Behind this shot : A day at the beach 6


This photo was taken at Boucan Canot beach. It was Wednesday and I had decided to take a day off to spend some time with the family because it was the birthday of my wife Gwen. It was early December and since we are in the southern hemisphere, it was the early beginning of summer. Some people must smile when I say that. What do you mean ? Isn’t it always summer in Reunion ? This is not completely untrue. However, we still have two distinct seasons. Southern summer and winter. There can be 10° difference between these two seasons. For the sea, the water must be at 28/29° in January and 23/24° in July. So yes, it is very hot in summer and moderately hot in winter …

 

Ronan

 

We decided to spend the day at the beach to take advantage of this early summer. As it was extremely hot, it was an opportunity to cool off a bit. The children were finishing their first term at school and they were starting to stick out their tongues. This little trip to the beach had a little holiday taste. The children were like madmen and were agitated everywhere. It is for this reason also that we returned to live in Reunion Island. We wanted the children to experience different things. They who love going to the beach, from now on they will be served ! The beaches are not near Saint-Denis where we live, but it’s quite easy to get there. Finally when there are no traffic jams. But above all, you can enjoy it all year round and not 2 months a year like in mainland France.

 

Joachim et Ronan

 

We used to take a dip in the Mediterranean Sea, but the ocean is really different. Here with us outside the lagoon which shelters a multitude of fish, the rest of the coast is wild and it is when there is a little swell, the children have fun being turned in the rollers which are smashed on the beach and bring them off. 10 years ago, it was not yet the shark crisis. Another era. We didn’t swim everywhere but here at Boucan Canot, there was a big surf activity and the whole beach was swimmable. Today things are different. We installed shark nets and no more surfing activity. I remember having come here often and just with a mask and a snorkel, to have seen moray eels, rays, huge groupers … Now I do not venture very far even in the nets.

 

 

Gwen

 

Let’s go back to the photo I presented to you at the start of this Blog. In a somewhat complicated period with the Metoo, the scandals that regularly arise, I do not know if this photo that I share will be well understood. I’m just documenting what I see on the street. In this case it was at the beach. Children like to splash around in the small natural saltwater pool which is next to the main beach. I had made a similar photo last February. Since I have been doing street photography, my eyes are alert and clearly there, I had colorful and similar elements that caught my attention, in addition to the bikini … For those who are wondering, these are pineapple buoys. It’s quite exotic, but I remind you that we are on an island!

 

 

Do you see how crystal clear the water is on this February day? You will not see the color of the water on July 4, 2019, for good reason that I preferred to post-process the photos in Black & White. The water was somewhat greenish. This pool has a big problem. The water does not renew itself regularly and if there is not a little swell to pass sea water on the other side of the rocks, the water tends to cloud. It was the case that day. The pool was still swimmable but it was a little green. I was also discussing this with the gentleman in the photo when I saw his gaze turn to the entrance to the pool. I quickly understood what had caught his attention. What is funny is that I saw him pose with his elbows resting on his knee to calmly watch the girl. Some will find it offensive and I understand that it can annoy or make it uncomfortable for girls to be constantly ogled everywhere they go. There was nothing nasty in his attitude, I even had the impression that he was even posing like a peacock would deploy his tail to signify that he was there.

 

 

 

It was a nice day and as usual, it allowed me to document a little the life of my kids in Reunion, but it also allowed me to do Beach Street Photography and to continue my Beach please series ! As  a side note, you can see that all the galleries have been removed from my website. I experienced some problems after installing Polylang. From now, you can select English or French to read the Blog section. I’m working on the issues to bring back the Galleries … 

 

 

All the photos were made with the Ricoh GR.

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6 thoughts on “Behind this shot : A day at the beach

  • John Harper

    All you can do is document and here we have a predator about to pounce on his prey…well, not literally, but in his mind perhaps. MeToo or not, we can’t fight or pretend that evolution has progressed to such a stage where men or women aren’t going to be attracted to one another. It’s a terrific shot.
    I’m beginning to see a part of Island Life, once you’re more settled then it could be a fascinating project. Totally different than Aix, but documenting in that inimitable style of yours. Those boys are having the time of their lives, a wonderful opportunity for them.
    My sister and her husband live by the sea in Devon, southern England. They swim most mornings and I can tell you they’re usually delighted when they hear the sea temperature has reached 12c. Most of the time it’s like dipping into Liquid Nitrogen, you scream a lot and your skins turns blue…no sharks though, otherwise you’d scream a lot and go red!

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      Some people think that we are just voyeurs. I’d like to think that we are more witness of our world. We are not responsible of people’s behaviour. All we can do as you said is to document life around us.
      I don’t know exactly what to expect from Reunion island. Things are really different from Aix. Fewer people in the streets, less crowded, more difficult to photograph…If things were pretty easy now in Aix, time will be needed to feel at home in reunion.

      • John Harper

        I’m not sure how you’re going to play it. Your style needs plenty of people around, well, we all need that, but a different dynamic in Reunion than Aix. I’ve already noticed that and I suppose what most would do is go and talk to the people that you see, get to know them, get invited into their homes…all that kind of stuff. Perfect for a documentary photographer, of course that doesn’t really help if you want to shoot Street. You’d end up with posed, concocted images, which are fine, but not candid which is what really makes us tick.
        Back to your shot here. My full attention was with the guy, his body shape and positioning. I noticed the legs sticking out from behind the rock left of frame. Then I saw the bikini woman. The problem today is that people presume and generally they presume too much. I get people (men & women) give me a look because they think I’m taking a photo of them and I think..”you’re not interesting enough, get over yourself, you’re not that special”. That can apply occasionally to some women in the Street too, for some reason they think because we’re men we must be attracted to them, or have some kind of sinister motive. It’s not true. Anyway, your shot is all about Street, composition, storytelling, compelling the viewer to look a little deeper. Noting whatsoever to do with any hashtags.

        • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

          I love street over everything. Documentary demands more time and commitment. You need to think before going shooting. Not saying that street is about randomness, but you just go with the flow. I like that freedom.
          To be franck, I didn’t see the legs behind the rocks when I took the shot. Post processing revealed that detail. The kind of detail you can’t pay attention if you had looked at it on Instagram or Facebook.
          I’m not confident enough in the streets here to be daredevil. I’m afraid of what people might think. In Aix, I was fearless because I owned this territory. I was at home. Here on Réunion Island, I don’t feel like home yet. I haven’t spent enough time on the streets.
          The other reason is that it’s very very hot at this time. Roaming the streets is just a pain in the ass. You just want to stay in the shade to cool down…

  • John Wilson

    Fantastic great to hear from you and Jean Perenet in the same day! My feeling is God gave us eyes use them,people get to hung up on this me too Crap, if you can’t admire beauty of any kind what’s the point! Thank you for the photos hope you and the family stay healthy and wish you and yours a MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR.

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      We live in a world who has lost his innocence. Everything is suspicious now. Not saying that if was better years ago. Things were different. We are here to document those changes. Our might seem insignifiant now but pretty sure that we will look back at these photo differently on a few years.
      Wish you all the best for 2020!
      Have a great time with your living ones!