A love story....

There are meetings that mark you for life. Sometimes short and unexpected, but which leave you with a beautiful warmth in the heart. One grey, austere morning in the Park I met her. She had been standing in the church for almost 5 centuries. She ha s a devastating and malicious smile. If I had not had to photograph her, I would have perhaps passed by, indifferent. But as all photographers will tell you we know if it will be a beautiful image just before taking the photo. What is rare is that her grace remains with me several months afterwards. There are many like her in this corner of Champagne. They are charming and elegant, rich or poor and all ready to make you fall head over heels in love…

For technicians:

Photographing works of art demands a respect for the artist’s creation. Although light is necessary it must be invisible. A skilful mix of light and shade enables the delicate highlighting of forms - the contour of a hip, the folds of a dress, and the personality in a face. The techniques of the portraitist are required! It is important that the lady recognizes herself. Her conservator must also be able to identify her … The very proud and elegant men, seem to be saying, "What’ s this churl doing and why’s he threatening us with this new type of blunderbuss with its large round eye?"

A long exposure and a filtered flash have seized the grace of these characters from another age that have silently watched over for centuries the heart of their sanctuaries.

Stained glass only poses the problem of the quality of the natural light coming in from the exterior. If only all the glass was on the northern side as it’s only this cold, neutral light that respects them! The exposure time is delicate to determine, one needs a little experience…

The great joy of this work is to have been the enthusiastic and simple collaborator of a professor from the Collège de France, who gave the impression that the characters depicted in the works of art were his lifelong friends.

Michel THAT, Photographer.


La philosophie du projet par 
le conservateur du patrimoine

Jalon d'histoire: présentation 
et analyse des 40 oeuvres