Creativity Magazine

Parisian City Life by Eva Charbit

Posted on the 23 February 2013 by Art Of Mob @artofmob

Eva CharbitWhen you live in the suburbs like I do, you don’t get the opportunity to photograph the exciting street life experienced by those who inhabit large metropolitan areas.  Perhaps that is why I am drawn to the work of photographers like Eva Charbit.  Through her lens, I am immersed into her world.  Below is my interview with this talented mobile photographer.

Indiscretion © Eva Charbit

Indiscretion (above)

Paris © Eva Charbit

Geri:  What is your name and where do you live?

Eva:  My name is Eva Charbit and I live in Paris, France.

Geri:  Do you have a traditional photography or art background?

Eva:  I have no traditional photography background but as far as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by this medium.  I have been following the technological progress with various kinds of cameras, from Polaroid, when I was a kid to silver process cameras.  Now of  course, I shoot with a DSLR and above all my iPhone! 

Compte Triple © Eva Charbit

Complete Triple (above)

Good Night © Eva Charbit

Good Night

Geri:  How long have you been photographing with your iPhone?

Eva:  When I shoot in the streets, and in the metro looking for "faces" or unusual situations, I exclusively use my iPhone which is the most discrete and perfect way to grasp expressions and stolen moments.  I've used my cellphone as a camera for about 4-5 years but I kept my photos for myself.  I didn’t know how to edit and download them on a social network!  I discovered Instagram about 7 months ago and I've been on EyeEm since December 2012. 

Homeless Faceless Sadness © Eva Charbit

Homeless Faceless Sadness (above)

Le Marais Paris © Eva Charbit

Le Marais Paris (above)

Lieu de Vie © Eva Charbit

Lieu de Vie (above)

Geri:  Do you use the native camera app, or another specialty camera app like ProCamera or Camera+?

Eva:  Mostly, I use the native camera app.  I have downloaded ProCamera but I've never used it yet.  I use Hipstamatic sometimes though. 

Geri:  Who or what inspires your work?

Eva:  I am deeply influenced by Diane Arbus and Martin Parr. They never fear to be weird and even sometimes shocking. I am also keen on the photographers that magnified the Parisian people such as Doisneau, Cartier-Bresson, Willy Ronis. Lastly, I am fascinated by two series  of pictures  by a Magnum Agency photographer, Joseph Koudelka  throughout  the 1970s and 1980s: Gypsies (1975) and Exiles(1988).  Last summer, I viewed his photos at Les Rencontres D’Arles in the South of France.  I experienced real aesthetic emotion. 

Love is in the Air © Eva Charbit

Love is in the Air (above)

No Trespassing © Eva Charbit

No Trespassing (above)

Paris © Eva Charbit

Geri:  The majority of your photographs are black and white.  Is this your preference?

Eva:  When I seriously started photography around 14 years of age, I used to  buy Ilford films for my camera. I prefer to work in B&W.  It is more dramatic and in my opinion, portraits are more powerful and expressive in that format. 

Geri:  I love your street photography.  Is it difficult to get the candid shots?  What tips do you have for those interested in capturing images on the street?

Eva:  Unfortunately or rather fortunately, there are no recipes to get a good picture. You just have to be close enough, a little bold as well, for it is not that simple to get the best expression of your subject if you are too shy or if you fear other people's reactions.  Most of my shots are taken in the metro and crowding is always a problem you have to get through. Don´t hesitate!  Shoot or die I would say!  Nevertheless, I always try to be respectful and discrete. I don't want to laugh at the people I shoot in the streets or in the metro. I just want to focus on the urban solitude, and to highlight everyday people. My purpose is to show the diversity, the vibrant reality of my city life.

Metroline 12 Paris © Eva Charbit

Metroline 12 Paris (above)

Paris © Eva Charbit

Saturday Morning Shabat Shalom © Eva Charbit

Saturday Morning Shabbat Shalom (above) 

Geri:  Do you have an interesting stories to share about shooting in the streets?

Eva:  Not really. Once, I was caught by a beautiful woman trying to photograph her in the metro. I felt really ashamed like a little girl who had stolen some candies in a shop.  Sometimes, I think people realize that I'm shooting them. You can find a few examples of nasty gazes – moments of fear for me - when I know that I've been discovered. Strangely enough, men are usually more control freaks than women in public transportation! 

Geri:  Do you plan your shoots or do they just happen spontaneously?

Eva:  My shoots always happen spontaneously, since I don't take my DSLR with me when I'm going to work!  I'm a regular commuter too and I almost only shoot during my scheduled journeys. I take the metro a lot and my journey to work takes sometimes an hour!  I never plan any shoot. 

Only in Paris © Eva Charbit

Only in Paris (above)

Paris © Eva Charbit

Serving Hatch, Paris © Eva Charbit

Serving Hatch, Paris (above)

Geri:  What are some of your favorite apps?

Eva:  My favorites apps are definitely Snapseed for black and white, Fotor-PES, Photo FX and sometimes Lo-Mob. I also use Dynamic Light and especially one effect inside called Orton. I like it very much!  Also, I would include Hipstamatic, TouchRetouch if there is really something annoying in the original crop, and Noir Photo from time to time to get a very dramatic effect . 

Geri:  Please share a little about your editing process.

Eva:  My editing process always begins with Snapseed and then it varies according to the effect I am looking for.  When I want a blurred image I will use Photo FX or Orton in Dynamic Light.  If I need something very sharp, I use "sharpen" and "vignette" in the Fotor-PES app. If I want my image to look old and/or dirty I use the infinite range of "grunge" nuances in Snapseed again! 

Waiting © Eva Charbit

Waiting (above)

Rue de la Huchette Paris © Eva Charbit

Rue de la Huchette, Paris (above)

Un ange passe © Eva Charbit

Un ange passe (above)

Geri:  Is there an area of photography you haven't explored that you would like to try?

Eva:  I think I have found my style. My playground is the city life. Though, if you browse my gallery you will find many photos of seaside landscapes. This is my other passion. When I get tired of Parisian commuters and the hectic rhythm of Paris, I love to go to the seaside, in Brittany or Normandy, not that far from Paris and take photos. There, I get fresh ideas and I recharge my batteries to come back and enter the arena again! 

Geri:  Have you ever exhibited your work?  If not do you have any plans to do so?

Eva:  I have not exhibited my work yet, but I have plans to do so rather soon with my Parisian Instagram friends ( some are on EyeEm too).  In March, we will exhibit our photos in a famous restaurant in the Marais, which is a vibrant place in town! I'm very excited! 

Goodnight IG © Eva Charbit

Goodnight IG (above)

Thank you Eva for allowing me to feature your brilliant work on iART CHRONiCLES.  Wishing you every success with your exhibition!

You can view Eva’s work here:

EyeEm @eva_esty

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