Tahitian Black Pearl
PHILIPPE BACCHET, A FANATIC OF THE SOUTH SEAS|
Philippe Bacchet was born in 1960 on the French Riviera, more precisely at Antibes, where he lived until the age of 24 years. While still quite young, he became an enthusiast of nature in all its forms. He was encouraged in this vein by an education oriented toward sports and open air activities, and thanks to a family environment well adapted to his chosen life style.
At the same time, cinema, television and much reading nourished his imagination. This involved not only the Adventures of Tintin but also "Treasure Island", "Michael Strogoff", Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea" and many other titles. The complete shock came to him toward the end of the seventies through a film entitled "The Silent World", an open door to the other side, the hidden one, of the mirror. This documentary was a revelation to the young Philippe, the triggering factor of a real passion for the things of the sea.
Above and beyond the dreams, at least when coping with one's everyday needs, there are life's contingencies. Philippe Bacchet managed them as best he could: studies in electronics, military service in the high mountains, followed by three enriching years as a musician in the orchestras of some of the palatial establishments of the Riviera.
At the same time, because reality cannot and must not mask the ideal, he began a serious apprenticeship in photography. He began with black and white film in the darkroom, then learned how to use a camera professionally. Here, in this shadow school was born an irresistible urge to travel... as far as possible.
The islands of the Pacific attracted him. He wanted to go to see them, to get to know that which had always set him dreaming.
A first trip through Polynesia allowed him to progress from a vague dream to a very tangible reality. This happened in 1982. Philippe went, he saw and promised himself to come back. A year and a half later, thinking to sail around the world, he again arrived on Tahiti's shore and stayed, putting his talents in electronics to use.
At this moment, he launched himself determinedly into the sport of leisure SCUBA diving, passing the successive certificates required of every diver taking the federal diving course, then tried underwater photography. The inevitable early failures did not discourage him and this passion, at first marginal, quickly led him to make valuable contacts in professional circles. Numerous trips to the outer islands took him off the beaten track. In the air, on the ground or under the sea he photographed nature in Polynesia, then collaborated with different publications: brochures, posters, magazines, tourist guides, etc. Finally, he joined the staff of Pacific Promotion Tahiti SA where his photos brighten the broad range of products offered by Teva Sylvain.
In 1999, he produced an admirable work entitled "Iles et Lumières" (Islands and Lights), published by "Au Vent des Iles", an album of photographs exposing Polynesia at its most colorful and paradisiac in a grippingly natural manner. More and more, the environment and marine biology interest him, and he is at present engaged in preparing an inventory of the marine species of the region.