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‘Environmental Portraits on Film’ by Charles Dardenne

Charles Clovis Dardenne is a London based photographer shooting mainly on film, his passion for photography started in college learning about analogue photography and the extra dimensions that can be created with shooting on film. Charles is a self-taught photographer who uses the London landscape as his playground to capture the excitement of music, events and people. Over the last few years, Charles has gained knowledge through working at ‘Bayeux’ a photographic lab based in central London, where he has learnt various skills and techniques to create fantastic works of art. Charles has gains inspiration by previous film photographers who have shot on film, such as the great Steve McCurry and William Klein who have captured so many different works of art that have seen by millions around the world.

‘Environmental Portraits on Film’

CD: “Starting photography only a few years ago, I didn’t have a plan to go out and shoot or have any special gear to get the shots I wanted. All I knew I wanted it to be shot on 35mm film. I wanted to try find the benefits of using film, and why it’s still around today. I started with street photography as it was a good first step to learn the different types of film rolls can do to an image, whether I wanted the film to have more contrast and saturated colours or having a more of pastel or muted tone to the image. Looking back at these shots, there is a sense of calmness to them, a personal feature that I have always had when being behind the camera.

After a while I noticed something about film that makes the images seem more pleasing, a mixture of all the advantages that come with only having 36 exposures, how it makes me be patient with my compositions, how grain has a more ‘realistic’ look to the image, by analogue not being perfect or precise, how by welcoming imperfections making it genuine. Just a quick view on why I’d always lean toward film than digital. Something I learnt about street photography is how I let the photographs speak for themselves; I let the viewers interoperate the photos in their own way by bringing their own emotion to the photos, perhaps by making them remember a memory or feeling making it personal to whoever observes it. Personally I feel some of these landscapes brings a different emotion of isolation, loneliness and separation, perhaps something that I was going through when I shot the images, but still holding on the calmness and tranquillity trait I bring out; an unusual contrast between the polar opposite emotions.”

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