Each month I discuss with different photographers about what makes them tick in the world of photography, their influences and how they came about doing what they do.
This month I am talking to Joss – Josspeix Photo who is a very gifted photographer living in Paris, France.
My name is Joss Peix, I am 42 years old and I live in Paris. My lovely wife and I are both of Portuguese origin. We unfortunately do not have children, my wife is suffering from an illness – endometriosis – which makes her infertile. This is the fight of our life: overcome the disease and succeed in having a child, the more wonderful in this world.
Photography is a passion of mine, but it is not the only one. I also love music, especially rock, and I play a little guitar. I was also an actor in amateur theater group. I took a break, but I hope to back soon, because I miss the boards!
Today is the photo that takes up the most space in my activities. For a year, I decided to share them on social networks and via a website, just for the pleasure of sharing these emotions I feel when I capture the “decisive moment.”
My website : http://josspeix.jimdo.com/
Follow me on Twitter : @josspeix
Follow me on Flickr : Josspeix Photo
Q1. What or who inspired you to do photography in the first place?
- I started photography a long time ago, in 1988, with my Minolta Dynax 5xi film camera. From an early age, I was inspired by humanist photographers of the 20th century, who immortalized Paris in unforgettable black and white photography: Izis, Willy Ronis, Sabine Weis, Brassaï, Robert Doisneau, René-Jacques, Jean-Claude Gautrand …
So I immediately liked the black and white street photography. In 1993, I went to see by chance a photography exhibition in Paris: Workers from Sebastiao Salgado. It was a biggest visual, emotional and artistic impact for me. Through these pictures, which showed the hard life of workers in the world, I realized the impact that could have a picture. I understood the human and economic messages that could have a photo. This gave me to travel, meet people and witness to the human condition through the picture. The pictures tell, without words, what our eyes see. It is a testimony and a memory of the world for the next generation. There is one thing that always comes to my mind when I take a photo: to take a photo is to love people and life!
Q2. What kind of gear do you use?
Camera body –
Nikon D7000 DSRL and a Fujifilm X20 compact expert
Tokina 11-17 F2.8
Tamrom 17-50 F2.8
Nikon 50 mn F1.8
Nikon 18-200 F3.5-5.6
Raynox Fisheye DCR-FE180PRO (conversion lens)
Manfrotto compact MKC3-H01
Hoya Pro 1 Neutral Density (8, 64, 400, 1000)
A Nikon SB-800 iTTL and a Sigma EF-610 iTTL
Wireless studio trigger set (1 transmitter and 2 receivers) from Phottix
One white umbrella studio
Camera bag –
Mention others, if any.
Q3.What inspires you generally when it comes to photography?
A3. I like to learn about photography and my curiosity takes me in different domains.
Unlike many, landscape photography is not what I prefer. So I approach it differently, in terms of the long exposure or infrared photo, because it’s more technical approach. It should take your time, make the right adjustments and be patient. It soothes me. I also like the city and architecture photography. I like the geometry on this type of photo: finding the right angle, shapes and lines for leaks. I also tried a little HDR photo, but I’m not a fan. At the moment, I am not very inspired by wildlife photography. Probably because I live in Paris and it lacks ample space here. Nevertheless, I like macro photography although I do not practice it often. Finally, the area in which I’d like to practice, it is the portrait or fashion photography with deported flashs (strobist). In this type of photo, what I like is the creativity, the search for light planes, and staging.
Q4.What does photography mean to you?
A4. For me photography means to transmit emotions. But it means mainly to transmit a testimony and make it through the ages as a lasting memory. This is of course in the black and white street photography that I find this meaning. This is street photography I like to practice first. But beware, I do not like any street photography. I don’t like banal street photography which steals people’s lives. I only love the street photo that shows people’s lives through an event or through their condition of life. This must remain an universal message. With black and white, time is captured and it seems eternal.
Q5. Which is your favourite lens? Why?
- I specifically chose my lens depending on the use that I made. I think that my best quality lens is the -Tokina 11-17 F2.8. It provides a great sharpness result. However, my favourite lens is the Tamron 17-50 F2.8 because of the largest focal range and its very good construction.
Q6.What is your biggest accomplishment in this field?
A6. I do not think I have done something great at this stage. I would like one day to make a photo reportage about a great cause. In the meantime, I hope my photos of Paris perpetuate a little tradition of the humanist photographers.
Q7. Whose work has influenced you most?
A7. I realized, after several years, that the photographer who gave me the greatest artistic influence is Jean Loup Sieff. The way he frames, he searchs perspective and creepage, I feel that I found a little in my way of composing a photo. In landscape photography, for example, I prefer to get 2/3 in the ground and leave one third of the sky. In photographing people, I like to seek the tight framing, while trying to find a gesture that suggests a direction, a path that should be followed. I am always looking to tell a story with my photos, and this is probably the work of Jean Loup Sieff that influenced me in the way I compose my photos.
Q8. Do you have a favourite time of year for photographing?
A8. No, this is the advantage in street photography. It can make gray, or even rain, it does not bother me and it can even be interesting. I generally find interesting cloudy skies. Otherwise, I like the autumn colors, I love the light made during sunny days in winter. Summer is the time that I do not like, the sun is too strong and the light is too harsh.
Q9. What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
A9. Love people and life, keep the feet on the ground and share emotions. I always work with my heart. People watching, waiting for the decisive moment, it is also to learn to love life and people. I often discuss, after taking my photo, with the person photographed. I love to share the pleasure and make delight. Street photography is not always easy, but unlike the landscape photo, the light is not the essential element. The essential element is your vision and generosity.
Q10. 35mm or Digital? And Why?
- I am a camera film nostalgic. With camera film, we took the photo and the result was discovered long time after. But today’s digital photography is more accessible and opens more horizons.
Q11. Twitter or Facebook? Why?
- I prefer Twitter, it is easy and user friendly. Otherwise, Flickr is very interesting, with one tera bytes of storage possible.
Q12. Among your works, which one is your favourite? Why? (Please supply the photo in low resolution)
- I love this one, it is a “decisive moment”. There are a lot of bums in Paris, they live on the streets and they are struggling to feed. The state ignores them. This bum comes to feed “his pigeons”. I love this parabole message because in this world, it is often the poorest who are most generous.