“First of January 2016. Rügen. An island in northern Germany plunged into a strange atmosphere, post-apocalyptic, that reminds me of the movie The Road (2009, John Hillcoat). And if that day was the last first day of a fragile peace?” says photographer Frédérick Carnet about his series THE LAST FIRST DAY. “I shot it as an outlet to my own fears.” Indeed it’s easy for you to be reminded of some monster film, a thriller from Stephen King, or Silent Hill. It’s the unknown that sometimes really gets us.
Frédérick Carnet (born French the 24th of December 1972) took his first steps in photography at the age of twenty, at the beginning of the 90’s thanks to a friend, a fashion photographer, who introduced him to a world of which he did not know the existence. He very quickly decided to do everything in his power to turn professional. He’s been going at it since the 90’s until 2011 when he decided to put advertising photography on hold for a while to work on personal projects.
Mr. Carnet states that this project was shot in a total state of freedom for himself. As he walked around with his girlfriend after a quiet New Year’s Eve evening, he was influenced by the atmosphere of The Road. Then, he stated to ponder on history. “Prora was chosen by Hitler to become a summer resort for 20.000 workers between 1936-1939. And that specific day, my mind went back to this terrible time of Europe history.” explains Mr. Carnet. “I then started to think of our present and the fact that our future is uncertain.” His further thoughts made him wonder if this is the last January 1st that will ever be peaceful.
The Last First Day was shot with a Canon EOS M and a 22mm lens. However, Mr. Carnet states that this isn’t all so important and he could have shot with his medium format Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II or his Nikon FM2.
The rest of the series is below.