That’s it, it’s been more than 15 days that we are confined to our home. Not being essential to work (I am still in training), I was asked to stay at home until further notice. The children do not have school either and we are supposed to teach them every day. After just 1 week, I came to the conclusion that this virus was not very bad and that the children should go back to school … More seriously, I find that the children live confinement rather well. My parents’ house is very large and they also have at their disposal the garden with a concrete section which allows them to ride a scooter. We make them work in the morning and part of the afternoon, but it has a little holiday taste for them. Not really for us …
It was in March 2016 that I started doing Street Photography. Just 4 years ago. I did not expect to blow out these four candles confined to my home. Things are what they are. I don’t know how long it will last. Our Minister of Education, JM Blanquer has already announced that he did not see the students returning to classes before the beginning of May … As I no longer have the opportunity to go out, I had the idea of reviewing all the photos (yes in their entirety!) that I had taken in 2016. It was quite fast because I lost all the RAW files of my photos from this year because of a hard drive that didn’t like hitting the ground … So I had only jpegs. The raw files were therefore lost.
Revisiting ones work is interesting because you realize how far you have come in these years. My photos are very anchored in this year. In 2016, I discovered Street Photography and my work had been greatly influenced by that of Eric Kim. Very contrasting and quite dirty photos. I have the impression that what distinguishes what I do today from what I did in 2016 is mainly due to processing. I shared a lot of photos in my blogs and other slideshows (What you haven’t seen). Do not think I have lots of pearls not yet shown. No none of that.
A lot of people have discovered my work with the portrait of this old man I had met on the Prado beach in Marseille. In 2016, I was still looking for myself and I thought that doing street portraits was Street Photography. I had seen this man coming back from the beach. I found a phony excuse to speak to him. I asked him why he had a bracelet written on it: “Ville de Marseille”. After chatting with him a bit, I asked him if it bothered me if I took a picture of him. I made a series of 5 to 6 photos using the flash. The result you know with this portrait where we could mistake him for Picasso.
Frankly, I would be unable to take this kind of photos today. Not technically because it’s just close up with flash. No, it’s just the process. When I started Street Photography, I did a lot of street portraiture, but that doesn’t interest me anymore. I prefer to witness what is happening in front of me on the street. I try to interfere as little as possible with the course of things.
2017 was more difficult to revisit. I discovered light/shadows this year and I can tell you that I took advantage of it … Almost 90% of my work this year carries the bucket of this photographic style which I hate now. There are a number of tasteless photos on my HDD that I took this year. Photos empty of content with just this light/shadows gimmick (Shade at -100 and contrast). I have lived for many years in an area where the sun shines almost every day. I have already discussed this with John Harper. Believe it or not, but now I much prefer to take pictures in overcast situations. I no longer like these strong contrasts that the sun imposes on us. We must position ourselves in relation to the sun, whereas very often it is the scene that dictates our positioning in the street. The sun only complicates my work. It’s like Black & White. By removing the color, some find it easier because we no longer have the color to manage. In cloudy weather, I remove the sun setting. In the end, I find it easier to take photos with a flat light than with the sun which imposes strong contrasts on me.
There too on 2017, I did not discover treasures by revisiting all my work of this year. I nevertheless found it quite amusing to immerse myself in these old photos. Through all this work, I saw myself again in the streets of Aix-en-Provence. I also realized that my style has changed a lot since I started in 2016. I am no longer attracted to the same things. I intend in my next blog to revisit 2017 & 2018. In the meantime I leave you with a short slideshow of photos that I have not shown so far.
All the photographs were made with the Fuji XE2 and the Ricoh GRD4.