Working in hostile environments can be testing on gear, so it was important to Jérôme to use a camera that was "solid" but also, knowing he wanted to exhibit the series, rendered colour with the utmost precision. "The colours on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II are very close to reality. They're soft, not too flashy, not too much contrast."
His kitbag contained two lenses – a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM and a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM. Although he praises the sharpness of the 50mm prime, he tended to use the zoom 90% of the time because of the flexibility it offered in the field. "I didn't want to carry a lot of lenses. I wanted to travel light because I already had the tripod, so I had one lens, and a second one in case."
Working with unobtrusive kit also meant that Jérôme was able to conceal his identity when required, such as one day when he had to pass through one of the Islamist militia checkpoints that at that time were just starting to spring up around the city.
"If they had seen me with a camera it would have been a big problem, but they didn't notice I was a photographer," he recalls. "That was the last week of the trip. My fixer told me, 'I think it's time for you and all the press to go now. We cannot protect you against those guys.'" He left Syria the same way he'd entered, across the border with Turkey. Just months later, a group of fellow photojournalists were kidnapped by militants while travelling into Aleppo on that same route. Years later, Jérôme's photos remind us of what the people of Syria still face every day on the shattered streets of Aleppo.