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Tag: Leica

In Paris, Confined.

In Paris, Confined.

During the confinement I went out almost every morning for a walk and to buy some bread. I took my cameras with me. There was often beautiful sunshine. I like that low light and the way it shines on the buildings.

And on the streets,

A walk up the steps …

The street of the (alcoholic) artists

..and you could be sure that at that early hour, there would only be a few joggers. You didn’t see many people like myself.

Of course, no cafes or bars were open,

and the streets I liked to walk down were empty.

One thing you noticed quickly was that the signs and posters didn’t change. In the city we are used to continual change. The posters for the municipal elections held just before the lockdown started stayed up for weeks. I watched them slowly degrade with time. Mr. Campion is about the kind of person you would imagine him to be, based on this photograph. He is a Parisian attractions-park mogul and is responsible for all those tacky fake-wooden chalets you see around the city at Christmas.

In each arrondissement, his picture appears with an equally improbable figure (the local candidates).

You would find messages in the street sometimes, like this one: “thank-you rubbish-collectors”.

Or this one, helpfully written in English:

Of course there were always lost cats.

And dog-walkers.

Crossing the street was certainly easier.

It was a great relief when the parks finally opened after being closed for two months. We went right down to Montsouris on the morning that it had been opened. In some parts of the park, the grass hadn’t been cut for more than two months! Quite undheard of for a Parisian park.

Luxembourg was empty. It was lovely to hear bird-song coming from all around, and not just from the window.

We are not out of this thing yet. Now, today in Paris, because of holidays the city is even more empty. I hope I’ll be able to take some more pictures of people once again!

52 photographs (2018) #52: In the garden

52 photographs (2018) #52: In the garden

It’s the end of the year. And the last photograph in this series. The sky is overcast. It is what they call on the photography forums a “flat day” (it took me a long while to understand what that meant). There was never a day flatter than this. But I am in Versailles, and I never tire of going to the gardens there. I brought my recently-repaired Rolleiflex with me, loaded up with my last roll of Tri-X.

In the garden

Here in the depths of December the statues are all wrapped up for the winter. I look down the avenues of the garden and remember what Szarkowski wrote about Atget not taking the photographs that the garden wanted you to take. So I look a little to the left, and I wonder if I’ll be able to see the wrapped-up statues against the empty hedges. I click the shutter.

52 photographs (2018) #37: A impromptu portrait

52 photographs (2018) #37: A impromptu portrait

Technical details: my Ricoh GR1s now dead, I took out the Leica Mini that my friend Jean-Francois had given me a few years previously. This is actually a very cheap camera made many years ago in Japan for Leica. It has crazy amounts of distortion, but I kind of like images it produces. I usually put slow film in it like FP4plus. Walking to the swimming pool one mid-day I found this fellow on the steps. I took his photograph. He didn’t notice me.

An impromptu portrait
Leicaphilia moves the reading on the beam away from zero!

Leicaphilia moves the reading on the beam away from zero!

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…

Before leicaphilia moved the beam (in Zollverein)

Sergio Larrain and Valparaiso
Eugène Atget, his life
Atget’s legacy
Josef Koudelka at Beaubourg

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:

Discovering Ferrania’s P30 film

And about that film/digital thing? I think I still agree with most of this.

Thinking about photography…

More longer articles to come before the end of the summer, I hope. There’s Geoff Dyer’s excellent “The pleasure of looking at good photographs” which I mean to say something about…