Jean-François Camp © Yan Morvan
All week we will be presenting the Visa pour l’Image partners. Today is Jean-François Camp DUPON laboratory. Created in 1975 in Paris, the DUPON laboratory was originally destined for photographers. Its vocation has been to develop film morning, noon and night. The lab would work from Monday to Sunday, from 8am until midnight.
It was a real hive where all kinds of photographers could be found, from the most modest to the biggest, from the studio photographer to the press photographer, through those who made fashion shows. Located in Montmartre, the neighborhood would hold an enormous number of studios that had followed the painters’ ateliers. All without exception would wait for the first results of their tests, anxious to judge their shots. Time was of the essence, the messengers would wait for the films to be processed to deliver them as fast as possible. Something would stimulate a non stop imagination and competition.
In 1989, I learned through the magazine PHOTO that a photo Festival was beginning in Perpignan, oriented to photojournalism. This barbaric term did not mean much for me, but the city of Perpignan did, as I was born a few feet from the Majorque kings Palace. In September I would “descend” to Perpignan to see what it was like. I ran into Jean-François Leroy whom I already knew, though ignored the new prerogatives that Roger Thérond had laid upon him. We had lunch in the Casa Sanza which was his headquarters. In this joy I assured to him my eternal and irrevocable support. From that moment on, every end of August-beginning of September I find myself inevitably in Perpignan.
Year after year the Festival has evolved to become what it is today, some sort of “Cannes Festival” of photography. In this context, Dupon had produced over a hundred exhibitions with the biggest photographers. For twenty years, I have never missed one edition. It has become for me some kind of ritual that has given me so much both on the professional and the human level.
The subjects featured in the context of this unique Festival submerge us into the hard reality of a world where nothing can escape us. This proliferation of images forces us to open our eyes and our hearts to a reality that more often than not, surpasses fiction.