Thanks to a passing mention on my favourite philosophical corner of the internet photographic Universe the measurement on the beam has been moved away from zero (with a light fall, with lumps, at 5:30, as policeman Fox would say). But as these days I’m trying to keep to my promise of publishing at least one photograph per week with a short text does mean that my longer articles are swamped. So here’s small list…
I was happy to read that Film Ferrania have almost resolved their manufacturing problems. Shooting unique special films like their P30 emulsion is one of the best reasons I can think of to shoot film. Here’s my article about P30:
I took a few photographs at the Chris Marker show at the Cinémathèque. I was particularly interested in the cabinet where photographs of Marker and his family were assembled. It was interesting to see them; as I mentioned in my article, Marker was a private individual. When asked for his photograph, we would invariably send a picture of his cat. So I certainly wanted to take a picture of this display. All those Chris Marker photographs in the same place! But there was a man who was examining the photographs very intently. After he heard the click of my shutter he turned to me and said, I am looking at these pictures so closely because this is my family! He explained that Marker’s family was essentially divided into the mother’s side and the father’s side, and the latter side didn’t care so much for art, culture and cinema. Perhaps this was one of the reasons why Marker so rapidly changed his name. Anyway, this fellow was interesting character, and it was nice to talk to him.
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.
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.
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.
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.