To discover more about the living life behind a lens we started portrait interview series featuring 500px photographers. This week we’d like to introduce you to Jib Peter a French author photographer, whose sole medium is analog conventional material.
Hello Jib, could you tell us about your photographic journey?
Everyday starts the same way, but no day is the same. When I wake up my dog named Stan comes to say “Hello” jumping at me until my coffee is ready. Then I start working, I develop, post-treat, go for a photo ride, make updates on the Internet, that depends.
I’ve read in one of the interviews that you quit university to pursue photography. Is today post-secondary education relevant if one wants to be a photographer?
I cannot give you the right answer. I had to quit school as I could no longer stand it. However you must be aware that learning by yourself implicates many drawbacks. At the beginning my visual culture was quite inexistent, just like my technical expertise. I had no camera and couldn’t really afford it. It took me a lot of time to become a photographer.
I think that post-secondary education can help you to save time and money. But I chose freedom.
Do you continue to be inspired by the independent U.S. movies and the first photographical and film making testimonies or have your sources of inspiration changed since?
Yes, I do. Watching old pictures still fascinates me a lot. I wish our ancestors discovered photography and film making earlier. It is captivating to discover photos of people who lived a long time ago, and try to imagine how different their lives were by just looking at their faces.
Music also inspires me a lot.
Did you always shoot medium format black and white or this preference developed over time?
That’s my favorite material, but it has evolved. I first worked with a bridge digital, then an analog reflex, and now I mainly use my Hasselblad and my Holga. I hope I’ll be able to move on to large format cameras soon.
What gravitates you toward black and white photography?
I think that’s mainly due to the fact I chose to do film photography, though I’m very sensitive to its rendering, it is both simple and very complex. It’s easier to start developing black and white films by yourself versus developing color film. Recently I have started to develop color films by myself.
Could you share with us the creative process behind one of your pictures from your profile page?
The final picture is often very far from the original idea. For some time now, as nothing happens exactly like I want it to when I shoot, I decided not to concentrate on ideas too precise. I do my best using my material and always try not to cross the boundaries of bad taste. I like working like this, it’s funnier and sometimes surprising. I tend to find ideas everywhere: garage sales, music, cinema, trips and rides...
What would you chose: Street/ Landscape? People/ Animals? Film/ Digital?
Landscape, people, animals and film.
What camera/s and equipment do you use during your shoots?
I use all my cameras Hasselblad 503cxi, Nikon F5, and Holga to shoot portraits or landscapes, for fashion, staging or for a wedding.
Do you shoot for insurance?
Yes, I do. Otherwise I’ll spend my time questioning this period of my life.
How do you post process your work (equipment, programs, presets)?
Unfortunately I don’t have enough money to print all of my images with the enlarger, so I have to scan them and post process them in Photoshop, as light as possible. Just like I would do in the dark room. I use an Epson 4990 photo scanner for the medium format and a Minolta DiMAGE scan 5400 for the 35mm.
When digging for your background on google, I’ve noticed that you use many social sites to promote your work. What is social media’s importance in marketing for contemporary photographers?
Social sites are unavoidable nowadays. They are very interesting for self promotion and also to discover the work of other artists. They also became very useful to get feedback (both positive and negative) on your work. It helped me a lot in creating my portfolio. They also encourage you at being constant, constantly producing new work.
What in your opinion makes a good photo?
I think a good picture is a picture in which I can project myself. It always works better with a picture when it is as pure and simple as possible (without too many artifices and pretensions). Whatever the subject is.
If you could capture anybody or anything on camera what would it be?
As I am more sensitive to nature than to urban sets, I’d like to shoot a lot of landscapes that make me dream. And I’d also like to shoot people with different life goals.
What’s the best thing about being a photographer? Would you change anything?
A feeling of freedom. No, I wouldn’t change anything, it’s such a great adventure.
What advice would you give to beginner photographers?
Never forget all your missed shots!
Share with us 5 things about you that are unrelated to photography.
That’s the most difficult question, as I may always link my parallel activities to photography…
Thanks Jib for the interviewed and thank you for reading! Feel free to leave a comment or question to the photographer below, we love your feedback.
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