Olivia selected Eric Lafforgue as our next subject for 5 Questions and so we jump back across the Atlantic to Toulouse, France. (For those keeping score, we’ve traveled 11,817 miles in total.)
What to say about Eric? Here’s what I learned from his testimonials:
“Eric’s photostream is one of the finest and most fascinating on flickr – an intimate view of the world, its cultures, its colors, its people.” Vol de Nuit
“Eric’s work reveals more insight into the cultures of the world in a single series here on Flickr than I’ve gained in a lifetime of reading popular travel magazines.” Kurt Schlatzer
“Eric’s photography is what I would like my photography to be one day. He is nothing but inspiration threw his lens. He shows us the beauty that life has to offer threw the colors and many faces of the world.” robert lio
1. Eric, we know it’s a tough question, but if you had to pick just one camera to shoot with from now until the end of time, what would that be?
Eric: My Hasselblad H3d-39, because I can do everything with it – until I no longer have the strength to carry it into remote locations. I would say my Leica M6, but getting through airport security with film takes hours these days. I’ll keep my digital camera.
2. A (possibly) tough question… Tell us your favourite photos on Flickr, and why you like them. First, a favourite from your photostream?
Eric: I really love this photo, because I knew that before I went to North Korea I wanted to take a photo like this. Sometimes you know before taking a photo what it will be. That’s magic. Once in the DPRK, I had to find a soldier who would accept my request for a photo. It wasn’t easy.
Many Flickr members have asked me if I photoshopped that photo, if it was taken in a studio, etc. I have decided to keep it a secret, but once North Korea opens its doors (though I don’t know when that will be), you can ask the subject. She’s a guide at the War Museum in Pyongyang.
Left: I’ve wanted to go to Papua New Guinea since I was a kid. Thanks to Flickr. I found an editor to make a book of my Papua photos. Right: This photo was taken in a remote area of Yemen. While this girl is veiled, you can see the smile in her eyes. I try my best to make people beautiful.
And from another Flickr member?
Eric: I’ve faved more that 1,300 photos on Flickr. It’s a difficult choice. My favourite photos are ones that I would have loved to have taken.
Left: The is one is perfect – Nathalie has a wonderful eye for China. Right: NYGUS dares to capture photos that the rest of us wouldn’t. He’s got a great point of view on the social environment.
Left: Tatiana is involved in so many things. I would like to have more time to work the same way. Right: I like the way Jason photographs children. I’d like to try shooting in a studio.
3. What’s one tip that you would share with someone who’s just picking up a camera?
Eric: If you shoot digital like I do, work through all the steps: portrait or landscape, the light and post-processing (in Lightroom, for example). These are the three main things that you need to keep in mind when you begin to think about photography seriously.
For portraiture or landscape, it’s your choice. You just need to have some luck or to travel. For the light, it’s up to you to decide how you let it come into the camera. While there are many ways of monitoring the light, I prefer to play with speed. And lastly, post-processing. It’s the birth of the photo. If you follow the 3 steps, you’ll get the best photos you can.
Another tip: take as many photos at you can and keep all of your photographs, even the blurry ones. When you come back in a year or two, you’ll discover new ways to use them.
4. When we interview peeps for employment here at Team Flickr, we always ask: “Kittens, babies, sunsets or flowers?” Pick one.
Eric: I’m sorry, but I’m allergic to cats, I don’t have any babies, my eyes are sensitive to sunlight and flowers make me sneeze! You’ll have to add Dim Sum or Foie Gras to your list to get an answer from me.
5. Which Flickr member should we ask these 5 questions of next?
Heather: A funny thing happened with this interview — Shamir, our French Community Manager, began a similar 5 Question string. His first interview? Eric Lafforgue. In that interview, Eric selected Pierre Beteille to be the next interviewee. To avoid duplication and enable interviews with more members, I asked Eric to select another candidate for this interview.
Eric: Maciej Dakowicz!
Heather: Thank you, Eric. It’s been wonderful to see Flickr and the world through your eyes. 5 Questions will return with soon when we interview Maciej Dakowicz.
Photos from Eric Lafforgue, nataliebehring.com, NYGUS, Tatiana Cardeal, jwlphotography, and © Maciej Dakowicz.
Previously, 5 Questions for Kevin Meredith, Steph Goralnick, and Olivia Wright.