is some sort of organic feeling that I appreciate. I like to show a place in its imperfections and mistakes, it feels more humane. Digital is much colder, its perfection is artificial.

Conceptually, I don’t think I fit into any category, I am just attracted by those places.

What qualities and characteristics does a good photographer need?

Not only must he have a good artistic and creative sense, but also be an entrepreneur.

What does a photo need to be a great photo in your eyes? Especially keeping in mind the over abundance of photographic imagery in today’s society.

For me a good picture is one that touches you.

Where do you draw inspiration for your photographic projects?

From my dreams.

What kind of photography equipment and photographic supplies do you use?

I use a 4×5″ large format camera and color negatives.

What’s your favorite website about photography?

I don’t really look at websites, I’m more interested and attracted my photography books.

What photography book would you recommend?

I would recommend the book “a View” by Toshio Shibata, because I was touched by his process, which he describes like this:

I employ a particular kind of sensitivity for approaching landscapes and sceneries like still lives. It’s in a way as if I was placing them right in the palm of my hands for examination.

Toshio Shibata

Which advice would you give someone who wants to become a (professional) photographer?

If you believe in yourself, go ahead!

Thomas Jorion (France) - Contemporary Photographer - www.thomasjorion.com
Thomas Jorion (France) – Contemporary Photographer – www.thomasjorion.com

More about Thomas Jorion

Website

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