We’re delighted to be working closer with The Impossible Project team as we continue to branch out and expand our reach with all things related to mobile photography. Analog post-processing of mobile images is becoming more and more popular and we’re going to make sure our readers are fully briefed on this very exciting development.
The Impossible Project is in many ways leading the way, but there is also a growing community of mobile artists and photographers experimenting with other analog post processing techniques in an attempt to make their mobile images stand out even more, in galleries, magazines and the like and we have viewed some outstanding images and techniques.
A good deal of my formal photographic training (many years ago) was spent in a huge college darkroom and it is an area that I’ve always enjoyed, I think you will too. I also had a very close working relationship with Polaroid built up through my years as Technical Editor for various UK photography print magazines/titles.
Today we are publishing the tenth of a series of ‘Impossible’ articles, this time with Florian, a.k.a. Ouen or Flø. Ouen lives in Saint-Brieuc, Brittany, in the far west of France. He’s a graphic designer, as well as “an avid traveller, drawer and ‘polaroider’ in my spare time”.
Florian, a.k.a. Ouen or Flø
‘Loin est l’Horizon (Far is the horizon)’ – Quen
How long have you been shooting Polaroid/Impossible film?
I started to be interested in Polaroid in 2008, after a trip in Brazil.
What do you like about Polaroid cameras?
They are really easy to use – especially for me, because I am definitely not a tech-fan – and also, of course, because they are aesthetically really interesting. You can tell that these objects have a design that was carefully thought through. I found myself becoming a collector quite quickly, but I mainly focus on five cameras. I use the SX-70 Alpha 1 for its design and its user-friendliness, the Polasonic Autofocus Model 2 because of its quick focus, the Polaroid 180 for its technical qualities and because it is easy to use while traveling, the 600SE for the sharpness of the image. And I also recently purchased a Wista Field 4×5 DX for the 4×5 format.
‘Sans Titre – Le Plongeoir (Untitled – The Diving Platform) – Quen
Where do you shoot most often? And on what films?
What I shoot is always dictated by the moment or where I currently am. I really love to take pictures while I travel. Instant photography is always part of my journeys and of my backpack (even though the films are heavy!). Taking instant photos on the road always makes it easy to make contact with people, to exchange with them, and always leaves beautiful encounters. At first, I kept on shooting with Polaroid film, but 2 years ago I switched to Impossible film because it is more reliable and it’s also easier than the type 100 or the 4×5 for storage – not to mention a better quality.
How would you describe your work?
This is a tough one – it’s always hard to describe oneself! I really love nature and human beings, especially portraits. What inspires me above all else is simplicity, the moment, the environment, the uniqueness, the emptiness, wide spaces, graphic images, or sometimes mystical images, and unusual situations. I always try to combine a little bit of all that.
‘Dialogue #8’ – Ouen
Tell us a little about the four works you have chosen as your favourites?
Loin est l’Horizon (Far is the horizon):
The weather was really unpredictable, and this was a wonderful surprise, that shows all the potential of the Impossible PX70 film. This is a great memory.
Sans Titre – Le Plongeoir (Untitled – The Diving Platform):
The weather was the same: gloomy. But at the end, this is what I got: a beautiful range of colors and an interesting flat area for the sky.
It was a beautiful place, I just wanted to capture the moment.
This was quite a bad batch of film that I got. It was really pink with a stripe in the middle of the picture. I was quite disappointed in the beginning, but these imperfections gave a lot of charm to the images, including this one. It is the little unexpected thing that one might love or hate.
‘Songes (Daydreams)’ – Ouen
Do you have any helpful creative techniques or advice you would like to share?
I just know the ones that everyone know, nothing more. I play with emulsion lifts and collages. Instant photography is just fun and creative.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions/publications?
I do! I am in the project Les petits polas. The last exhibition ended last January in Paris. For Expolaroid 2014, I showcase my pictures in a rather peculiar exhibition in Bretagne. My pictures are also about to be published in the Mexican magazine, Errr. For now, I don’t have a personal exhibition planned. I do think about it, but as I expect a happy event very soon, I think I might have to delay this project.
Who are your favourite photographers?
Many, but I am really bad at names! What always strikes me is an image or the universe of a series, more than just a name. The other day, I have found images by Eric Bouvet of the Ukrainian revolution. They were amazing!
What are you hoping for from Impossible during the next year?
I really think that the re-creation of instant photography should be more than just integral film! So I really hope that Impossible will one day relaunch the type 100 and 4×5. My Holy Grail will forever stay the Polaroid 669, so, Impossible, if you can hear me…!