The Photographer’s doubts. 4


(English Version at the bottom of the page)

Ça fait 18 mois que j’ai commencé à ramener des photos des rues d’Aix-en-Provence et 12 mois que le site existe. Sincèrement, quand j’ai commencé le Blog il y a un an, je ne savais pas que 12 mois plus tard, je continuerai encore à poster des articles. C’est du travail. Petit à petit, le Blog est devenu mon Journal Photographique. La photo je l’ai commencé il y a longtemps, mais la Street Photo c’est assez récent. D’ailleurs je continue à dire Street Photography mais pour moi c’est plus de la Life Photography. Pourquoi je préfère l’appeler ainsi ? La définition très dogmatique que certains en font me lasse et je préfère utiliser mes règles que de suivre celles des autres. Je fais beaucoup de photos à la volée, je shoote à l’aveugle, je fais aussi des portraits de rue posés, j’aime de temps en temps provoquer des réactions de personnes dans la rue pour les prendre en photo. Pour beaucoup ce n’est plus de la Street Photography. Je m’en fiche, je m’amuse et ce sont mes histoires.

Ces douze derniers mois ont été riches photographiquement parlant. Attention à mon niveau hein ! J’ai eu l’honneur d’avoir été interviewé par Don Springer, le co-fondateur du magazine Inspired Eye. J’ai aussi eu une photo dans le très bon World-Street-Photography Book 4. Quand j’ai commencé il y a 18 mois, j’aurai considéré ces deux événements comme des consécrations. Mon Graal ! Attention, ne vous méprenez pas, je suis fier d’avoir été publié et d’avoir attiré l’attention d’un gars comme Don. Mais je ne suis pas du genre à me reposer sur ce qui a été réalisé. Le meilleur reste à venir ! Enfin j’espère…

Alors quel rapport avec le titre me direz vous ? Les vacances m’ont permis de faire une pause avec la Street(Life) Photography. Deux mois pour se ressourcer un peu avec les enfants et profiter un peu d’eux. Comme j’ai pu l’évoquer dans un Blog précédent, j’ai quand même pu avoir un peu de temps pour assouvir ma passion. J’attendais avec un peu d’impatience la rentrée pour avoir plus de temps. Entre temps j’avais changé mes habitudes et avait abandonné le filtre N&B sur mon Ricoh GRD IV. Le retour dans les rues Aixoises est douloureux. Pas grave, je dois être un peu rouillé et ça va revenir petit à petit.

Tout ça pour dire, que pour le moment, j’ai effectué 2 sorties dans Aix et je ne vois absolument rien. Mes yeux ne savent plus voir. Pourtant la rue est vivante, il y a du monde, la lumière est magnifique… En ce moment, je trie mes photos pour essayer de me monter un portfolio. J’espère pouvoir aller faire une lecture de portfolio en octobre sur Aix. Je pense qu’inconsciemment, cette histoire de portfolio me mine. J’ai devant les yeux, ce que je considère comme mes meilleures photos et je veux en sélectionner que 10 max. Je ne suis pas du genre à comparer mes photos à celles des autres. Je ne compare que mes photos à moi. Quand je regarde mes 10 photos que je considère les plus abouties, je suis fier mais j’ai aussi le cafard. Je connais ces photos par cœur. Je sais où elles ont été prises, je me souviens du moment. Je me dis que je ne pourrai pas en faire de meilleures et c’est là où mon moral en prend un coup. Ces dernières sorties dans Aix, ont été un long calvaire. J’étais motivé et finalement le résultat n’est pas au bout. Je sais pertinemment que la Street Photography est ingrate et ne récompense que les besogneux, les patients, les travailleurs. Je me rappelle que l’année dernière je revenais à la maison avec des fois, rien à me mettre sous la dent. Tout ça, je le sais, mais moralement c’est dur. Il y a des passages comme ça.

Je n’ai pas grand chose à vous montrer de mes dernières sorties. Je me suis beaucoup éparpiller en m’essayant à la couleur. Je me demande encore comment les gens font pour shooter en couleur. J’aime beaucoup la couleur mais je crois que la couleur ne m’aime pas. Le filtre N&B sur mon Ricoh GRD IV me manque énormément. Je me demande si je ne vais pas revenir à shooter du RAW + Jpeg pour avoir mon filtre N&B sur mon écran… La couleur a bon dos. Je sais au fond de moi qu’elle y est pour rien. Je suis assez conservateur dans ma façon de fonctionner. Quand quelque chose ne va pas, j’ai tendance à revenir à ce que je sais faire. Et ce que je sais faire, c’est le N&B. Mais le réel problème n’est pas le N&B ou la couleur, mais ma façon de photographier. J’avais déjà évoqué dans plusieurs articles, ma tendance à tomber dans la facilité et à faire que du Light/Shadow et des silhouettes. Je retombe dans ces travers et sincèrement ça me gave. Je sais que je dois arrêter ça et je continue. Pourquoi ? Parce que je ne vois rien d’autre en ce moment et c’est un cache misère. Je n’arrive pas à utiliser le Light/Shadow et les silhouettes de manière intelligente. Au fond de moi, je sais que je stagne en ce moment, que je tourne en rond. La rue est pourtant un endroit en perpétuelle évolution où la routine n’a pas lieu. Et pourtant j’ai l’impression de « déjà vu ». Je ne sais plus regarder la rue. J’espère que c’est un mauvais passage et que de meilleurs jours viendront.

 

J’hésite entre deux solutions. Arrêter un moment et espacer mes sorties pour retrouver de l’inspiration ou continuer à battre le pavé en espérant que ça revienne. En tout cas, il faut que je revienne à des basic. Il y a pas très longtemps encore j’écrivais un article « Compose the picture Sammy and wait !« . Il me semble que j’ai déjà du oublier les fondamentaux évoqués par Sam Abell. Je ne pense pas souffrir encore de « Photographer’s Block », j’espère juste ne pas en arriver là… J’espérais poster quelque chose de plus joyeux pour le premier anniversaire de mon site, mais ce sera pour une autre fois ! 😉

 

 ~o~

 

The Photographer’s doubts.

 

It has been 18 months since I started making photos of the streets of Aix-en-Provence and 12 months that the website exists. Sincerely, when I started the Blog a year ago, I did not know that 12 months later I will continue to post articles. It’s work. Little by little, the Blog became my Photographic Journal. I started Photography a long time ago, but Street Photography is quite recent. Besides I continue to say Street Photography but for me it is more of Life Photography. Why do I prefer to call it that? The very dogmatic definition that some of them make me weary and I prefer to use my rules than to follow those of others. I do a lot of candid pictures, I shoot from the hip, I also do posed street portraiture, I like to occasionally provoke reactions of people in the street to take pictures. For many it is no longer Street Photography. I do not care, I have fun and these are my stories.

These last twelve months have been rich photographically speaking. Attention at my level hey ! I had the honor of being interviewed by Don Springer, the co-founder of Inspired Eye magazine. I also had a photo in the very good World-Street-Photography Book 4. When I started 18 months ago, I would have considered these two events as consecrations. My Grail ! Attention, don’t get me wrong, I’m proud to have been published and to have caught the attention of a guy like Don. But I am not the type to rely on what has been achieved. The best is yet to come! Finally, I hope…

So what relationship with the title will you tell me? The holidays allowed me to take a break with the Street (Life) Photography. Two months to recharge a bit with the children and enjoy spending time with them. As I was able to mention in a previous Blog, I still had a little time to satisfy my passion. I waited with a little impatience for september to have more time. Meanwhile I had changed my habits and had dropped the B & W filter on my Ricoh GRD IV. The return to the streets of Aix is painful. No matter, I have to be a little rusty and it will come back little by little.

All that to say, that for the moment, I made 2 Sessions in Aix and I see absolutely nothing. My eyes can not see. Yet the street is alive, there are people, the light is beautiful … At this moment, I sort my photos for a portfolio. I hope to be able to do a portfolio reading in October in Aix. I think unconsciously, this portfolio stuff is killing me. I have in front of my eyes what I consider my best pictures and I want to select only 10 max. I’m not the type to compare my photos to those of others. I only compare my photos to my own. When I look at my 10 pictures that I consider the most accomplished, I am proud but I also feel a bit depressed. I know those photos by heart. I know where they were taken, I remember the moments. I tell myself I can not do better and that’s where I feel like shit. These last outings in Aix, were a long and painful ordeal. I was motivated and finally the result is not at the end. I know for a fact that Street Photography is ungrateful and rewards only the needy, the patients, the workers. I remember that last year I was coming home a few times with absolutely nothing. All that, I know, but morally it’s hard. There are times like that.

I do not have much to show you of my last Sessions. I scattered a lot by trying to color. I still wonder how people shoot in color. I love the color but I think the color doesn’t like me. The B & W filter on my Ricoh GRD IV lacks me enormously. I wonder if I will not go back to shooter RAW + Jpeg to have my B & W filter on my screen … The color is easy to blame. I know in my heart that it has nothing to do with it. I am quite conservative in my way of functioning. When something goes wrong, I tend to go back to what used to work. And what I can do is the B & W. But the real problem is not the B & W or color, but my way of photographing. I had already mentioned in several articles, my tendency to fall into the ease and make that light / shadow and silhouettes. I fall back into these tricks and sincerely it pisses me off. I know I have to stop this and I keep going. Why ? Because I do not see anything else right now and it’s a miserable cache. I can not use the Light / Shadow and silhouettes intelligently. Deep inside, I know I’m stagnating right now, that I’m going round in circles. The street is however a place in perpetual evolution where the routine does not take place. And yet I have the impression of « déjà vu ». I can no longer look at the street. I hope it is a rough patch and that better days will come.

I hesitate between two solutions. Stop a moment and space my StreetSessions to find inspiration or continue to hit the streets hoping that it comes back. In any case, I have to go back to basic. Not long ago I was writing an article « Compose the picture Sammy and wait!« . It seems to me that I have already forgotten the fundamentals evoked by Sam Abell. I do not think I still suffer from « Photographer’s Block », I just hope not to get there … I was hoping to post something cheerful for the first anniversary of my site, but it will be for another time ! 😉


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4 commentaires sur “The Photographer’s doubts.

  • John Harper

    On my own website in the Galleries section I call it « Street Life ». There isn’t a correct way, or any rules. You do what you do and let me tell you what you’re doing is superb. Don’t forget Sam’s words, although I have! It has to be worked at and let’s face it not every session is going to produce a « Glory » shot.
    Who cares, except those worried about how many votes, followers they have and gauge their photography based on people who usually have no idea what a good photograph is or take one and have an incentive to like something simply because it may be reciprocal making them feel good. We both know all that is a load of bull.
    Keep on the track you’re on. Your ARE producing some fantastic images, a little blip, a loss of confidence, we all suffer the same. Anyone can look through your presentations here and see talent.

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Auteur de l’article

      I might have put some pressure on myself after these holidays. I was so excited to hit the Streets again, that I forgot that Street is about frustration, failure. Why ? May be that I was lucky to get some good shots in a little time during holidays. But it was pure luck or I was in different state of mind. Don’t have any expectations and you’re likely to get something good. As Emmanuelle Benjamin on FB pointed out, this Portfolio stuff might have triggered something inside me. Might have made me feel bad because I was facing my best ten. As you said, let’s face the reality not every session will produce anything good ! I know all of that, but it’s frustrating. Well as I said in a previous Blog « Back to school » ! At the end, I should be grateful for theses holidays for the wake-up call. Nothing is granted, frustration and failure is part of what I’m doing. Never forget it.
      I read recently two articles as if they were written for me. Both articles by Don Springer & Olivier Duong. Two guys who really inspired me. Funny no ?

      http://streetshooter.net/september-13th-2017-the-unseen-seen-scene-or-the-struggle-to-continue/

      https://digital-photography-school.com/tips-dealing-frustrations-photographer/

      Cheers John and thanks again for the support !

  • Helmut Ph. Kluge

    http://streetshooter.net/september-13th-2017-the-unseen-seen-scene-or-the-struggle-to-continue/#
    Hi Jeff, I think you already read this , but it helps to understand :
    We all have to struggle finding new and lost inspiration . What counts are the ‘miracles of life’ wherever we can find and that doesn’t mean that we have to take pictures in every situation . Personally I want to resist the pressure to drag my camera along wherever I go . Sometimes I don’t shoot for days or even weeks and after that compulsory break I’m really wild about taking pictures …everyone has to find his own way .
    Take care !

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Auteur de l’article

      Hey Helmut, thanks a lot for the words and support. Indeed I’ve already read Don’s chronicle. He’s such a wise man. When I read his blog, it was as if he read my mind and knew where I was stuck. I guess that you also received Olivier’s newsletter and another aarticle he wrote https://digital-photography-school.com/tips-dealing-frustrations-photographer/
      was very helpful for understanding things.
      I’m new to this kind of situation. I think that every photographer has its « up » and « down ». Until now, I didn’t have to face any « down ». The good thing is that it forces me to sit down and analyse things. What is going wrong. Why I can’t see anymore things. Why my Street is so messy lately. The last days, I tried to understand things. The one thing that annoyed me is that I lost my curiosity. I was stuck in a state of mind of always doing the same thing. Should I say « light & shadows » ?
      I guess that’s part of my learning. Yesterday I went shooting and I decided to embrace a beginner’s mind. Damn it was so cool. I really loved it. I enjoyed playing with reflections, light, snapping some moments. Well it was as if it was my first time in the Streets. Any good shots ? I don’t know. I haven’t looked through all of them, but I don’t care, it was fun and that’s is the most important thing. I had fun for the first time since a long time !
      I also have to force myself as you said, to go for a walk without a camera, just to feel the streets without any expectations. It would good for the eye and the mind !

      Cheers Helmut !