Behind this shot : Riverside 2 7

This photo was taken two months ago on the banks of a river that we like to frequent with my boys. We discovered this place a year ago. Reunion is a fairly amazing island. It is relatively small because the tour of the island is just over 200 km. As it is very mountainous with a summit which culminates at 3070 m in the center of the island and a current of wind which blows from east to west (the Alizés), we have a West coast rather always sunny and dry ( the beaches) which contrasts with an east coast which is rather green and therefore damp. This river is located in the east of the island.



It was one of those days when we wanted to take a dip in the lagoon on the West Coast. Unfortunately the road leading to the beaches runs for ten kilometers along a cliff where the rocks have the annoying tendency to fall on the road when there is heavy precipitation. That day, the road had been closed and if we wanted to go to the West of the island we had to endure traffic jams of several kilometers and agree to lose several hours in the car … We preferred to leave for the East of the island and that’s how we discovered the Blue Basin. I invite you to re-read a Blog that I wrote last year on this basin.




This time here, we decided to have a picnic by the river. If there is something quite impressive among the Creoles, it is their love of picnic. It’s a real religion here. Whether on the beaches, by the rivers or elsewhere, the Creole takes out the big artillery. We bring tables, chairs, tarpaulins to shelter from the sun, straps, the generator, the sound system, pots, kitchen utensils and all the raw materials for cooking. And you have to be there early ! Places are expensive because you come very early to reserve your place. Basically at 9am you will be happy if there are still kiosks and tables available. Once installed, you can start cooking over a wood fire.



That day we spent it with the family and the weather was quite capricious. Besides, in the middle of the afternoon, a fairly heavy rain ended the day. It was not a big deal, we had been there since 10am and we had already enjoyed it. The Reunionese are used to this weather. We know very well that you have to get up early and make the most of it because the weather tends to get worse during the day. The water was very cool but really nice because it was very hot and the weather was heavy.



My children and Gwen went for a dip and as usual, I like to hang out by the river to take some pictures. I am quite discreet and very quickly I spotted a place where a small group of young people had also just arrived. As they started to jump into the water. I got a little closer to them to try to work on this scene. I like it when it’s teeming with people and it’s a bit of chaos with action. I like these scenes because it forces me to organize this chaos to get something interesting out of it, something readable. I recently read a Blog by Alex Coghe on this subject which illustrates very well my way of taking photos.



I made a dozen photos in less than 10 mins of this little scene that took place in front of my eyes. The photo I present at the opening of this Blog is my favorite. It is that which characterizes the action which took place around the basin. The action is frozen with the boy who is half submerged. We also have life on the left side of the photo with the attitude of the boy in red underpants. The tilted horizon adds tension and dynamism to the photo. The colors to finish are bright and the black skins of the boys have a lot of texture.



I spent the rest of the day documenting our picnic outing. I took a lot of photos that day. I love these family outings because I always manage to give myself a little time to do a little Street Photography. I do not focus on it to also enjoy these good times spent with family. Even if Street Photography is important to me, I keep in mind that the family comes first.



All the photos were made with the Ricoh GR.



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7 thoughts on “Behind this shot : Riverside 2

  • John Harper

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….your two boys are living the dream! It really is great to see and read about part of your daily life, also some facts about Reunion. Looks like paradise.

    I like the shot of the boys carrying the basket and the one of the dog. Of course the feature is that series you shot of these boys jumping into the river. I think you made the right selection, but equally as good is shot No 8. It has nice layering, the gestures, the tones and it’s not until you open it up to as large as possible that it’s fully appreciated. Nice work Jeff as always.

    Cheers. John.

    Oh, yes. Number 11 is outstanding too.

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      Photos lie! Looks like paradise but it ain’t paradise. Being stuck for a long time in trafic jam getting kids to school, being eaten by mosquitos, the overwhelmed humid heat… Make you realise that this island like other places has some flaws. But you’re right about it. It’s a nice place to be. Kids can’t agree more. We were not sure that they would adapt so easily.
      What I like about this island is that you have totally different landscapes and mood depending on the place you’re on the island. They are still some places that see little tourists and are very authentic. And there is this kind of innocence you can’t find anywhere else. Like these kids having fun in the river. It’s funny because you mentioned the #8, and I long think that this one was the one of the series. For the same reasons as you. Layers, gestures and captured as if they were posing. But I chose the other one because of the action that was taking place on the banks.
      Anyways kids are always wonderful subjects to photograph. They don’t feint, they just have fun.

      Best regards John!

      • John Harper

        Number 5 was the right choice I think. Many would possibly have chosen Number 6 with the diver in mid air, five and eight are much better. Of course it’s subjective.
        Incidentally, agree on Alex’s blog. I’ve tried many times to subscribe over the years, but never receive anything for some reason.

        Have a great weekend…photos never lie, admit you’re living in paradise 😉

  • Alex Coghe

    Thanks for ther link to my blog. Always interesting your writing. In some way I feel you very close to my approach and is incredible when this happens, especially for the fact we never met in person, we live pretty far, we are working in total different countries and cultures. Nice work here, and I love the frame analysis you made. Keep up the good work, mate!

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      I also feel that connection Alex. Your blog is one among few I read on a regular basis. You’re true and your vision of photography speaks to me. For a few years I have seen your photography evolve and your writing inspire me to question myself about what I see, about how I photograph, about life in general.
      You’re right, we are thousands miles away but I feel close to you. Photography has no boundaries .

      Best regards Alex.