Let us introduce you to Pixelle, the behind the scenes photographer, 👻 who decides to showcase film sets and stars
Introduce yourself in a few lines
I’m Alex, Pixelle, 28 years old, professional photographer. I am specialized in the photo of stage, concert, reportage, as well as in the realization of books of artists and actors. I come from Blois in the Loir and Cher.
I have been doing photography for almost 10 years by passion first and foremost. Being self-taught, I started from scratch. I first learned to tame my first device, to understand the correlations between iso, aperture and speed, to have the picture I imagined. I made a book with references, and set myself up to my account 3 years later (pro for 7 years).
Why do you particularly like the most in photography?
I am very much more in the melancholy of the passing time. I use photography as a way of remembering things and people. That’s really what I like.
I WANT TO TOUCH PEOPLE, MAKE A FEELING, I WANT TO PUSH THEM TO INTERPRETATION.
How would you define your universe?
Simplicity is where I find that an image or face speaks the most.
What drove you to these types of photography?
For the film sets, it is pure coincidence, besides it is at this time that I decided to really do photography. I was impressed by the atmosphere of a medieval village visually perfect and aesthetic.
It’S A PLEASURE TO LIVE IN different TIMES always COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, ACCORDING TO THE IMAGINATION OF EACH DIRECTOR.
For concert photography, music has always been a great passion. It was logical for me to mix both. Living the atmosphere of festival, tours, and backstages with the teams.
In these two worlds, I like to show the backstage and the work of the behind the scenes people that you do not see – and to transcribe an atmosphere that represents the artist well.
The portrait / the journey, are also part of me. I love portrait. I started by photograph my friends.
The photography of architecture, landscape, and animal photography is a pleasure that I keep for myself when I move around in France and abroad, and that I show at exhibitions.
His 5 favorite photos
I love what the primates release. I find their look deep and full of humanity.
Pino: photo in pause on the shooting of a Franco-Italian film Ferdinand Knapp. I chose this picture because it identifies the personality of an actor with the roles that he has in the cinema, I like very much the contrast of the plateau where the actor plays a role and the moments in off where the actor is just him with his shyness, his modesty, facing himself.
Photo of artist Jain taken on his tour Zanaka Tour.
I chose this picture because the track “Paris” is a tribute to the attacks of 13 November; a message full of hope and peace. The artist is in a bubble with his audience. I was moved every day and the scenography was very successful.
Muse: I’m a big fan since teenage years; I was told if you want to see them bah buys the dvd … I had the honor to be able to shoot them during the last tour in France. A real hearing and at 3m is still much more fun than dvd!
Landscape: photo during a road trip in Connemara, truly magnificent region – camaïeux of crazy green. I am currently preparing my next trip to Iceland in early winter.
Technical team in black and white. A photo that shows the effervescence of a turntable.
How do you find your inspiration, and how do you compose your images?
I do everything with the feeling at the moment. The snapshot is primordial to me. It is only for the shootings that I read the scenario before – I imagine placements, sets, situations.
I cherish the black and white which for me is the best way to sublimate a landscape, a portrait, focusing on the subject and not on the rest.
In terms of photo reference, people who fascinate me, there are Peter Lindbergh, Helen Levitt, Sebastiao Salgado, Irving Penn. For more “contemporary” references, I stroll on 1x or 500px. I like to discover international artists and see the technical evolutions.
The instant is primordial to my mind
For composition, it’s always a matter of feeling. I test and I look if it matches – I like to play with symmetry, that rendering is graphic or with perspective, a bit like a drawing or painting.
My shot is independent of my post prod. I shoot in JPEG because I have an identical picture style on my two boxes. It affects contrast, saturation, hue, and sharpness. Pictures contrasted, desaturated tint for faces for example.
It allows me to go quickly to take care of the images and make them (often requested the same day or as soon as possible).
For post treatment, I only use Ligthroom. If I process the photos on the board, I play on the basic settings – curves – colors to stick to the image of the film. Dark / soft / glaucous universe – bluish tint / green / orange. I spend very little time per image, otherwise I throw it.
What are the most common difficulties you encounter and how do you remedy them?
On a set, the difficulty is finding a place, not being see to not disturb the technicians, because we are sometimes a lot of people. The more discreet you are, the better your photos will be.
I always take people on the spot, which really allows to capture something.
In concert, the first difficulty is the light as it varies every 1/500 of a second. You can have the perfect picture in the viewfinder and hop it is already too late. The artist moves and lives his moment, so one must be reactive to have a portrait, a special moment (jump for example) or an interaction with his audience.
For the travel photography, it may seems stupid but with cinema, we usually have empty places that it is natural surroundings, tourist places, streets … then necessarily in road trip there are tourists. You have to be patient, wait for people to move to the desired viewing angle, or an empty place.
The whole thing is really to adapt to each situation – do not be paralyzed if one has spoiled “THE photo”, there will be others.
YOU MUST BE CURIOUS TO SOMETIMES GO TO SEEKING THE UNEXPECTED, TO BE FLEXIBLE WITH SITUATIONS AND PEOPLE WHO SURROUND YOU.
Focus film set photo
On a film set, the photographer has to highlight the essence of the film. The audience must be able to understand the film by watching 20/30 images. The photos are used for the promotion of the film, and for communication, as the poster for example.
I also shoot the off: on a plateau we are sometimes 70. It goes from the stage manager, to the stuntman, wigmaker, decorator, machinist, electrician, makeup artist …
I love to take all these people, it is a way to photograph a human adventure.
Before the shooting I read the scenario – I make a “cut” where I note the interest of each scenes, places, important presences of a particular actor. Then, I meet the production, the director – notifie them of the sequences that I find visually interesting (because we do not come every day, we often have to restrict to a few days) and we agree on a course of action where they let me completely do.
It is necessary to be able to transcribe in the best way the atmosphere of the film, the universe of the director.
The specificity of film set photo is that it is not necessary to make noise during a catch for the sound engineer. My mirrorless box allows me to be close to the camera, the actors, without disturbing them and thus capturing real emotions “played” but true.
There is also the solution of the “blimp”, anti noise box but which is very expensive and quite cumbersome. To always be reactive, I still have two boxes on me.
I have a Lowepro500 aw bag, super convenient because it opens in the back, convenient when you move a lot for the safety of the material in transport. It allows me to contain my 2 mounted cases.
My box 5D mark 3 coupled with a 70-200 Canon L II is ideal for the concert with its opening to 2.8, in order to recover light and to have beautiful bokeh in portrait (without being seen).
A Sony a7R2, a technology jewelry – very light is a bliss. I took it primarily for shooting (because mirrorless) mounted (with metabones) on a Canon 24-70mm. Versatile optics that allows me overall views, and being discreet.
Finally, an 8 mm Peleng that I use from time to time in architecture for a surprising effect.
News and projects
I work on a musical that comes out at the beginning of September, which allows me for several months to follow the rehearsals, the creation of the show, until the project is released by September in a large Parisian hall.
In progress, I have different shooting of clips, feature films, covers for French artists. Coming soon: a road trip in Iceland and preparing a book or photo exhibition.
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