Studies and trips
Born in Compiègne
I lived in Noyon, Paris, then Beauvais
, where I obtained my scientific qualification before
starting engineering studies at the
University of Technology of Compiègne
at the age of seventeen.
As a student, I lived in Compiègne, Paris, Lyon
, then Groningen
in the Netherlands thanks to the Erasmus program,
to support my "Diplomarbeit
" (equivalent of a thesis) in industrial design
and finally Toulouse
From there, I made several trips to Asia, notably to India (6 months), Thailand (3 months),
, a "favorite" country where I settled in 2005.
Here, I manage a guesthouse that I built with 7 rooms, on the banks of the Mekong. Many
photos of my region
, integrate this site!
Art has always played a role in my life, from a young age.
My parents accommodated in an independent annex of our house the Spanish painter Julio Maruri (Wikipedia)
As a young child, I was enrolled in his painting classes, and I remember that in elementary and middle school I spent my
allowance on the purchase
of small pots of oil paint to color figurines modeled in clay cooked or in salt dough.
Around the age of 19, it was only natural that I took up brushes again to paint with gouache abstract patterns on Canson paper.
Then, creations on canvas were born in the process and, after my studies, painting
became a daily activity.
For fun, I hooked up to word games around the age of 25 to find anagrams
of some meaningful words.
Little by little, the accumulation of these heterogeneous finds became denser to begin to form a collection (in French)
Later, by serendipity, while strolling on the internet I discovered ambigrams
, creative objects mixing the poetry of words and their visual forms.
Immediately galvanized, I tried to draw some
By dint of fusing the letters, I naturally acquired the techniques and sharpened my skills in a self-taught way. This original passion for symmetrical words has never left me!
are symmetrical calligraphic creations,
which can have several interpretations depending on the angle of view. Graphically,
these words elicit a double reading and can sometimes be deciphered upside down (by rotating 180 degrees) or through a mirror (by axial symmetry).
The words I draw
are mainly in French and English. Sometimes I work on proper names or logos.
My works have been published in calligraphy books
exhibited in art galleries
printed on t-shirts
shared by European national newspapers
As gratifying as it was unexpected, the French Minister of Culture, Aurélie Filipetti, started following me on Twitter
My paintings are part of the "op art
" (optical art) movement, exploiting visual perception, optical games and illusions.
Most often, they are abstract mosaics made up of more or less regular geometric plots. These colored and uniform patterns generally harbor peculiarities which make the paintings special.
I mainly work with acrylic
, suitable for homogeneous solid colors, with rapid drying.
An analysis of my work
was carried out by art critic Francis Parent (Artrinet).
My practice of photography has ancient origins, and intensified in 2017, after the purchase of a
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
camera and several lenses adapted to my interests (landscapes
, and more
Previously, I used a Canon EOS 550D APS-C
type SLR, which allowed me to acquire my skills,
with passion but without necessarily claiming the masterpiece.
Before 2010, I used to take digital photos with compact, light and inexpensive cameras.
In 2002, I acquired a Canon analog
SLR camera, to which I was very attached,
and which two years later was stolen in an airport with a bunch of films to develop containing all the memories of the trip. Horrible return flight!
Previously, in 2001, before the arrival of digital SLRs on the market, I was one of the first to use a
Sony Mavica digital compact working with 3.5 inch floppy disks
Good toy, with its display screen in the back, at the time when printing on paper, slow and restrictive, was the norm.
Today, one of my favorite accessories is an ordinary tripod, quite simply because it allows you to take long exposures (up to 30 seconds) to capture
a maximum of photons in low light conditions, and so to deliver details that are often indistinguishable by the eye.
Some living animals, frozen in adequate stillness, sometimes allow themselves to be photographed for a significant period of time, with this tripod.
In dark interiors, or outside at sunrise and sunset, when the landscapes bathe in a soft and fragile light, this 2.2 lbs (1 kg)
carbon device is a formidable companion.
When traveling, I usually go with a load of twenty to twenty-two pounds (nine to ten kilos), that I can carry on my back from morning to night, in order to have
on hand the optical system perfectly compatible with the subject to capture.
So, I have three main lenses that together cover a huge focal range, from 11 to 400 mm. Concretely, a Canon EF 11-24 mm f/4L USM lens that
weighs 2.6 lbs (1.2 kg), a Canon EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L II lens weighing 2.2 lbs (1 kg), and a zoom Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM weighing 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg).
For small insects, my Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM fixed focal length macro lens does me a favor, but weighs down my bag by an additional 1.5 lbs (700 grams).
Finally, in low light conditions, I am still able to capture certain moving subjects in sharp focus thanks to an ultra-bright Canon EF 50 mm USM lens opening at f/1.4.
With the padded backpack, tripod, emergency batteries, ND filters
, memory cards and above
all the bottle of water essential in hot countries as when hiking, all this makes volume to carry!
But this physical effort is also the price to pay to make the most of the moment. Because when I am somewhere, my eyes are continually on the alert,
on the lookout for anything I can encounter, either a huge panorama or an intriguing scene far away.
I glean relentlessly, contemplate the sceneries with ecstasy, and my equipment encourages me to visit
everything in this spirit of "creative hunting".
So dopamine, pleasure hormone, constantly feeds me. I experienced moments of intense emotion in the company of a camera. Indeed, to contemplate an ephemeral spectacle
as a "passenger" is an attitude less exciting in my opinion than that consisting in going through it with the possibility of freezing this event materially
on a physical support, to make it potentially eternal
. In one case, we take advantage of the moment without thinking, in the other we feel like
an active contributor, capable of influencing the "play" performed in front, of making it more personal, intimate, like a property to be acquired.
The photographic approach makes the moment tasty, and nourishes the soul as a good meal satisfies the stomach.
After the still uncertain shots, I use the content of the original files recorded in RAW format
consisting of raw data from the sensor.
If you are not familiar with this technical aspect, it is sufficient to have in mind a digital "development" process akin to that of
printing film on paper. Indeed, RAW images allow, unlike JPGs, to vary
(essential property) in particular, without loss of quality
or alteration of colors. In photography, it is very common for example to have recourse to the underexposure of the subjects (a method
which darkens the scene) in order to preserve the details contained in the over-bright areas, such as backgrounds that are too contrasted,
appearing otherwise "burnt" (completely white).
No camera today is technologically sophisticated enough to match the range of light shades discerned by the human eye. Paradoxically, we
manage to create thermographic cameras
to film in total darkness, but to capture what humans themselves see in broad daylight,
science has progress to make :-) Also, to make the recorded scenes faithful to the reality (that is to say to the eye
), it is often necessary to carry out
a "post-processing" on a computer via dedicated software.
Sometimes specific techniques, such as high dynamic range imaging
, are needed to
make the subject real, authentic.
I frequently use Lightroom
, always trying to be as honest as possible in my digital "developments". In particular,
I take care to moderate the color saturation. According to the initial RAW file, the post-processing phase can be decisive, and considerably
transform the visual appearance of the original photograph. From a dark, indistinct conglomerate, I can generate via Lightroom a fine image,
rich in color and subtle in its areas of light, thanks to the relevant dosage of the sliders of the software. But it is imperative to respect the real
"picture" encountered, without disguising the truth, that is to say always with wisdom and sometimes humility. Preserving the original contrasts,
the tones as they were at the time, and ultimately all the intrinsic characteristics of the image, this sincere and delicate approach
conditions in my opinion the link that the photographer maintains with his productions.
So I try to stay consistent with myself and with the world when I work on screen these moments of exoticism.
Life is short, and photographs sometimes disappear with humans. Most people have photos that they keep discreetly in their private sphere, without really
sharing them, except sporadically to a few friends in rare circumstances. One day, these batches of personal images pass in a drawer that we forget,
then a cellar or an attic and, finally, many visual documents are lost forever. Some of them undoubtedly deserve a more glorious fate! And that's
what I'm trying to do by uploading my files
to the Wikimedia Commons
site, to make them searchable and usable by anyone, according to
the ethical rule of sharing under a Creative Commons free license
For having handled several years this multimedia activity, I can attest to the rather time-consuming import work that it involves,
and sometimes even difficult when it comes to identifying an unknown beast
or a rare plant
. Writing the descriptive captions, in two
languages if possible (English, French, in my case), properly categorizing the subject within the large collective library, possibly creating
the category if it does not exist, all this process represents many hours spent in front of the computer, in addition to the time required to
design each image.
Many agree that the Wikimedia project, like Wikipedia, is like real work for the motivated volunteers. However, I find pleasure there, and recognition. First of
all, the pleasure of interacting with people from all over the world, because images, unlike texts, have a universal aspect by nature. Then, the satisfaction
, of cultivating myself through the consultation of numerous documents uploaded by others.
I also learned on a technical level, thanks to the FPC section
(Featured Pictures Candidates), where participants criticize and vote to
elect the best images on the platform
. I contribute both as nominator and as judge (or critic). Regarding my own photographs, the gaze of
others helps me to assess their aesthetic impact, or their interest. For example, I ever changed my mind about an image,
after having received disapproval from others, rational and justified. Or conversely, appreciated more a photograph
when a majority of voters showed their enthusiasm.
Internet users who evaluate the nominations at FPC generally examine them in detail, sometimes even detecting tiny dust spots.
Thus the status of Featured Picture
, awarded by a consensus of demanding observers, is a guarantee of relatively objective reliability,
because it testifies to a technical quality and an emotional impact that is both consistent and shared.
For these various reasons, I am a constant follower
of the site. And participating at my own pace suits me perfectly.
Prizes, honors and rewards
This photograph of a cat playing with a lizard
reached the sixth position among the international finalists for the Picture of the Year
competition organized by Wikimedia Commons.
On this collaborative site, my uploads are regularly awarded Quality Images
(more than 600), and even better, Featured Pictures
(more than 200)
at the end of a voting process spread over 9 days. Once out of the lot, some photos are admitted to competition in the prestigious
"Picture of the Year
" challenge, which brings together
over a thousand nominations every year, on different themes. Sometimes my landscapes
the top of the ranking thanks to the enthusiastic votes of the many participants able to propel them to the final.
I also won 6 times the bi-annual Wiki Science Competition
organized upon the theme of Science,
sometimes with money as reward.
For example, this photograph of a bioluminescent beetle
won the national
first place for the category "Wildlife and nature"
Today, many websites, blogs and international
media display my photographs
while respecting the copyright.
For me it is a pleasant form of openness
and recognition. I am occasionally informed by email that this or that animal I have captured
with my DSLR will be on the
cover of a magazine dedicated to the subject. This equitable path of rewarding sharing of course encourages me to continue.
Regarding my preferences in photography, I am particularly sensitive to light when it is subtle and revealing vibrant colors, for
One of my major concerns is also to communicate the atmosphere.
When it comes to portraits and photos of people
, I like the spontaneity, the natural attitude,
the genuine smiles, and the scenes captured on the spot.
, I simply try to approach them... discreetly!
And without getting bitten