An Interview with Clara Diebler
Paris based photographer Clara Diebler's work centres around mysterious assemblages of people, objects and views. Working with film her multi-layered photography conveys contrasting emotional stories all in one frame.
• Clara, tell me a bit about you?
I’m a French photographer, born and raised in Paris, I have been photographing for over 20 years now. I love to travel even if I’m really shy and introvert.
• What first sparked your interest in photography?
Well, I have the feeling I’ve always done it. My father gave me my first camera when I was 10, and he taught me how to develop when I was 12, so, it has always been here.
• You photograph with film, what is it about film photography that suits you and your work?
Emulsion! The texture and how the light appears is the best.
• Your photography is predominantly composed of multiple exposures, ghostly combinations of portraiture and nature. What first drew you to merge your portraits with other images?
I was developing and as I often have my head in the clouds, I accidentally stacked two negatives… it was a portrait of my cousin dressed like in the 1920s and a view of the Palais Royal, in Paris and I saw a ghost floating, it was very moving!
• Multiple exposures have been around since the dawn of photography, in-camera, in the darkroom and most recently with software what do you think makes them so enduring and what captivates you about the technique?
What strikes me is the 'anachronism' of double exposures, you can’t tell the when and sometimes the where… so it has a universal side.
• So many of your photographs would make beautiful portraits even as a single frame. By combining them with additional images you are making something more, what is your creative approach to this image making?
Simply because it has never been enough for me, I always want to tell a story, to show emotion, and because reality is a strange concept.
• I see that you shoot mostly black and white, what is it about monotone that appeals to you and how do you feel about colour?
It doesn’t matter for me actually, I love both and I often shoot in colour.
• Without giving away too many secrets what is your method for making multiple exposure photographs?
I concentrate on textures, like the skin and leaves.
• Do you have a favourite camera and lens combination or even film stock?
Yes, I’m in love with my Nikon FM and its 50mm lens! But there’s no film I prefer, I use everything.