The vision of a photographer

At the end of the 1980s, a newly graduated engineer, Alain Moal is at the beginning of a scientific career. His work in a laboratory at the Ecole des Mines in Paris will lead to the defence of a PhD thesis in Science and Materials Engineering in 1992. It was during this period that he became aware of the power of photographic art to express a personal vision of the world. The poetic realism of French post-Second World War humanist photographers and the spontaneity and social dimension of American "street photography" are sources of inspiration from the beginning of its practice. Living in the south of France, he is now a researcher in the field of nuclear safety. Beyond his scientific activity, photography offers him the opportunity to express a humanistic point of view by combining aesthetic representation and observation of human behaviour.

Like an ethnographer, he documents lifestyles and social realities of his time. In the most familiar, banal and sometimes insignificant situations, he seeks to detect in each one the universal characters that constitute the human condition. His photographs give importance to the daily lives of his fellow human beings in their relationship with the world, whether urban or rural. They propose a personal vision of the human tragicomedy that is performed before his eyes. Even if he remains benevolent towards the photographed subjects, he emphasizes the incongruities and the contradictions of our disillusioned societies. 

The photographer’s presence is discreet in order not to interfere with the photographed scene as a measuring instrument which must not disturb the observed physical phenomenon. His candid images often capture funny situations that lend to smiling, moments of joy and tenderness but do not exclude moments of distress, sadness or mourning. In search of a malicious humour, sometimes ironic, he aims to capture the fleeting moment, when a happy chance assembles things into proposals of unusual, funny or strange images of everyday scenes. By revealing the ridiculousness of incongruous and sometimes absurd situations, he invites us to ask questions about human and his actions. Witnesses of moments immediately over, his clichés contribute to the construction of a collective memory in revolt against the inexorable flight of time and the ephemeral duration of human life.
Beyond its timelessness, Black-and-White is often preferred to colour because it dispels the illusion of objective capture of reality that coloured pictures sometimes induce. By forcing the viewer to move away from reality, his eye is more surely directed towards what seems essential to the author. Nevertheless, the choice of colour is natural when it accompanies and reinforces the photographic message. Whether the human being is present in the frame or excluded from it, he is often the central theme of a photographic approach supported by the constant concern for composition in the service of an aesthetic and poetic ambition.

The birth of the present website in 2019 made it possible to present a photographic work which until then had not been revealed to a broad public.

It is perhaps possible that among the tools created by the ingenuity of men, the arrival of an instrument capable of taking the imprint of an instant has the power to modify the relations between them.
Robert Doisneau, Preface to "Un certain Robert Doisneau", Editions du Chêne, 1986