Whether they photograph urban landscapes or the forest, Benjamin Beaumont and Philippe Perrin, our readers picks #340, both capture their environments. One reveals all the colours of his adoptive city, and the other exposes the surreal nuances of the natural world.
It was when he moved to Lyon, in 2014, that Benjamin Beaumont made his debut in photography – and more specifically, in street-photography. Through his viewfinder, he gets to know this city, and discovers the hidden geometry of the urban landscape. “I modestly seek to capture moments of beauty, as a poetic outlet in a world that I sometimes find too harsh and standardised,” explains the artist. The cold, concrete street is transformed into a colourful open-air theatre, where city dwellers stage their daily lives. “Street photography is a space of freedom: it is accessible, uncodified, each person defines their own rules according to their own sensitivity,” says the photographer. Moved by the therapeutic virtues of the medium, Benjamin Beaumont sees in photography a great meditative potential. And year after year, his reflection continues, he tames his adoptive city, and reveals all its beauty. “When you get to know a city, you go beyond the commonplace, the obvious beauties, to linger on that little detail that you had never noticed before at the bend of a street corner, even though you already know it perfectly. Returning to these familiar places helps you to see things differently,” concludes the photographer.
© Benjamin Beaumont
Originally from Dijon, Philippe Perrin, 64, has been living in Mexico for thirty years. As a great lover of nature, it was through getting up and close with it that he was introduced to photography, and more specifically film photography. “I attended an experimental course run by Claudine and Jean-Pierre Sudre (Founders of Laboratoires, an exhibition programme paying tribute to contemporary photographers and their precursors, ed.) in Lacoste in 1983 and 1984, and then I started to make a living from my images, tackling everything: from reproductions, to theatre photos, to portraits, etc.” he recalls. Immersing himself in the landscape – be it marshes, forests, mountains or even caves – the photographer captures graphic images, transforming his surroundings into a surreal and exciting setting. In front of his lens, plants become strange tentacled creatures, and underground caverns turn into dreamlike places, portals to fantastic worlds. Here and there, solitary figures emerge and lose themselves in the contemplation of the immensity that is offered before them. Always in black and white, Philippe Perrin finally manages to capture, in the heart of a wild, free world, the complex nuances of the relationship between man and his environment. A most intriguing experience.
© Philippe Perrin
Cover picture: © Benjamin Beaumont