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Guillaume Hebert


Train Landscape

It is a photographic essay on the journey through the landscape,
unless it’s about the landscape through the journey.
An android tablet, as a camera, is plated
on the window of a Deutsche Bahn train.
The shutter is perpendicular to the railway and does not move any more.
Framing therefore becomes impossible, and any composition is excluded.
Once the train is launched, the shooting begins,
without really being able to anticipate what the window gives to see of the country,
Thus, the shots follow one another consecutively in a random manner.
Nothing is mastered, and it is the uncertainty of the result.
Train speed and winter low light conditions
make the automatic settings of the device difficult.
The onset is sometimes delayed.
The device sensor is overwhelmed by the data stream.
Accidental blurring and excessive noise are present on most files.
Some colors are saturated while others are nuanced.
The photographic figurative rapidly degenerates into digital abstraction.
Alteration repeatedly reaches its climax.
Surprisingly, a strong pictorial impression emerges.
The result is even striking.
All in all, these circumstances work wonders.
Chance proves to be more talented and creative than the photographer.
A lesson in modesty is to be learned.

“I can neither think nor paint these captured landscapes that I retouch summarily on the computer.
It is beyond my control, beyond my imagination. »

Intrigued by the picturesque imprint of this first adventure,
some time is required before reviewing the hundreds of saved jpegs.
Few files are directed to Trash and deleted permanently.
Some of the most “failed” are recovered in extremis and ultimately turn out to be very interesting.

The process is repeated with the same android tablet
under the same conditions, but on other routes,
including some by tram and bus.

The first volume of Train Landscape has 264 photos which are reprocessed in volumes 2 and 3.
The series was produced in Germany during the year 2019
Two years of work were needed to complete this project.
The printed images are small: 20 x 15 cm. This is approximately the dimensions of the screen of the android tablet used.

Guillaume Hébert
Avignon, November 2021

[email protected]


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