Michel Charles

Courtesy Anaglyph

A journey in the heart of Photography

Have you ever lived an inspiring moment? Have you ever met one person who put you on the right track? Michel is the kind of person who helps you to make a big step forward... a step that you would probably not have done for yourself.

<< An anaglyph A method of encoding a three-dimensional image in a single picture by superimposing a pair of pictures. With courtesy of Michel Charles

Someting will happen
You would call that: "The moment it clicks"

Some day, Michel went to the big harbour of Marseille. His mission? A model? Some known political figure that you would see in the news? No. It's just a boat, a sailor. Why the hell is Michel always so far from the group of photographers? And more than this... Why was his set of images preferred to all the others to represent this day on the official website? How could he sell his images when he was never There? For all amateurial photographers I would like to summarize what I learned this night, talking to Michel...

If you want a nice picture, you have to make it happen. Of course you must not interfere, you must not modify the event you are involved in as a photographer. "Make it happen" means "Look for it". So what? Isn't that what every single photographer is doing? Looking for the right image, triggering at the exact moment The image shows up? What is the actual secret he is trying to tell me?!

Listen well... here it is. The secret is not a "Do" it's a "Don't do" : Imagine that you are attending a very important event as a photographer. The room is dark and a spotlight illuminates a model. Do you notice the continuous noise that the cameras are doing? The pictures pile up in their 8Gb CF cards at an incredible rate. Why?.... Oh,... of course... There is a little risk of missing The image When it arrives. (Go on guys! I'll wait until you're done!) This is how Michel differenciates from amateurial photographers. Look again, The image has always been there and he knows it. Once you find it, just push the trigger, just once...

Some day, when you have a model in your studio do you plan to ask for something? Give directions, and wait. The moment will show up when the trouble arises and that's what you want to shoot. Nothing else.

Does it have to be like... ?

The room is convenient. You have each a cup of tea in the hand and talk. The moment comes when he asks for you to show the result of your work. You give him your CD's. Photoshop is already running on the hi-end Mac. First frame opens in front of your eyes. And then comes his first sentence : "My dear! Congratulations! You are shooting like a pro! Your images really look professional; just like if they were taken out of a magazine! I do see what you tried to do." he says.

That's exactly what happened to me. I understood immediately the meaning of his words. It's just like the images were taken by a pro: by a talented person -of course- for a famous magazine he certainly knows... but not by me.

What do people want in their lives? There are plenty of things to live : eat, drink, sleep, have sex, have fun, rise ones' kids, ... and be important. How do you plan to be important? Copy? Sure not! Resemble? not worth! Finally is it meaningful to be like someone else? Some friend of mine said : copying is still learning. How true it is. But learning is not important. Create with what you have learned! Then I realized that Michel's words were probably not as tough as I thought. Could it mean "Live for yourself now, you are ready!"

I promise some day I will go back to you and we will talk.
Thank you, Michel.

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