The photographs of Guillaume Zuili evoke memories of another time, another era, long gone and wistful. These dusty, chalky, charcoal-like smudges of memories could have been snatched from a re-screening of an old movie. Each feels like an iconic, dreamlike moment of random beauty.
Zuili, a Frenchman who splits his time between Paris and Los Angeles, has developed an intriguing hybrid style of photography. By using a crude pinhole camera but modern high speed film, he’s able to make hand-held snapshots of elegant beauty that celebrate the graininess inherent in film plus the soft, smudged focus of pinhole photography. Without the high-speed film, he would never capture this snapshot aesthetic; pinhole photography usually requires a tripod and long exposure time.
But of course it is more than just the technique that makes these images so successful. Skilled composition, ruthless editing, and then alchemical magic in the darkroom all transform these images into objects of beauty.