“Nature is everything”

Narcisse Seurat is an adventurer. Regular contributor to The vanguardhas immersed himself in a large number of expeditions not only in our country, but also around the world, discovering and increasing his appreciation for nature and mountaineering.

He is also a bookseller by trade, something that has given him knowledge about everything that interests him. With photography, he has found a way to record what surrounds him, especially the natural environment he often visits. His photo of the Vall del Flequer barracks, affected by the last major fire in Bages, was chosen as the best of the month of July in La Vanguardia readers’ photos.

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Vall del Flequer barracks affected by the Bages fire.

Narcisse Seurat

Narcissus prefers not to say his age, because he believes that “we carry it in our hearts, not on our identity card”, and justifies it with an example: “You can be 22 years old, but you have a lot more inside because you have without illusions, you are pessimistic or see the dark life… age does not understand chronologies because it is marked by your heart, illusion and man’.

He explains that he comes from a working family of nine siblings. His love for the Earth comes from his father “who always took us fishing and mushrooms in the nearest nature, in the surroundings of Terrace, where there used to be many forests, vineyards and rivers”. “My father is the one who taught us the basics of nature, the behavior we should have when we are there and the respect we owe it,” he adds.

Seurat studies pedagogy in the context of important student movements and labor strikes, which students always join. Although he participated in it, he finally decided to take over a bookstore in Terrassa with a friend of his.

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Estany de Graz.

The reflections of the trees of Estany de Graugués.

Narcisse Seurat

“I am a bookseller by profession as well as a mountaineer,” he notes. With the latter, he clarifies his passion for nature, for expeditions and for skiing, a hobby that can be combined with his work among shelves with hundreds of books on various subjects.

His enthusiasm for mountaineering reached such an extent that he traversed various peaks that crown the Himalayas. But not only abroad: “I’m in love with the Iberian Peninsula, people don’t know what we have; I travel the road alone and with my bike, I walk slowly, without a watch, I go to enjoy and enrich myself with the landscape, the territory, the people and the gastronomy”.

“My parents educated me and my brothers in the environment of nature and they taught us respect for it, friendship and learning to survive with what it gives you. Nature is everything to me,” reflects Narcissus. And he adds one of his mantras in life: “We must respect the Earth, and if we do, it will respect us and let us live.”

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A bale of straw in the Olost field.

A bale of straw in the Olost field.

Narcisse Seurat

From expedition to expedition, traveling from the trails closest to his house to the inhospitable steep roads of the Himalayas, Narcisse always carried a Kodak: “I have boxes full of rolls of pictures from my excursions, the kind you go through with the projector on . living room and people fall asleep from so many pictures”.

At the age of 50, he received what was then one of the first digital cameras on the market. And although he always carries a camera, whether it’s a SLR or mobile, he admits, “I don’t consider myself a photographer.”

In any case, he praises the ease afforded by the digital camera, which allowed him to take up to 60 pictures of the same sunset, when before he could only take two, “because I was shooting with film and I had to pay for exposure, and even if they came out wrong, I had to pay for both”.

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The Jungle of Oz

Shelter in the fields of Selva de Oza.

Narcisse Seurat

This is where the mobile phone comes in, his faithful companion “which I always carry in my pocket” and which makes it easy for him to take pictures at any time. Narcís, who also uses the camera, especially on long trips, takes most of his photos with his phone. “All I do is take the mobile phone, frame it, choose the light and press the button,” he explains, because the mobile phone gives him “the snapshot, the moment, shoot what’s in front of you with a photo, and immediately send it to whoever I want.”

“People ask me a lot how I do it and I tell them, but if you also have a camera on your mobile phone! Put the mobile away and press the button,” he explains.

My cell phone gives me a snapshot and I capture the moment with one picture

Narcisse Seurat

Narcisse SeuratPhotographer

He publishes the photos on his networks and sends them to media such as The vanguardto the Reader Photos section: “When I found Carme Molist, Emily Villamala, or Izaura Marcos sharing their photos, one day I decided to send one and a few days later they posted it for me.”

Regarding social networks, Narcís condemns the use of the image on platforms such as Facebook: “We live in a time where every picture of everything we do is published.”

a photo story

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Narcisse Seurat

Narcís Serrat holds the winning photo of the month of July in La Vanguardia with the shack in the ashes of the Vall de Flequer after the fire.

Caesar Rangel

Before posting a photo, Narcís evaluates its meaning. When there was a fire in the Vall de Flequer, the author of the winning image knew indirectly. It is an environment full of vine shacks where there is a lot of love for it – as he commented, there are between 100 and 200 of these structures-. “I was afraid that the fire was heading towards Moura because I knew that if it went in that direction, the fire could destroy Mount Saint Lawrence de Mont,” he explains.

“I then took the car to go to the venue. I went to see the scene: everything was burnt, although there were some shoots that were still smoking, and also several red streams full of ash and earth, eaten away by the water,” he describes recalling that moment.

The author, who filmed the scene of the barracks surrounded by burnt earth, reasoned and asked that this should serve for learning, as “the fire has already passed and therefore it should not happen again, because we have to learn”. If he hadn’t brought his cell phone with him to film the scene, “it would have stayed in the memory,” but not captured in an image like the one he posted on The vanguard. Now he wonders if money will come in to repair everything that was lost in the wildfire.

Narcissus takes pictures to leave a testimony of what he experienced in the places he passes, and later makes an audiovisual film with music. “In time you learn that to be happy you don’t need anything else, because happiness is within you; I can be as old as I am, but you should consider yourself young,” he says. And once again he thanked his parents for everything they taught him: “I am a part of nature and we should all respect it because it is everything.”

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