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If you have ever wondered how these people became who they are today you will like this interview with an abandoned places photographer Romain Veillon.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and when did you get into photography?
Romain Veillon, 31, photographer based in Paris. I started photography around 15. It was for me a way to keep memories of my travels as a report. With time I left the report mode to focus on a more esthetic approach. As an autodidact every shooting is a way for me to improve and to try new technics.
How has environment you live in influence the way you photograph?
I can’t really say there is a connection between the environment I live in and my work. But sure enough at one point I was a little bit tired of being in Paris every weekend and I needed fresh air and escape the city. So it was a starter to make me explore the countryside around Paris.
If you could live anywhere on this awesome planet where would you build your dream home?
Hmmmm, one thing I love about photographing abandoned places is that it made me travel to a lot of different places like I said before. And I think I didn’t find my perfect nest to build my dream home yet. But I hope next year will be the one ! Asia might be the place, I have a lot of expectations for Bali.
What inspires you the most?
When I was a kid, I use to wander around the abandoned truck factory of my grandmother. It was full of relics of drivers and workers’ life. I loved spending whole afternoons trying to discover what used to be the life of these people and how the place was like back in time. Imagining these stories is what I really like about these incredible places. Also, being a witness of the power of nature that always takes back what’s “hers”. There is also a unique post-apocalyptic style with decay. Trying to capture what is beautiful in what remains is important to me and showing how the disappearance of men can create eerie atmospheres that make us think about why they have been abandoned in the first place.
Do you have any favorite photography scenes or subjects?
Obviously, it is the abandon universe that is my favorite and only subject. Castles, houses, churches, factories, cinema or hospitals. Any location where human life was and where dereliction has taken over. I want each photographs to tell a story but also to push people to imagine what used to happen there a long time ago.
How would you describe your style?
I don’t think about a special word to describe it right now. But I believe what characterize my work the most is the use of the light. My goal is to put back some life in these decayed places thanks to the use of light, like a ghost.
What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I am shooting with a Nikon d800 and a wide lense 14/24 most of the time.
What is your favourite photography accessory, other than your camera?
I am a very classical photographer, so it’s difficult to answer to this question ! I guess I would say my tripod, because without him, there are so many shots I couldn’t have done properly.
Where’s your favourite place to shoot and why?
Kolmanskop! It was a mining town in the middle of the Namib Desert in Namibia. Driven by the huge amount of diamonds, people basically created this town out of nothing and made it a prosperous city. In 1954, diamonds started to decrease and the population moved south where a new vein had been found. It became a ghost town, and now it is completely filled with sand. I was there for a week shooting, the atmosphere is somehow unreal and magical, like time has stopped there years ago.
What is your favourite computer/editing accessory, other than your computer?
Well, I use lightroom to edit my pictures, but I try to be very light in my processing.
What advice do you have for new photographers who are just starting to explore the creative possibilities of photography?
The only advice I could give is to take pleasure doing what you do. Explore all kind of things and always try to find a new way to photograph things. You will always have the time after to settle and have your own style. Discovering the work of fellow photographers is also a way to mix new ideas.
Where do you like to upload your photographs to – Flickr, Instagram, Facebook etc.?
I try not to have too many places where my pictures are available. So usually, I post them on my facebook profile, then to Instagram to reach another kind of viewers.
Do you edit images on your mobile devices or do you prefer to use a desktop or laptop computer?
On my computer (desktop) of course ! I don’t even know how it is possible to edit pictures on a mobile device.
Where do you see the future photography?
Hard question ! I don’t know what to say. I think photography is going to be mixed with a several new technologies. More and more, photographers will try to find a new way to exhibit their work. But frankly I think it’s impossible to guess, but I can’t wait to see what the future is holding for us.