Raphael Dautigny is a self-taught photographer. Passionate about photography, he learned the technique of using a traditional film camera on his own and quickly joined a collective of photographers called “Luce”. He traveled frequently and began a few photo-journalist type series, always searching for the most beautiful image. Landscapes especially inspire him and their aesthetic is always prime, but people play an important central role in his work. A fan of American photography, he developed a real talent for color, in the same genre as Stephen Shore or William Eggleston both of whom he very much admires. He enjoys the restrictions and challenges of working with a traditional film camera and today still uses a medium format Hasselblad. Not immediately seeing the result of his shot is an integral part of his process; forgetting the photo in order to rediscover it later with a certain appreciation of the necessary time to accomplish an image.
In 2006, seeking distance and fresh ideas for his subject, he debuted his ever growing “Surf” series. Describing his love and near obsession of the subject he states “It’s a series that I could pursue for the rest of my life”. He has succeeded in conveying his vision of the affinity between the sky and the sea, where neither man nor nature is the main subject, but the unity that results from their interaction.
Today Raphael Dautigny travels the world in search of these “aquatic” people in their element. He treats his subject not in a grandiloquent manner, showing the power of the ocean over man, but rather by communicating a sense of harmony - a glimpse of their symbiosis. He avoids repetition by using natural light as a medium and varies his compositions to surprise the spectator by the diversity of his mise-en-scène.