Chatting with Yvon Buchmann : 4th place General Category – HIPA 2015

Yvon Buchmann / HIPA

Yvon Buchmann / HIPAI am 60 years, I am married and have two children, a daughter Julie 22 years and a boy, Simon 19 years. I am in a wheelchair following a diving accident when I was 19, I am now retired and previously I was a webmaster. I am passionate about computers and I watch with interest the development for over 40 years. My wife is a doctor and we live a happy family life in a small village in eastern France in a beautiful area called “Alsace”. [Official Website]

Can you tell us a little about your Photography?

This photograph which has been awarded to the HIPA was conceived in an unusual way for me. Usually I’m more a fan of street photos but this one was performed as a movie. At first I was at the place that I had spotted, a small station near my home and I have identified the different locations and the items of the photo. I noticed the best viewing angle, the perfect framing, the proper shutter speed and exactly where will be the subject. When all these settings were defined I just had to come back another day to complete my image as I had imagined.

Three words that describe your photography?


How did you get into photography?

The first camera I’ve seen at home when I was a boy was a Polaroid that made small photos in black and white. It was just magical to see appear on the paper an image in black and white live! I think that the virus was inoculated to me at that moment. Later my father offered me my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic. Then I discovered the magic of developing black and white film in the photo club in my village. I bought my first Reflex Camera when I was 20, an Olympus OM1 and my first development kit at the same time. I practiced the photo in black and white for 4 years, and then I put aside my passion for 30 years. I went back to take pictures for 9 years.

Yvon Buchmann

Have any artist/photographer inspired your art?

Yes of course. Photographers who inspired me the most were the great French masters humanist movement such as Robert Doisneau, Willy Ronis, Henri-Cartier Bresson…

What do you think makes a different or memorable photography?

I think what makes the difference is the message which is transmitted in the photo. The technical aspect is not decisive for me. A technically perfect picture but empty of meaning will never equal a picture whose message shake up. A beautiful, even a very beautiful picture is not necessarily a great photo.

Describe your ideal photographic situation

I would say the first thing is the background, a location, a place that inspires me that is like the background of a painting . Then I trust my inspiration. Usually I wait a subject, I do not always know in advance that, and then the little unexpected that will make all the difference and which we had not thought of …
Unfortunately, this ideal situation does not happen often !

How much preparation do you put into taking a photography?

I can not say that I usually take a lot of time to prepare a photo, especially for street photography, however I can be very, very patient …

What’s your useable-to-unusable ratio when you review images from a shoot?

I don’t know. Maybe one good photo for 100 triggers and one outstanding photo for 3000 to 4000 triggers?
Of course one does not trigger any time, for anything!

How has social media played a role in your photography?

Social media are mainly used to disseminate as widely as possible my work through my contacts worldwide. But through social media I also had knowledge of photo contests wich have been very beneficial to me.

What quick advice do you have for someone who wants to improve his or her photography skills?

Primarily to develop the artistic side rather than the technical side. Watch a lot of books with photos of famous photographers and also To love life and people as the pictures transmit what we have in the deepest of the heart.

From time to time many photographers find themselves in a creative rut or uninspired to shoot. Does this ever happen to you and if so how do you overcome these phases?

Of course I have experienced periods of dryness in my artistic life. I have no special trick to overcome these crises but I noticed personally in my life when I’m going through difficult times, for one reason or another, I was much more inspired and more creative than usual.

What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?

I dream of one day having the opportunity to exhibit in cities and prestigious artistic locations such as New York (soon this dream will come true) or Berlin, Arles in France, etc… and to be published in famous photography magazines.



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