Image Focus

Bertrand Bernager | Remontages

Everything you see actually happened in the exact same place, but not at the same time. Between December 2020 and May 2021 I shot six thousand images, to create a series of images called “Remontages”.

Each photo in the series deals with a different theme, where each of the dozens or even hundreds of people in the composition act in a similar way. In total the series features 900 individual subjects who I edited back into the scene in exactly the place I captured them; it is not a staged picture.

This image is the sixth in the series. It shows the most mythical place of the skateboarding scene in Paris, the Palais de Tokyo, where a crowd of skateboarders is in suspension. All the characters in this picture have their arms raised like birds and I wanted to give the impression that they were trying to fly away. There was never a moment when all the skateboarders made this movement at the same time, but through my long hours of shooting on a tripod, always in the exact same place, and my editing work, I was able to obtain this complete rendering.

a group of skateboarders perform a jump in paris

© Bertrand Bernager | Sony α7R III + FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM

I shot the entire series using a Sony Alpha 7R III and the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master lens. This is my tried and trusted camera and lens combination that I have used for the last few years. The 42.4 megapixel resolution and high dynamic range really helped me to capture all of the details I needed to create the image, whilst the consistent sharpness of the lens allowed me to capture the skaters at the very edge of the frame with the same precision as in the centre. The camera and lens gave me all the detail I needed to begin the long process of creating the final montage from thousands of individual images.

Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 crisis, I wanted to represent Paris as full of life, when in fact many of the places were almost deserted during my shoots. I would often wait for very long hours in the hope of capturing the subjects I wanted, and it wasn’t uncommon that I would return without a single adequate image.

Being born and raised in Paris, the city has always been a source of inspiration for my work in street photography. For years I have been looking to create a series that would show my vision of the urban environment that surrounds me, its frenzy, its madness sometimes. A series that would present a different look at the behaviour of city residents, at the border between the codes of street photography and photomontage.

You can find the eight pictures of this series on my website here.

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Bertrand Bernager

Bertrand Bernager | France

"Through photography I try to track the light, sublimate the movement, capture the moment"

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