Looking back to the year 2019 6


December 2018 marked a radical change in the life of my family and mine. Two months earlier I had applied for a return to Reunion Island. After more than 25 years spent in Provence between Aix-en-Provence and Jouques, why want to change ? While it may seem like diving into the unknown, it really wasn’t. Finally more of a little splash. My parents and my sister being over there, our installation would be done without problems. Nevertheless we were aware that we were going to leave life as we had built it in Jouques. Lots of changes in the end for everyone. We had to sell the house we had built, to leave very close friends. Never underestimate a move, especially when it is done with children. They left friends behind. They grew up together and the separation was difficult for them. But as you well know, children are resourceful and have this ability to move forward without looking behind them.

 

Bristol

 

When I knew that I had my transfer to Reunion, I did not jump for joy. It was expected, not really a surprise. Gwen even asked me if I was happy to go there or if I had any regrets. Frankly, staying in Jouques would not have displeased me. I had my friends there, my habits, my routines. Everything was set up like music paper. We knew that the children were going to go to college in the neighboring village and to Aix-en-Provence for high school. So yes now we are on Reunion Island and it will not happen as I had planned, but I have no regrets. I would have stayed in my Aix countryside, but we will also be good here. My children and my wife are happy on Reunion Island and that is enough for me.

 

Île de la Réunion

 

Photographically speaking (because it is still a Photo Blog …), when I knew that I was going to move, I told myself that I only had 2019 to document the streets of Aix -in Provence. I thought until now that I had all the time in front of me. There was no hurry, the next 50 years I was going to hang around the Place de la Mairie, in the small pedestrian streets or on the Cours Mirabeau … The prospect of leaving put a little pressure on me. Each time I went out, I remembered that my days were counted in Aix-en-Provence. Besides, I took advantage of every moment to go hang out in town. What I hadn’t foreseen is, who says transfer, says move. There were a thousand things to do to prepare for our departure. Starting with the sale of the house. It was important to me to sell it myself. Not for the sake of money, but I didn’t want to delegate the sale of the house to a real estate agent. We did well because in the end, we sold it at the price we wanted in just 1 month.

 

Île de la Réunion

 

When I look at my photos between January and October 2019, the date of my arrival in Saint-Denis de la Réunion, I realize that in the end I made quite a few photos in Aix-en-Provence. I have done many in Paris, Bristol, Toulouse, Marseille and even in Reunion. During this first half of 2019, we have moved a lot. Our long-planned holidays in Reunion, our week in Paris and for me short stays in Toulouse, Marseille, Bristol and Rome.

 

Aix-en-Provence

 

My stay this year in Bristol had a special flavor. I had already come to this city in 1998. I have almost no memory of this city apart from the pub which served as a meeting spot. I still spent 3 weeks there … I wanted to go back to find out what I had missed during my student youth. This city exceeded all my expectations. I loved hanging out on its streets. From a street photography perspective, Bristol is a hell of a city. A very heterogeneous population and neighborhoods. Bristol was also not far from Bath where John Harper roams. I wanted to visit him before leaving Jouques. It’s always intimidating to meet people you’ve known through social media. Do we really know people by chatting with them on the internet? And if it was a finished idiot? We create an image of the person with whom we are talking and then comes the moment of confrontation with this person. My fears evaporated as soon as we met. You remember from the Blog that I wrote John Harper: Gentleman Photographer. Well, that’s exactly him ! A person full of humor, very intelligent. I hope only one thing, that we have the opportunity to meet again in the future, here, elsewhere, whatever.

 

Aix-en-Provence

 

When the sales agreement was signed, I granted myself a little Parisian weekend with the blessing of my wife as a reward. I was very stressed by the sale of the house because it was an essential point to settle before leaving. Before the sale, there was some work to do in the house to present it in its best profile. Lots of paperwork too. These 3 days spent in Paris were a reward for all the work done. It was also an opportunity to visit Elizabeth Char had a solo exhibition. It is not at his first show, but it was close to my heart to be present for this still very special moment for photographers. It was also an opportunity to see her one last time before flying to Reunion. This was my second visit to Paris in a few months, except for this great weekend, I was alone in Paris with my Ricoh GR!

 

Paris

 

I also gave myself two little escapades to Rome and Marseille after my wife and my children went to settle in Reunion at the beginning of August to make the kids school start on August 17th. The house was sold, the move made, I was squatting with friends with a few boxes and bags while waiting to leave too. I can say that the last two months spent alone, I lived and breathed Street Photography H24. I don’t think I will experience another period like this. Besides, I came out of this leached period because I benefited a lot from it. I made a first selection of about 100 photos. This first sorting allowed me to see that in the end just 1/3 rd of the photos had been taken in Aix-en-Provence. Quite paradoxical in the sense that I told myself that I was going to make the most of Aix for this past year and in the end, I end up with more photos elsewhere.

 

Aix-en-Provence

 

I was very prolific during these getaways because I was solo and that changes everything ! It’s difficult to do Street Photography when you’re traveling with your family. So those moments I selfishly took advantage of. There was also this urgency to take a lot of photos because I knew that I was not going to come back to these cities soon. 2019 was not over, however, because I also spent the last two months in Reunion. I can’t say that I really started documenting the streets here. I think it will take time to get something consistent. I have time, we plan to stay the rest of our days in Reunion. Finally it must also be the case in Jouques …

 

Bath

 

Ah yes I was supposed to present to you in this Blog my selection of 12 photos to summarize 2019. As every year, it is an almost compulsory exercise, a little like the blooper of December 31 … This selection is very personal and therefore subjective. I went out of curiosity to review my end of year selections for 2016, 2017 and 2018. Through these selections, it is my evolution as a photographer that I see. Less aggressive post-processing, more shades of gray in my Black & White work, more complex compositions, better color management. When I started in 2016, I didn’t think I could take this kind of photo.

 

My best 12

 

 

2019 is also an important year for me because I have definitely given up on social media. I had already deleted my Facebook and 2018 account and at the start of the year, I did the same with Instagram. These photos were nevertheless shared on my YouTube channel that I created this year. I found with this support, the possibility of sharing more photos in the form of slideshows. Speaking of a slideshow, you will not escape my selection for 2019. The selection of the Best Twelve was made on this basis.

 

This Blog concludes this year 2019 which was rich in every way. I wish you a very happy holiday season and I look forward to seeing you next year for new adventures in the tropics !

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Looking back to the year 2019

  • John Wilson

    Thank you, beautiful way start Christmas week! You mentioned your 24hr Street binge, please do not toss the pics that did not make cut, I think you probably have more photos that deserve to be posted, you could call revisiting moving experience, I simply believe your photos in six months would give you another perspective on photos that were excluded this time. My problem is I love both the blog and video, think both excellent and don’t know how many times I revisit during the month. Thank you for all your hard work in creating and sharing them. ENJOY YOUR FAMILY AND CONTINUE KEEPING THEM CLOSE! Regards John

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      Thanks John ! So you’re the guy constantly visiting my blog ! I thought that it was different peoples ! 😉 Kidding ! Thanks man. When I was on facebook and Instagram, I used to share less photos. As I moved away from this social media, I shared more on my Blog and now on my Youtube channel. I share what I want and I’m not sharing for likes or to please anyone. I know that youtube is also some kind of Social Media but I’m not trying to reach any audience. I like that freedom.
      See you next year John !
      Merry Xmas and all the best for 2020 !

  • John Harper

    Man..that slideshow is an education! I know I’ve said this before, but they should be showing your images to photography students, especially those interested in Street Photography…it defines Street, it is how it should be, for me at least that’s the case. Of course I know many of those places. Bristol, Bath, Paris, Rome and even though I’ve never been to Aix I feel as though I know it. I need to get to Reunion next. Just need an excuse:
    Perhaps I could do a documentary style photography book about a family moving to a remote Island. How the children adapt so easily, the mother who loves her new home and the father who’s bitterly disappointed because there are no people on the streets. We’ll close the book with a photo of you sat in a deserted Saint-Denis street, your head in your hands and a broken Ricoh laying in the gutter…hopefully in the rain 😉

    I think that if it’s going to be your forever home you’ll still need a holiday and I’m betting you’ll be back over to Aix or mainland France at some point and that’s when we can arrange another meet up. It was an absolute pleasure to meet you in Bath and again in Bristol. As you said it is with a little trepidation having known someone only in the virtual world, reality is always much better as was proved when meeting the real Jeff Chane-Mouye.

    To you, Gwen and the boys – joyeux Noel et bonne année!

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      This slideshow is interesting for me because through it I see a review of the past year. I did many things this year and had some great travels. Not exotics places but just different from what I’m used to. Bigger cities make it easier to make Street Photography. I’ve already written on this. Size matters ! I don’t want to show any disrespect to people roaming in the streets of Paris, NY, Tokyo or any other major cities, but come on guys it’s damn easy to make Street in your cities ! 😉 Am I envious ? Well hell yes ! It would be a Street Photographer dream comes true to live in a big city. But let face it, I lived in Jouques (4000 people) and now I moved to Saint-Denis (almost 150000 people). A city as big à Aix-en-Provence. I’m used to this size of city. The main differences are that it’s less touristic and it’s a wide city.
      Speaking of holidays, we’re going to Mauritius Island in 2 weeks. All inclusive Resort. It costs me a harm but I gave my left one so I can still carry my Ricoh to do some All Inclusive Resort Street Photography. It could be fun, or if it’s not I will stay at the bar drinking cocktails in the swimming pool …

      Merry Xmas and enjoy your holidays with family and kids !

  • Wayne La

    Great retrospective, Jeff. My brother has also just moved to Bristol though I’m not sure how long, so I’m hoping to get my street shoes out there sooner rather than later. Best of luck to you and your family for the New Year!

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      Hey Wayne,

      Great to hear of you. Bristol is a great city. I loved roaming in the stokes Croft neighbourhood. So alive and arty! I ‘m sure you will love it.
      All the best for the forthcoming year man! More wedding and more street man, give me more street on you insta feed! 👍😊