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Paname is the slang term for Paris, the city that Jerome Meunier knows like the palm of his hand, and where he always finds new inspiration for his photography. Fascinated by shadows and shapes, the LFI.Gallery photographer finds black and white images best suited for the street photography genre, because they evoke timelessness.

LFI:How long have you been an LFI.gallery user? How do you use it?
Jerome Meunier: I visit the LFI.gallery regularly on my mobile phone, as a source of inspiration and to discover new talents. The selection that is made is always tops. This way I can discover various universes and find new ideas and techniques. During this period of confinement, the LFI.gallery allows me to travel and get out of my morose daily life.

You are from Paris, yet in your photos you play with clichés of Paris (metro, sites, etc.). How do you avoid Parisian kitsch?
I’m from Paris, Montmartre specifically. Paris is the cliché city by definition. I like to play with its clichés. Strolling around Paris according to the times of the day and the seasons, allows you to radically change your surroundings. I play a lot with contrasts, with light and with perspectives, making these clichés different, and avoiding falling into kitsch and "déjà vu". Waiting for the unexpected breaks down the cliché side of a composition. I often stay for a while, observing for a moment before capturing the scene.

How did you become a Leica photographer?
I switched to Leica cameras, the day I no longer enjoyed taking pictures with cameras that were too complex, equipped with «too many buttons and features», with too many settings to take a photo. On a Saturday afternoon in spring, I passed a Leica store near my home in Montmartre, and we started talking about photography with the salespeople, before even talking about cameras. After a bit of discussion, I was able to test an M, and the magic was there, right away. I rediscovered the same pleasure as I had had when I was photographing with film. The sound of the shutter echoed inside me, like memories of my childhood. The pleasure of focussing manually is the artist’s pencil, which allows the artist to compose his story in an image. You hold your breath for a fraction of a second. You click, and the picture is perfect.

Which cameras do you use?
I have 2 Leica cameras. The SL2 and the M10 Monochrom, which complement each other perfectly. I have a slight preference for the M10 Monochrom, because the relationship with an M is so unique. It’s a bit like true love; we complement each other. I have 3 lenses. The 28 lux, the 35 APO SL and the indescribable Noctilux 50 0.95.

I like the Noctilux, at full aperture. It manages to create atmospheres, which make the composition poetic and surreal. When used at full aperture, it produces a Hollywood bokeh even in the middle of the day. It’s a lens that I use every day, and as much as possible at full aperture. It’s a real pleasure to photograph with this lens

The 35 APO Sl is a crazy, complementary lens. It’s the opposite of the Noctilux. The  chisel stitch has incredible, breathtaking definition, but it manages to make creamy, supple blurs. On the SL2, they make a formidable pair.

(Interview: Denise Klink)

All images on this page: © Jerome Meunier
Equipment: Leica SL with Summilux-M 28 f/1.4 Asph as well as APO-Summicron-SL 35 f/2 Asph

Jerome Meunier

Jerome Meunier, alias Gromynet, is an amateur photographer and Franco/Belgian art director.
After years of walking around with a camera, he decided to display the results of his wanderings. Wanting to reveal the beauty of even innocuous things, Meunier shows the sublime in everyday life, to people who do not take the time to look at the world around them. He likes to play with the strong contrasts, geometry and simplicity of the scenes. All these elements create surreal and timeless street photos.

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