Marie Lagabbe creates fantastical images in her home darkroom

Updated: Dec 15, 2018

Marie Lagabbe has what all photographers covet: a darkroom in her home. She makes excellent use of it, creating magical images that push the boundaries of experimentation.

"My name is Marie, I’m 28 years old, I live in France, Mulhouse in Elsass precisely, and I’ve started photography again this year after two long and sad years without practicing… I learned photography more than ten years ago with my mother's Canon AE1 that I still have and use (a real love story…), and soon started to learn to use a darkroom in a small art-center in the northern Banlieue of Paris. I love to experiment things with old and shitty cameras, chemicals, outdated films and double exposure, so I quickly knew that digital photography wasn’t made for me at all. My latest work (in progress) is about mixing mediums, trying to involve some other artists in my work."

Marie is on instagram as @36poses.eu






1. These photos took our breath away when we first saw them. Can you tell us the process you used to create them?

I am really happy that you liked my photos, thank you ! It depends on the picture...

The picture with the computer screen is a simple projection of a computer screen on my friend Nesrine. I was trying different kinds of pictures to project on her when suddenly the screen changed and asked me if I wanted to quit the app... I found a very strong symbolism in it and took a bunch of pics, and this is my favorite one.

The ones with the woman with the veil and the flowers was a shoot I did with another friend of mine, and since those two pics where not so good as I hoped when I printed them, I tried to enhance them by doing some effects that I like. The pale one is done in the darkroom, by not putting the entire paper in the developer like you do normaly but softly putting some developer on the paper to make that only some parts of the picture appear....

The other one is a simple collage between the final print of the picture and the small tests I did just before printing it in the bathroom. I like to assemble those to give some depth or relief to the images.

The one with the fish is a special one... at the time, I was trying to experiment on double exposure by randomly assembling portraits of my friends and pics of fishes I took at the Aquarium in Porte Dorée, Paris. One night, I was going to the pub and accidentally took the wrong camera with me. I wanted to take the one loaded with a b&w film and took the color one where I already had shot the fishes. When I came back drunk from the pub, I thought that the light in that street was really great and wanted to take a pic... and when I heard the click, I remembered... and thought "shit, this one is surely a waste". But it wasn't.


2. How long have you been working in a darkroom?

My first time with my own negs in the darkroom was in 2008 I think, so 10 years ago. Since then, I tried to do some digital pictures but It's really not the same pleasure to me... I have my own darkroom at home since last year.


3. Your photos have a delicate, feminine quality to them. Is this intentional?

No, not really... actually, I'm not sure to understand what it means ^^'

I'm not really a delicate person and I don't have a really delicate approach of photography (I treat my cameras and my negs very badly ...)

Since I'm a woman mostly photographing women (although I also take pictures of men when I have the opportunity!), I can understand that my pics can be seen as "feminine"... most of the time, when I see a nude, I can guess if it has been shot by a man or a woman (even if I'm wrong sometimes) and I don't know why. I guess women want to show something else than men when they take pictures of other women... So, intentional, no, but I'm really happy about it.


4. What processes would you like to try next?

I would really really love to try to put some chemical emulsions on different kinds of stuff so I can print my pictures on it !! I love mixed mediums and I would love to try to make my own paper one day.

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