Saturday, March 7, 2009

Interview with Xavier Rey

Xavier Rey needs little introduction... He is a French photographer, known mainly for his long exposure B/W pictures. His work is truly impressive. So I decided to ask him some questions...

Hello. Tell us a little bit about Xavier Rey? How did you get into photography?

My name is Xavier Rey, I'm French and I live in south west of France, in Bordeaux last 5 years.My interest in photography was born in 2005, following the meeting of the collective of photographers SPBordeaux. Fascinated by the waterscapes, I directed
my photographic work naturally to the long exposure to capture the moods of the atlantic coast. Besides, I like to do photography in urban areas, report with a human approach,and portraits when the opportunity arises.

How do you describe your photographic style? And why did you chose black and white photography?

I am a landscape photographer, I like to be facing the ocean or in the middle of a mountain and I take full this time.
When I started, I was only in the color photograph, and then fairly quickly, I found in b&w photography a mode of expression much more personal. I still make a few color photos, but I think nevertheless that the color does not have the same force as
the b&w, at least as far as my photographs.

Much of your work focuses on beautiful landscape and waterscape. Where is your favorite location to take pictures? Is there any place of your dreams /which you want to visit one day and take some photos there/?

I love to go to pictures on the Basque coast, the Bassin d'Arcachon, but I would say that the Atlantic coast is photographically very rich and there are many places to discover.
I have no place in which I dream, but a desire to travel and discover other countries, other cultures, other landscapes. My destination would be the time of Scotland ...

You are mainly landscape photographer. What do you think about other kinds of photography /like for example press photo, modeling photography.../?

I am admiring of photography in general, whether landscape, fashion, portraiture, advertising photography, reportage ... A good photography remains a good photography !

Are there some good photo schools in France? Did you ever thought about making some workshop for young photographers? To show them how to make such a beautiful pictures, learn them how to make long exposure photos correct...

I am a self-taught photographer, I have no school of photography. I think the best school is the self-study, it appears that stronger!
I did not think to run courses on photography because I think there are a lot of people who do it better than me, and I did not really want to transform me into a teacher. Occasionally when I made the request, I try to just give advice ...

You are member of The 8Reg'ART group. Please tell us something about it /about other members, its purpose etc./. Is there any chance to another artists to become a member, or is it some kind of "closed community"? How are relationships between French photographers, do you feel any support from others?

We created the collective 8Reg'ART ( to promote Fine Art photography in France. Indeed, this one is little known in France as opposed to other countries ...
We are 8 photographers, 8 friends driven by the same passion, the same desire photography.
We do not want at this time open the group to other photographers, because there are many more operations are more complicated, we have several projects underway, but who knows later, may be that the collective change in the opportunity to other photographers to join us...

What type of cameras do you shoot with? What is your opinion on post-processing?

I work only in digital.I has a Canon 5D digital SLR and some of the same optical mark.The post process is for me the obvious, it is part of photography and is the equivalent of work done by photographers on their silver photographic prints.

I think that ART had changed during past years..because of internet. Now many talented, beginning artists can promote
their work /it is hard to make an exhibition in gallery for unknown person/.. What's your opinion about it?

Times change, internet is an important medium that allows everyone to show their work, share and this is a good thing. But the Internet does not replace the real event, the one with the author, with his prints during exhibition, fortunately.

Your photo was used by French punk/rock band 95-C for a cover. Was it just a single contract, or do you try to sell your photos also for "commercial" purposes? Is there any strict line between ART and COMMERCE at all?

This group was looking for a photograph to illustrate his new album. When I made the request for one of my photography, I found the project interesting and so I acccept to do so with pleasure. But I would not say there was a commercial on my part
for this project, more than pleasure ...
Besides, I don't denigrates commercial photography, but I think the approach is different when one moves to a commercial project in relation to an artistic approach.

Speaking about music, what are your favourite bands, musical styles?

I like many musical styles, my favorite bands are among other Beastie Boys, Asian dub Foundation, Muse, System of a down...

What do you do in personal life?

I have the status of a professional photographer this year but I continue, in parallel my prosthesis work.

What are your plans or visions for your future?

My project in the future would be to live my passion for photography while remaining free to do what I want. But in the meantime I continue my path, and I set a rule to always live photography as a passion, as a moment of pleasure.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009