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Category: 52 Photographs

52 Photographs (2018) #18: In St. Cloud, hommage to Atget

52 Photographs (2018) #18: In St. Cloud, hommage to Atget

After reading about Eugene Atget’s life I was more than little be interested to visit once again the parks and gardens he photographed in. They are almost all still there and have not changed much. In the last hundred years in Luxembourg gardens they have changed the chairs, but that’s about it.

St. Cloud is an interesting place. It’s easy to get to from here, around half an hour by bus from Porte d’Orleans. There was once a palace there which burned down during the Prussians war at the end of the 19th century. On one side there is the Seine; at the beginning of the 18th century this location was a favoured spot for country houses for rich Parisians. The village of St. Cloud today is quite picturesque. Unfortunately, today it hemmed in on all sides by motorways and elevated flyovers and one is never far from the rumble of traffic. But the park is still intact, and one can still walk rom the town to the park without crossing a motorway. Inside the park, in fact, one can walk for miles, and there are even forest trails, as much as one could hope for in the middle of an enormous city.

In St. Cloud

The statues that Atget photographed are still there. I brought with me a roll of slow, fine-grained film (still much faster than the film Atget used of course). I took pictures with my Leica. Certainly, there is no way a small portable camera such as a Leica can produce anything like an image from a heavy view camera, but at least there were no pixels involved, and I tried to imagine the photographs I was taking before I took them. There is still a special feeling in this park (I think I prefer it to Sceaux) and I’ll try to return there more often.

Read my two articles about Atget here and here.

52 Photographs (2018) #16: A wide-angle diversion

52 Photographs (2018) #16: A wide-angle diversion

Yes, it’s a bit trash. But reading all those Winogrand books really brought home for me the possibilities of wider-angle lenses. When I saw this scene unfolding right in front of me I had my second Leica to hand with a 28mm lens fitted, I was ready.

A wide-angle diversion

I might as well the tell the joke I heard, what’s the different between Cartier-Bresson and William Klein? Answer — about four paces. Photographer joke. One used a 50mm lens and was always around 4m from his subjects; the other preferred 28mm leses, and stood right next to the people he was photographing.

52 Photographs (2018) #15: A conversation between friends at night

52 Photographs (2018) #15: A conversation between friends at night

This year, I am a member of the Photoclub Paris Val-de-Bièvre. They are a very active club and have many members. Amongst their numerous activities, they organise photowalks at night; I took part in two of them. This photograph was taken on our second night out, when we were walking around La Butte-aux-cailles.

A conversation between friends at night

For sure there is a certain atmosphere in these streets at night. It is not always easy to take photographs after dark on film, but sometimes it works out.