Germain Favre Felix, you can only see clearly with your heart.

Publication date 8 February 2022,
As a teenager, I loved two things: snowboarding and photography. Germain comes from Annecy, and taught himself photography, before starting to work in 2018. Two years later, he won the Jamais Vu ("Never seen before") category in the Red Bull Illume, for the best pictures combining art and sport worldwide, with a photo of the freestyle trail MTB rider Léo Nobile.
  


What is the story behind the photo?

 

In 2017, the Lac du Bourget flooded. I noticed a jetty underwater, and at once I called Léo so he would join me with his bike. He started riding along, watching out for the current and then made a jump. It looks like he is emerging from the water like a dolphin. We knew we were creating something special.

 

WHICH ONE ?

A jump from Léo over an English telephone box in the middle of the mountain, near the Lac du Cormet. For the anecdote: the cabin was bought by the owners of the mountain pasture, to whom hikers asked where they could make a phone call because the network did not work. They humorously replied to go to the phone booth at the belvedere, which obviously didn't exist. They ended up installing one as a joke. We went on an expedition with a bike, a ladder and 40 kg of equipment. We prepared the spot for two hours, the rain started to fall and then everything cleared up before the sun set: Léo made a jump at 2.5 metres. This is certainly the photo I'm most proud of.

 What is your definition of photography? And of your style?

Photography means travelling and taking people on an imaginative journey. If I had to define my style, I'd just say: it's different from an iPhone photo. I hate it when people say: "I do the same thing with my phone!"

 

 
Your pictures have an artistic and even poetic aspect. What techniques do you use? 

The Brenizer method, which combines a small depth of field with a wide angle. Also prisms to create effects to distort light. Mirroring, the rule of thirds… I like playing with the environment around me. I also work on post-production a lot, which provides a whole host of 2.0 options.

 
WHAT NEW TECHNIQUES WOULD YOU LIKE TO EXPERIMENT WITH?

I would like to develop so many things... The imagination has no limits. You have to be a child and keep trying to see if it works.

DO YOU FOLLOW THE WORK OF OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS?

No, because I don't want to be influenced. But I look at a lot of animal photographers. I admire their work and their patience, because it's complicated to be creative with animals. You can't choose the place, the time, the setting. It's easier to work with sportsmen!

 

What is your favourite spot in La Clusaz?

The Combe de Bellachat, with an elevation gain of 2000 m. I always have a great feeling of freedom up there. We shot the film Scoping there in 2018.

 YOUR GREATEST SATISFACTION?

To live unique moments, to make action photos by measuring the risks to take the best possible image. I work with professionals, in particular with Ben Buratti* for whom I am the official photographer. Recently, I was with him on the shooting of Finally in La Clusaz at the end of the first confinement. There was a lot of talk about the film, especially in the press. I feel lucky, even if there are sometimes extreme conditions and good adrenaline rushes.

 IF YOU ONLY HAD ONE PHOTO TO TAKE?

Impossible, my head is full of projects!


CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THEM?

There are many with Leo. A back flip in the lavender fields in Provence at sunset; an action shot in the Saracens cave above Lake Annecy; a head down jump over a small hump-shaped dam 5 metres above the ground... The Aravis pass also inspires me a lot: there is a lot of potential for mountain biking, with pure trial rock climbing on the front wheel and the view of Mont Blanc. Not to mention the incredible wildlife, with lynx and wolves. I might be a wildlife photographer in a few years!

*Freestyler from La Clusaz, member of the French slopestyle team. Selected for the 2018 Olympic Games and best Frenchman in the 2019 world rankings.
 To follow Germain on Instagram: @germ_photography

 

THE EXPERT'S EYE

  • YOUR FIRST CAMERA: a Canon 450 D SLR
  • THE FEATURED CAMERA: the Canon 1D X Mark II and the Canon 5D Mark III, my current cameras.
  • THE DREAMED CAMERA: a Hasselblad film camera. I like its vintage look, and the fact that I shoot from above, not in front. It was used by Neil Armstrong to go to the moon. The object interests me a lot.

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