An Interview with Guillaume Prevost: Fiona Delves into The Inspiration Behind Guillaume’s Stunning Photography.
Guillaume grew up in France, studied in Melbourne and seems to have travelled just about everywhere else in between. He’s an intrepid soul who loves to seek adventure, be it through his photography, videography and writing, or surfing and hiking in his spare time. And living proof that a job in computer science doesn’t stunt your creative side! Guillaume’s documentation of his travelling obsession is pretty beautiful.
I met Guillaume in the summer of 2015 when he quite literally opened his doors to me when I was stuck for a place to stay, and a few months later he was over in Scotland sleeping on my couch. It’s great how these things come around.
Here, we get the chance to see some of his stunning photography, and to hear a bit about what goes on in the brain behind the camera. The selection of photos featured here is but a small section of Guillaume’s work, focusing mainly on his landscape shots from around the world.
What sort of camera(s) do you use and why?
I have a Pentax K5, which is my main camera, with a classic 18-55mm lense and a 70-300mm zoom lens. I also use a GoPro 3 Silver action camera for most of my underwater and action photography. Then, last but not least, I had during my travels in America the Nokia 1020 phone, with an incredible built-in HD camera with professional settings. It allowed me to always have a good camera handy for those spontaneous photos. Sadly, this one started to die after a day in 45 degree heat in the jungle of Mexico, and never recovered…
Is there an ideal time of day to photograph?
Well.. I wouldn’t say there is an ideal time per se, since great photos can be taken at any time and with any weather. But I have to say my favourite time of the day is the sunset, so it’s also the one I enjoy photographing the most. New and constantly changing colours and lights are brought to a scene. I guess the fact it is so brief makes it more challenging and more interesting to capture.
What first got you into photography?
I don’t know. As long as I can remember I was already traveling France and the world with my parents, and as long as I can remember I had a camera. The first one was a kid camera, the Fisher Price Model 3815. But it worked well. And since then I kept going.
Would you say your photos are mostly spontaneous?
I would say mostly yes… I like a place, a light, a shadow, and I just take a snap. But don’t get me wrong, even though only very few of my photos are carefully staged with a tripod, it took me a while a quite a bit of work to get some of my shots.
I enjoy bringing my cameras along with me in all my adventures, be it climbing a mountain or spending a day at the beach. It’s always when you don’t bring it that you see the most incredible scenes. So when you get to witness the beauties of the world and you have the right gear with you, it makes it possible to capture a glimpse of it and share it with the rest of the world.
Where is your favourite place?
Tough question! Of course I love my hometown, the old center near the castle is the best bit. And during my travels I fell in love with the Beach House in Fiji, Holbox Island in Mexico, but most of all the desert of Utah where I spent days all by myself.
Do you tend to photograph more when you travel or at home?
Obviously I take more photographs when I travel because this is where the adventure happens. To be fair, travelling has almost become home after years of being away.
But I love taking my bike and cycling around my home town to take shots of places I know well. How many time do you pass in front of beautiful things and don’t even see them because you’re so used to seeing them every day? Sometimes beauty is just around the corner.
How do you select which photos make the final cut?
That might be the hardest part. I haven’t started to select photos until a few weeks ago, so I don’t have a methodology for it. So far, I’ve just chosen photos I find beautiful or which I thought “that could be a photo someone would like to have printed.”
How much do you end up editing your photos?
It depends a lot on the photo. Some don’t even need anything changed so it’s pretty straightforward and just take a minute to choose a name. Some other photos need a lot more time, such as the shots of the stars or the underwater photos, because they need more contrasts and other changes. Except for a few cases, when I edit a photo, it is only to get back the original colour as it was at the time I took it.
Do you have anyone who inspired you to pursue photography?
No one I know personally. But I have definitively been influenced by Yann Arthus Bertrand (author of “La Terre Vue du Ciel”), Nicolas Hulot (reporter known for “Ushuaïa Nature” documentaries, ecologist and writer), and of course the Géo and National Geographic magazines.
Have you ever experimented with film photography? (if not, would you like to?)
Yes, my first (toy) camera and then my second camera which I kept until I was almost 20 years old were both film cameras. Ouch, that makes me feel old! At the time, you didn’t really have a choice. I took some decent photos with them, but they weren’t perfect at all. I would love to try again, but film photography is expensive!
Have you ever studied photography or are all your skills self-taught?
No, I learned some things with a couple of little books with tips, and some others using the internet, but I never officially learned it. I guess once you have the basics, the best way to improve is experiment and practice!
Do you have any tips for aspiring photographers?
Well, I still believe I am an aspiring photographer myself. But if I had one piece of advice: get out there and enjoy it! To me, photography must remain a passion and a pleasure.
Where do you plan to travel to next?
I hope my next trip will be to go back to live and work in Melbourne, Australia very soon.
But my next real travel ideas are to go to La Réunion island for hiking the “Diagonale des Fous” and canyonning, go down the Amazonas from its spring to the end, visit remote places in Indonesia before they get spoiled by intense tourism, road-trip across Alaska, and finally go to the south of Chile and Argentina in Ushuaia and Patagonia, with maybe a little trip to Antarctica to set foot on my 7th continent.