Gaëtan Duke
Road trippin'.
Frames 5m

Gaëtan Duke’s timeworn shots are the ultimate cure for your travel bug…

Gaëtan Duke has a severe case of wanderlust. Born in France, the 29 year-old photographer has been travelling the world for as long as he can remember. It was around six years ago when Gaëtan first thought of film photography as a way of accumulating and recollecting these travels, and while he admits that these rookie shots weren’t his best, he still remembers how vividly they were able to translate his lifelong globetrot.    

“Even though the pictures from that first roll weren’t real good, they were transcribing the mood I felt while shooting, which is exactly how I conceive photography,” Gaëtan says. 

For Gaëtan, travel photography is as worthy a souvenir as any postcard, and this memory-collection is on full display in his portfolio. Grainy and timeworn like the memories it reflects, Gaetan’s camera spans from sea-splattered surf trips to sleepy morning-afters on the road. 

Despite their well-travelled reach, Gaetan’s shots feature the same cast of recurring characters- who appear like human momentos of road trips gone by. Whether its fellow nomads at the local laundromat or a few shadowy silhouettes at a petrol station, Gaëtan is just as interested in the stories of travellers as he is in their scenic pit stops. 

“Overall I really love shooting when travelling…Shooting is all about collecting memories to me. When you lose pictures you spontaneously shot, you can’t relive or recreate that moment. It feels like a lost memory to me,” he says. 

As you can imagine, the travel restrictions of COVID-19 did little to satisfy Gaetan’s equally-contagious travel bug. And although Gaëtan has worked hard to find inspiration elsewhere, the professional backpacker’s feet remain itchy for long those stretches of uninterrupted highway.

“I’m finding inspiration through a lot of different things such as music, movies or books. But living new things and visiting new places is definitely what gets me the most inspired… Can’t wait to be back travelling again,” Gaëtan says. 

Until then, Gaëtan only has the vicarious road trips of his portfolio to relive his travel memories. And lucky for us, we can hitch a ride too. Check out Gaëtan’s shots below, and head here to follow him on Instagram. 

Words by Tom Disalvo May 27, 2021
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