The nice rendezvous of Brume Orpin #3 Nathalie Baetens

Nathalie Baetens is a photographer but for me, she is above all a “tamer of light”. She has the talent to portray what one would like to see but which is not there until one finds her photos. Her person radiates gentleness and kindness, just like her work. At Brume Orpin, we attach particular importance to exceptional encounters, Nathalie is one of them. She sublimates the moment with her lens. Our collaboration dates back more than 10 years, to illustrate scents together in images.

Your series "Paris lockdown" in front of the Eiffel Tower should be the subject of an exhibition, as a souvenir of a moment in history. How do you describe this series?

I chose to write this chronicle of lockdown by going to the Trocadéro esplanade every day, facing the Eiffel Tower. I stationed myself in the exact same place, so that I always had the same frame, but at different times of the day or night. I had in front of me this incredible setting, usually crowded and this time deserted, made even more spectacular by the rarity of movement. Sometimes a simple silhouette crossed the frame, sometimes a whole group, sometimes nothing and no one, just an unexpected variation of light…

This systematic and daily work perfectly translates, I find, the repetition of these lockdown days, all identical except for a few details. The endless feeling of time passing ... I didn’t imagine anything other than black and white. Both because the Eiffel Tower is very graphic, for more elegance as well, and to underline & reinforce these suspended moments, as if out of time. In some images, taken at nightfall, the Tower seems to be moving, dancing… It has ants in its legs! It was a moment when I myself began to saturate! For the record, I scrupulously followed the "instructions": the Trocadéro is located 1km from my place of confinement, and I never stayed there for more than an hour!

For you, whose job is to catch our eye, how important is the sense of smell to you? It has a major importance! Some smells bring back memories that are sometimes very distant in a fraction of a second, and it's a very pleasant sensation. Moreover, a photo is not just a visual story. In a successful photo, we sometimes “hear” things… and I think we can also suggest an olfactory atmosphere. When you photograph perfume bottles, does the smell guides you in choosing a color, a material, an artistic effect? I am inspired above all by the history of perfume, its color, and the materials associated with it. But the scents also guide me, obviously. The atmospheres I choose are associated with the notes of the perfume: floral, oriental, fresh or sophisticated, etc.

If you started from a blank page, what picture would you take of the ideal perfume?

What is an ideal perfume? And what image could correspond to it? Difficult questions ... Share with us your best scented memory. I like to smell the earth after the rain. It takes me back to my childhood ... I also love the fresh, salty smell of the seaside. It’s the fragrant signature of everything I love.

Découvrez son univers: // @baetensnathalie

________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Photo credits ©baetensnathalie


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