Joachim Bonnemaison

" Videmus nunc per speculum et in aenigmate "*


In categorizing different directions in photography the Bonnemaison Classification offers an interesting alternative to the Euclidean approach. Most of all, it encompasses new perspectives (ref: Mendeleïev), which result in viewpoints and positions that deviate from what common sense tends to impose.


Based on the line of the horizon, the classical approach to photography generates images whose constructions are invariably traditional, by virtue of the fact that photographic apparatuses are either set on both legs of the operator, or placed on a tripod. Very few photographers experiment with lenses pointed toward Zenith – like a sky camera – or toward Nadir – a ceiling shot.


For the « tondo », including the principle of « sharp image circles », Bonnemaison enlarges his field of view to the « half circle » (solid angle of steradian 2π). He then adapts a remote control to the trigger of his 4x5 inch large format camera. The camera is placed either on the ground (zenith) or on the ceiling (nadir), to create a personal vision of indoor and outdoor spaces without the camera ever appearing in the image.


These primitive images – according to the original sense of the term – are presented as positive-negative duplicates as well as decals front-back. His specific treatment of the color negative allows him to escape from photography’s harping leitmotif: reproduce reality. These personal viewpoints, composed of colors and contrast form, in a way, a contemporary variation on Monsu Desiderio…


*« For now we see in a mirror dimly » Corinthians 13:12


La verrière tropicale, Arnay le duc, 2016

© Joachim Bonnemaison 2014