Originally from Is-sur-Tille in the Côte d’Or, Marc Jeudy, grandson and son of photographers, left in 1964 to learn the profession of photographer in Dijon with a man named Raymond Cougard portrait photographer, former salaried photographer of the prestigious Studio Harcourt in Paris.
Later, Marc succeeded his father based in Is-sur-Tille. Marc is passionate about black and white portraits, of which he says “you always have to devote yourself fully to them”. He presents his works on very beautiful photographic papers baryta with bromide salts or chloro-silver bromide.
The Burgundian has a second artistic string to his bow, he composes so-called “still life” photographs, which he shapes in his laboratory using old photographic processes, metal toning and “sulfurization”.
During his career, he met several times the great photographer Denis Brihat, winner of the Niépce prize in 1957, now aged 95, specialist in “toning effect” which are real metamorphoses of film. In 1989 and for a week, Marc Jeudy at his side, deepened the magic of the different toning effect.
The Burgundian artist devote a lot of time to it. He makes prints in sepia, blue, and green tones, as well as prints with selenium, copper sulfate, or colloidal silver…laboratory approach mixed with patience and precision, where the man loses completely each time the notion of time. It often takes him days to obtain the photographic image, the one he personally imagined.
Today, Marc Jeudy continues to create at home, in Villecomte, without a doubt, he is one of the last professionals of this fascinating ancestral history of toning effect, in black and white on a perfectly white background in “high key”: it is his signature.
For his shots, he also uses light boxes or glass on which he fixes small objects in his own way. Like here, the dried capsule of a poppy flower. Marc Jeudy very quickly chose the 6X7 format.
His Mamiya body is his favorite camera, equipped with a 127mm lens enhanced with a macro ring. For portraiture, he uses a focal length of 180mm. He prefers electronic flash lighting. The silver emulsion he favors and loves is called Ilford FP4. The 120 format film with a sensitivity of 125 ISO is the emulsion which he hopes will not disappear, and the very beautiful baryta papers of the same brand.
The works, photographic prints of “Marc Jeudy signature” are produced in 30×40 or 40×50 format and here too, boxes of baryta paper are no longer commonplace and more and more expensive. It is therefore here in Villecomte in Côte d’Or, in his laboratory, that Marc Jeudy materializes all the chemical and magical operations from the development of a film. Prints with toning are by definition very long-lasting, they are unique images, “fruits” of one’s imagination. Moreover, before even taking a shot intended later for a print which will be transferred, Marc Jeudy already imagines what will or will not be necessary later, cut out on the print, so that the framing when taking the shot is perfectly suited to this future operation.
Under the enlarger, the black and white negative of 6X7 format is therefore projected onto a sheet of chloro-bromide paper, then succeed all the operations of a classic treatment of the sheet of photographic paper.
To achieve a “toning effect”, a second magic operation must then take place and several chemical solutions are possible in order to obtain a toned print of the desired color. Gold will turn gray into red. The iron will transform it into blue or green with the addition of other products necessary at the very moment of toning. Finally, the silver will turn the gray into brown. These choices require a lot of practice.
Certain desired colors require that the print be perfectly washed, dried and then trimmed with a special protective varnish called “reserve” and now let’s say it is very diﬃcult to obtain. The artist will place this varnish delicately using a small brush on certain parts of the image that he does not want to be toned and therefore will protect them during the sulfurization, in order to achieve the color he desires. After these long successions of manipulations and using methylated spirits, he delicately removes the protective varnish from the untoned parts, then carries out a final wash under running water. As you can see, the process is very long.
At the end of the journey, Marc Jeudy will take care to number his unique work, and will always sign it in pencil.
The photograph is stuck on pH-neutral cardboard, then presented under a beautiful cardboard mat, also pH-neutral, then definitively mounted and delivered in a frame.
All the photographs imagined, created and taken by Marc Jeudy are subtle and true “Argentique pictures” all witnesses of his experiences, of ancestral knowledge that he learned how to perfectly enrich over the years.
Honorary journalist, author, photographer.
Marc Jeudy will present, among other things, 21 new works in 40×50 format mounted 60×75 on mat.
Exhibition from November 25 to December 17. Exhibition room Espace culturel Carnot, 1 avenue Carnot 2112O IS-SUR-TILLE