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Exclusive Interview with Gabrielle Duplantier

Posted on November 12, 2013 - By Sandrine Hermand-Grisel
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Exclusive Interview with Gabrielle Duplantier
Exclusive Interview with Gabrielle Duplantier
Gabrielle's photographic world seems voluntarily detached from all temporal or social reality. So her subjects or not really thematic, she is seeking beautiful images that exist outside of any context, on their own. We asked her a few questions about her life and work.

All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?
Gabrielle Duplantier: After being so long someone who takes (lots of) pictures, it took a while for me to consider myself a photographer. I worked on my own exploring certain subjects just for my personal pleasure. Then one day I felt like showing my work, I participated in a few photography contests. For my first personal exhibition in the Basque Country, I didn't expect anyone to buy my pictures but I ended up selling around twenty. It was sort of a turning point.

Where did you study photography?
I never studied photography. I studied Art History and practiced Fine Arts at the University of Bordeaux. On the side, I started taking pictures with a second-hand camera. Someone lent me a book with the first black and white photographs at turn of the century, I was fascinated; there I found the source of inspiration for my own work. At home we had a dark room, my father showed me the basics of development. I spent most of my free time experimenting, searching... I learned practically everything by myself, with my imagination, my profound ignorance and yet with this powerful desire to achieve something that would satisfy me.


Gabrielle Duplantier

Naia © Gabrielle Duplantier


Do you have a mentor or role model?
In general, I admire people who aren‘t afraid of anything, who persist on their path without losing faith. There are many people around me who have these qualities, who give me strength and courage.

How long have you been a photographer?
Almost ten years

Do you remember your first shot? What was it?
No, but what I do know is that I liked to do close-ups of people unaware of my presence.

What or who inspires you?
My inspiration comes from simple things and often from my daily life. I have always liked photographing women, children, nature around me, interesting indoor scenes and of course light that can transfigure even a wall. But I think that inspiration remains a mystery. I don't know why certain things touch me. Anyway the subjects are just pretexts to explore my own emotional world, not reality. My pictures don't tell any precise story, they are open fictions.


Gabrielle Duplantier

Fleur © Gabrielle Duplantier


How could you describe your style?
Often unreal, somewhat dark, untechnical, sometimes even accidental.

Do you have a favorite photograph or series?
Impossible to choose one in particular. Recently I participated in 'Temps Zero project' (photo-projections and live music) with photographers from different countries, I saw there some breathtaking works, incredible photos.

What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?
I use for my personal work old Nikon film cameras, black and white film; I also have a digital camera for certain commissions or specific work. I have very rudimentary gear. I've never been much interested in technique. I don't think I want to know too much.

Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? For what purpose?
Of course. The choice of the images and the special attention I give to each one is essential. This reflection is as important as the shooting. In those moments, the feel of an image can be revealed.


Gabrielle Duplantier

© Gabrielle Duplantier


What are your projects?
This year I have a few exhibit projects, some commissions, my personal work to develop more and more. Find new subjects. Since my last book 'Les enfants d'ici', I want to make others.

Favorite(s) photographer(s)?
Two photographers influenced me from the start: Julia Margaret Cameron and Michael Ackerman.

What advice would you give a young photographer?
Avoid looking too much at other people's photographs. Take a lot of time alone to work.

What mistake should a young photographer avoid?
I don't know... I make many mistakes and learn from them constantly.

An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?
I think that great art is the art of the right distance. Too close one burns, too far one freezes; one needs to learn to find the right position and maintain it., a sentence I like from Christian Bobin


Gabrielle Duplantier

© Gabrielle Duplantier


Your best memory as a photographer?
Just all those moments where I had an incredible sensation of lightness, a thrill I feel that makes me forget everything else, totally absorbed by a scene I'm shooting, a state of grace.

Your worst souvenir as a photographer?
Moments when I felt inhibited for some reason and lost my creative freedom.

The compliment that touched you most?
During projections of my photos accompanied by music, I have seen people cry. Music accentuates the emotional impact. Even so, tears are a compliment.

If you were someone else who would it be?
A healer.


Gabrielle Duplantier

© Gabrielle Duplantier



Gabrielle Duplantier

© Gabrielle Duplantier


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