Etienne buyse



Obscurity, a red halo, the three trays, the magic of the image appearing … After all these nights spent in the dark room and its mysteries, by the age of 16, Etienne wanted to be a photographer. 

Alas, it is not possible: life and its ills, a Bachelor of Arts, Africa, a job in software publishing … and decades went by.

Until digital photography. And with it, the immediacy. Not to mention the illusion of ease. All these factors contribute to revive Etienne’s passion for the image. Almost full-time: the academy for six years, with its outstanding teachers, exhibitions and shows, projects brought to fruition. And slowly but surely, recognition from the public.

While Etienne is very influenced by the first major colourists such as John Batho orLuigi Ghirr, he takes after Saul Leiter, Stephen Shore, Meyerowitz, Eggleston and others.

His masters are Walker Evans, John Beasley Greene, Ernst Haas, Irving Penn, Mario Giacomelli.

Etienne was Juror's Pick of the prestigious LensCulture Street Photography Award 2017 with his series Temps d'arrêt / Break time.

The series has been shown in Droga5, NYC, in April 2018.  The series has been published in a book titled "Down Time / Temps d'Arret" by ARP2 Publishing in 2018.

The series "Through the American Flag" has been shown at the Académie des Beaux Arts of Anderlecht Brussels.

Two quotes guide him in his work

“For anything to become interesting, one only has to look at it long enough”

G. Flaubert

“The physical presence of colour, the joy it brings me is at the heart of my concerns” J. Batho


À mon avis, vous ne pouvez pas dire que vous avez vu quelque chose à fond si vous n’en avez pas pris une photographie.
Emile Zola


1. What is your greatest fear?  War 

2. What is your current state of mind?  Calm yet alert

3. What is your favourite occupation? Strolling around, writing, taking pictures, not necessarily in that order. 

4. What historical figure do you most identify with? None.

5. Which living person do you most admire? Any being who manages to climb from the very bottom of the ladder to the top and succeed in life

6. Who is your favourite fictional hero? Ulysses 

7. Who are you real-life heroes? Ulysses again

8. What is your most treasured possession? My pictures, family and others. My texts. 

9. When and where were you happiest? With an intelligent woman in a big car, on small roads, with good music on.

10. What is your most obvious characteristic? Honesty, sometimes brutally so

11. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? My abruptness

12. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Bad faith 

13. What is your greatest extravagance? My professional choices

14. What is your favourite journey? The slow and long erratic road by train, bus, bike, walking or at the wheel of a big car to a faraway and unclear destination

15. What do you most dislike about your appearance?  I now accept myself as I am, this is said in all humility

16. What do you consider the most over-rated virtue? Transparency, the demand of transparency. I hate it.

17. On what occasion do you lie? I could lie through my teeth to protect my privacy and my secrets

18. Which words or phrases do you most over-use? I dont know. Maybe: “I don’t know”.

19. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Anxiety

20. What do you consider your greatest achievement? I am constantly working on it. Maybe I will find the answer in the last hour

21. Where would you like to live? Here and now. Nowhere else. Although, I do not always manage to do it, of course.

22. What is the quality you most admire in a man? Physical courage crossbred with a feminine sensitivity.

23. What is the quality you most admire in a woman? Lucidity

24. What is it you most dislike? Noise and furor

25. What do you value most in your friends?  Attention.

26. How would you like to die? Pacified and satisfied

27. If you were to die and come back as a person or an animal, what do you think it would be?  A fox

28. If you could choose an object to come back as, what would you choose? A wide angle lens. With a stabilizer

29. What is your motto, the words you live by or that mean a lot to you?

In play, love, music, books, I joy,
In town and country ; and, indeed, there’s nought,
E’en to the luxury of sober thought,
The somber, melancholy mood,
But brings to me the sovereign good.
(The Love of Cupid & Psyche, La Fontaine)

30. Who has been the greatest influence on you?  Ulysses, sorry