Nicolas' Testimony

I went to the Ambient Japan seminar as a first for me with no preconceived ideas of what I was going to find there. It was the first time in my 35 years of photographing that I was going to be confronted with others’ viewpoints on my own pictures “on the spot” and others’ approach to taking pictures, others’ ideas on what to shoot and how to shoot. I went there with my own ideas about what’s important in photography, with confidence in my own abilities, my head full of the masters’ pictures I strive to imitate, but without ever having had a bearing in reality as I had never been critiqued before. The group of varied backgrounds, gender and age was ideal to confront one’s own experiences with others.

Glenn created the right combination for me of mindfulness and photography: an inwards reflection on creating the day ahead, creating the scene, creating the picture in the mind before pushing the release button. He also pushed us into working under pressure with specific tasks to accomplish before drifting off into our own world and own imagination. This allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and to improve on my photography. This enabled resetting my approach and make it an everlasting ‘work in progress’.

I gained not only the capacity of trusting my own judgment on the technicality of the picture, for instance learning to shoot in manual but also confidence in critically looking at the light and thinking beforehand of the effect I was trying to achieve as opposed to just taking the picture and making up later something out of the raw material recorded on disk.

About myself: I am a French national who has spent his professional life moving from place to place, in Europe, North America and now Singapore.