How I got this picture - Aurélien Milhaud Posted On 19th October 2021 To How I got this picture
When an image that we share or re-gram gets a lot of interest, we like to get in touch with the photographer and find out a little more about the process that went into creating it.
Le Lac du Brévent
Zuikon 35mm f2.8
I don’t really remember, I think it was something like f8 at 1/250 or 1/500
Lac du Brévent, Chamonix-Mon-Blanc, Savoie, Alpes, FRANCE
Firstly, tell us the story behind this image. What inspired you to shoot it?
I took this picture after a morning hiking. The Lac du Brévent rises to an altitude of 2125m, to reach it you have to leave the main path that leads to the Col du Brévent located a little higher at 2525m. Then, we take a small steep path before seeing the lake appears in the middle of a small rocky plateau. The vision of this mountain lake has something magical, nestled in the middle of rocky mounds. With my image, I wanted to transcribe this feeling of almost mirage. As I approached, I first took a few pictures but none satisfied me. It was a little before arriving on its banks that I saw a huge rock which overhangs the body of water, offering the ideal point of view for the cliché I was looking for.
Did you come across any challenges?
The biggest challenge was to manage the light, in fact the weather was relatively changeable, small groups of clouds moved rather quickly coming to obscure the sun intermittently. It was therefore necessary to grab the right window for shooting. I also wanted the black & white of the film to enhance the color nuances of the lake. When I see the result I am quite satisfied, the shades of gray range from white to black in an intensity that contrasts with the naturally abrupt character of the rock. I believe this is the real subject of this picture.
What process did you use (Tripod? Set exposure time? Filters? Lighting?)
I did not use any tripod or contrast glass, I only had my camera and my naked 35mm lens by hand-held. I'm not very familiar with landscape photography, I'm more comfortable with street photography. So I took this picture as I usually do, a bit naively and equipped very easy to assemble. Without a tripod, I therefore had to stay on a fairly fast exposure time to avoid camera shake while closing my lens as much as possible in order to keep the greatest possible depth of field. I hope I found the right compromise...
How did you process it?
I did not process the film by myself. It is only a few months that I have been seriously practicing film photography, I hope I can get to this exciting part of the process very soon, but I still have a lot to learn before I fully embark on it. So I entrusted my film to my neighborhood laboratory.
What about printing? Which paper did you use and what was your printing process?
In the same way, I have not yet made a print of this photo. However, I really want to do it and discover new aspects of this shot.
Images © Aurélien Milhaud
About The Author
My name is Aurélien Milhaud, I am 32 and I live in Paris.
My first memories about film photography are my childhood cliches made by my father and my first single use camera during the holidays. Then, at the turn of the 2000s, digital devices arised to flood the market. Camera mini DV appeared and I got one to start making my own homemade movies. Time passed and digital became very popular. When I achieved my study, the DSLR devices shook up the industry.
For almost ten years, I have been watching film photography like something weird that I don’t understand anything about, but which attracts and fascinates me. And I say to myself that one day I would restore my father’s old Olympus, but time is running out and the camera takes a dusk, abandoned on the last stage of my shelf. Then here comes the lockdown, upsetting our relationship to the world and to time. I finally did what I had not dared to do for years, switch to film photography. This passage caused a real revolution in me, I had the feeling of starting from scratch both technically and in my way of approaching artistic practice in my daily life. I started by using a point and shoot, the Minolta Himatic AF2 before finally being ready to take over my father’s Olympus OM10.
Going through film photography was for me the opportunity to go out of my home to walk into the streets and to take back spaces that had been emptied of human presence. At this moment, going out again meant seeing again. Explore the city and its outlines down to the smallest alley, to the most insignificant wasteland, to learn to look differently.