Frédéric Duchesnay (beter known as Fréd) by « myself »
° When and where were you born?
Fréd: I was born in Saintes in Charentes Maritime in 1966.
° Are you form this region originally?
No I came to Nord-Pas de Calais about twenty years ago.
° What kind of cameras do you use?
Fréd: I use a Fuji fw 690 producing 6/9 negatives and a Rolleiflex T giving 6/6 negatives. These are very rustic cameras that are deprived of any kind of electronics, but that are adapted to what I do.
According to “me” “A craftsman’s noble way of approaching photography,”
° What camera would like to buy yourself?
Fréd: I think I am quite fulfilled, even if I dream of treating myself with a chamber.
° How much time do you devote to your passion?
Fréd: You do not devote time, a passion is life. A photographer is always using his “eye”. I think that I am constantly looking at things asking myself how I would shoot them.
“As far as I am concerned, it’s a weird but very beautiful way of keeping memories of those you love, and of things, of people…maybe to transcript the moment or captivate the felt emotion.”
° What do you try to convey through your pictures?
Fréd: I think I try to convey what you can feel being in front of a landscape, an atmosphere, some smells, everything that makes you feel small facing immensity!
“Are we only spectators or are we part of an endless whole?”
° What is the most important, the subject, the atmosphere conveyed, or the soundness of the right moment?
Fréd: The subject has no importance whatsoever, and I believe you can see it in my work. Only the atmosphere and the soundness of the right moment, as you say it, matter to me.
° What is the right moment in photography? Do you need to trigger it?
Fréd: Triggering the right moment while shooting a landscape is impossible. The right moment is, for me, at dawn, there are atmospheres that really speak to me. I like desert and misty moments that smell like dew. And very often it is impulsive I take a picture because I cannot but take it! Photography is then something obvious….inexplicable, spontaneous.
° What are you favourite subjects? Other people? Things? Natural spaces?
Fréd: Things and natural spaces, for sure. Other people not too much. (Is it serious “me”?)
“No Fréd, people are rarely themselves, always having to appear to protect themselves better…”
°Sun light or artificial light?
Fréd: Sun light obviously.
° Do you think you embellish reality or do you show it as it is, rough and ready?
Fréd: The evidence, in fact the subject strikes me- quiet, timelessness…also the aestheticism of some landscapes. Knowing how to put everything in its place in the picture. Actually I think that sometimes I embellish things, and some other times I feel like being more frontal and showing reality rough and ready. But it is nevertheless, undoubtedly, the subject that dictates the course of action to take.
° Your reasoning is not really away from Dylan Thomas’s (the poet), anyway, your photographs are really neat, as aesthetic as wonderful illustrations.
Fréd: First of all it is about respecting the spectator. I try to create balanced photographs, aestheticism is important. A photograph must catch the eye. I don’t think that a speech could replace this aesthetic dimension. There is always a search for beauty, whatever the message to be conveyed is. It is important to want to make the eye enter the picture.
° You remain hard to comprehend (a little bit less now), even mysterious, as if you were looking for a some sort of internal peace. Is a picture a part of yourself?
Fréd: yes and I need to keep this secret part about me to be able to express myself in peace. (Even if when it comes to you it is quite different). I think that if I take pictures, it is also because I have difficulties to express myself otherwise. A picture is obviously a part of myself as it conveys the way I see things.
°You spend hours in the dark room for the final phases –developing as a craftsman who works on wood or clay, modelling until he is satisfied…Have you ever had any regret about a picture you printed?
Yes of course. But there are mostly those you cannot print the way you want, I think it is even more disappointing. The work in the dark room, is half the picture.
°Portraits… are they really not “your thing”?
Fréd: I do some, but these are really personal things, I only show them to close relatives. They are portraits of my children.
° This passion for photography…..Is it coming from your grand father?
Fréd: No I wasn’t beaten by the bug because of him. I was beaten alone. I discovered his work years after I had started. This enabled me to appreciate the value of it, which maybe had never been done before. I plan to let his work be known.
° How many pictures have you taken since the beginning of your passion? Which snapshot are you the proudest of?
Fréd: How many? Not that many…..only a few thousands, which is very few indeed. The one of which I am the proudest? Well….I would not say one, but my series on the First World War graveyards. It surely was the first time I had followed a precise reasoning and in which I wanted to show something more than photographs.
° Which camera would you advise to a beginner?
Fréd: Tricky question Indeed. You really have to “find yourself”, and then use the technique which is the most adapted to your own sensitivity. I like material, old cameras, the dark room, it is surely not the most ideal things to start with!
Thank you “Me”, without whom this biography would never have existed.
Je préfère le noir et blanc à la couleur et bien que je n'aime pas trop les photos de paysages, j'ai trouvé des gros plans de certains détails très intéressants...Un vieux piquet en bois rongé par le temps, un bout de fil de fer rouillé...voilà les détails que j'aime. Merci.
Photos toujours aussi magnifiques. j'admire ta façon de mettre en valeur et de donner vie à certains détails que beaucoup ne remarquerait même pas(un banc, une flaque d'eau, une fenêtre,...). Il y a aussi comme une touche de perfectionnisme dans le ca drage de tes photos qui attire le regard et ne peut laisser qu'admiratif... bravo.
Fred, tu as la virtuosité du grand photographe: celle d'inviter à la reflexion, à l'émotion et à la contemplation. Donner du sens et faire du beau de l'anodin.Quel talent!Traverses, Vimy sous la neige, la peupleraie, la promenade, les étuis, manège, chaîne, la piscine, entre ouverte, la porte, tranches, la feuille, piquet, armées des ombres, noir sur blanc, la couronne...tout cela est d'un esthétisme parfait. Merci à toi