David Olifson, look hunter in India


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Departure for Dehli.

David Olifson has two lives: officially, he works in a press group, unofficially, he is a hunter of images, smiles, especially emotions. On a three-week trek through India, little visited by tourists, he went from town to town looking for fragments of life. - Isabelle Cerboneschi.

David Olifson has two lives. The first is his professional life, a job he loves, which allows him to meet fascinating personalities, he is advertising broker, or more precisely Senior Account Manager at Tamedia SA. The second is photography.

He discovered his taste for photography thanks to one of those circumstances that one encounters in movies rather than in real life. While employed by the advertising department of the Edipresse group, in 2007, he accompanied an editor in chief at the watchmaking event in Basel and at the International Exhibition of Haute Horlogerie in Geneva. The latter entrusted David Olifson to follow his meetings with watchmakers. And the apprentice photographer did not pray, grabbing with his Reflex, what he perceived from his interlocutors.

Except that neither could imagine that these few clicks would trigger a definitive passion. These pictures of watchmaking patterns, David Olifson had shown them to me at the time and it was already obvious that the apprentice photographer excelled in a form of maieutics, he had this innate art to bring his interlocutor to express what he is, in a touching truth, in a look, a posture. These images gave rise to a book that was offered to volunteer models. And the years have passed.

But not the virus of photography. Two years ago, David Olifson fell in love with Leica and decided to take private lessons with the French photographer Patrick Grob (the founder of the school Culture Photo) who taught him the technique.

The photo, David Olifson practiced it above all for his daughter, Salome. "Every time we went on a trip together, I took a lot of pictures and then I created stories for her that I had to link to an album. After a trip to Israel, for example, I invented the Enigma of the Treasury of Jerusalem. When I got back from Bali, I turned the pictures into drawings and made a comic book, a bit like a children's guide to Bali. When we returned from Orlando, instead of taking pictures, I made for her a fake cartoon of Walt Disney. And from this trip was born a film. "

A creativity that has its roots in lack. "I lost my father when I was nine and wanted my daughter to keep track of those trips together. I leave him a legacy of images, memories, books, videos. "

The last trip of David Olifson was India, out of places usually surveyed by tourists. Far from big cities too. With his companion, they visited the belly of India, from west to east, from Palitana in Gujarat, to Bodhgaya in Uttar Pradesh, crossing Madya Pradesh. They went from village to village, from weddings to meetings.

What is particular about David's images is the intensity of the glances, the presence, the wordless exchange that we attend at a later date. We are kissed in the scene that was played without us. He managed to be forgotten just after the wedding of a young woman, in the family kitchen, while she was saying goodbye to her father, while her husband was waiting in the car, the trunk filled with suitcases. At this moment of separation, where the two are alone in the world in their immense sadness, forgetful of what is happening around, as if one were an actor of the scene. A silhouette in the foreground has the elegance of making this moment of intimacy between the father and his less frontal daughter. "We went into weddings. People came to us and they included us, they invited us, whatever the caste. "

"I like to pick emotions," he says. I still can not make beautiful landscape images: I need something to happen. And thanks to my companion, who takes me to unknown land, I discovered emotionally very photogenic worlds. I always go looking for looks, encounters, emotions, "he says.

David Olifson's photos do not judge, do not analyze, they capture and offer us to see. "I trigger when I see something. But I can not say how it goes. I do not know how to explain it. I wait. I'm waiting for the moment. I'm waiting for the look. He can come, or not. "

David Olifson's prints are on sale: Website : www.olifson.ch
Facebook: David Olifson
Instagram: davidolifson

On the road.

Mandu: A stealthy look at a child in a tiny shop.

Dhar region: Rajasthan Shepherd going to the center of the country to sell his flock of sheep.

Ujjain: The beggars of the temple.

Envions of Sanchi: On his bike while waiting for his father.

Near Omkareshwar: Hands symbolize welcome on the walls of houses.

Surroundings of Varanasi: Clothes drying on the banks of the Ganges, the most polluted river in the world.

Chanderi: Collecting cow dung to make cakes that will serve as fuel.

Varanasi: Bride celebrating a modest marriage on the banks of the Ganges.

Ahmedabad: Last moments in family for a bride.

Ahmedabad: The bridegroom is waiting for his wife in the car that will take them to their homes.

Orchha: Several hundred people celebrate the marriage of this girl.

Main station of Varanasi.

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STORIES - Digital drawing by Daniel Canogar.