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December - Mark Buscail.

Mark Buscail is often where the action is. The calendar has four of his sports shots taken with the XPan camera depicting skiing, para­gliding and rollerblading.

Mountain scenery almost demands a wide view. Photographing sailing boats close-up can demand a wide view. Catching snow boarders launching into the blue off a ridge can demand a wide view. And in all these very active and ‘long-way-from-home’ situations, it would be useful if the camera were very portable and very reliable too. It’s hardly surprising therefore that Mark Buscail chooses to take along a Hasselblad XPan on many of his journeys to far flung places.

Sport was a major part of Mark Buscail’s life until he was around 35. He had taught sailing and he had skied (he lives near the French Alps) so it was only natural that when he began to take photographs, it would involve his previous interests. His photographic career began in a studio working with medium format cameras but gradually the call of the outdoors took over again. It is the mix of photography with travel or sport that claims most of his attention. 

 To call him an inveterate traveller would be a slight understatement. Travelling in this case does not mean two weeks on a Mediterranean beach or a sun-soaked cruise bobbing around the Caribbean. It means roughing it in the mountainous regions of Chile, Russia, Turkey, Morocco, Nepal, Senegal, Pakistan, Tahiti, Tanzania, India, Poland, and Tibet. All these places have been venues for his skiing, snow boarding, trekking, climbing and paragliding photography. To the other extreme Mark also spent three months taking underwater pictures off the coasts of Brazil, Martinique and Guyana, along with sharks at one point.

His clients are often magazines. The list includes Géo France, Géo Japon, Géo Allemagne, Paris Match, VSD, Figaro Magazine, Stern, to mention just a few. He also works for sporting equipment companies such as Rossignol, Killy, Eider and a host of others.
If you wonder what someone who travels so much would like to do if they had a few months off, the answer in Mark Buscail’s case would be to pack a rucksack (complete with an XPan of course) and set off on a round the world trip! He would like to take the slow route on foot, and by car and train to give him the opportunity to get closer to the people he would meet.

His latest project was a trip to Afghanistan and provides a taste of how it might be. The images in this case are not billowing paragliders over the Alps or skiers slicing down icy gullies in subzero temperatures but little children clutching new baked bread in the warm glow of the low sun, barefooted shopkeepers surrounded by kaleidoscopes of colour in the bazaar. And of course, dazzling landscapes in the clear light of this mountainous country.

Mark thinks that if younger people want to have photography as their career they might do well to consider that a photographer should think and act as an ‘artisan’ firstly, and then as an ‘artist’. In other words, in professional photography, clients come first. Mark, however, has photography as more than a career because to him it has become a complete way of life. He looks forward to future assignments that will allow him to experience the things in life he appreciates the most.