Behind this shot : Cartoon life 2


Do you remember the oldest of you Space Jam ? The movie released in 1996 where Bugs Bunny gives the answer to his Airness : Michael Jordan ? It was not the first film of its kind because in 1988 was released Who framed Roger Rabbit, a film also mixing cartoon characters with real actors. This afternoon, before picking up Joachim from school, I passed a store that asked a graphic designer from Reunion to work with them on a collection of clothes. This is Vast.

I don’t know him, but his world is quite colorful. The store in question therefore installed two cartoon characters on the street fixed on metal plates. So there was a dog and a young boy. The colors are very bright and unfortunately the sun was not there at the end of the afternoon. I stayed a bit to figure out how to build my photo. What was obvious was that I was going to play on this discrepancy between real characters and these cartoon characters.

I had my idea in mind and I stayed a long time waiting for a dog to pass by. I waited 40 mins and no dog … This is Street Photography. The school of frustration. You are not in the studio. Situations arise, the light is what it is and it’s up to you to deal with what you have at hand. Alex Coghe often says, very aptly, that he sees Street Photography as a visual equation to be solved. I don’t think that’s always the case, but very often I can’t help but agree with it.

Here I had several ideas in mind. Such a colorful dog is bound to attract attention on the street, but people must be jaded because in the end, no one paid attention. Even the children did not linger. Only one little boy stopped to touch this cardboard dog. On Saturdays, people might be more relaxed and hang out more with their toddlers, but I don’t have time to go to Saint-Denis during the weekend … I also tried to integrate this fake dog in a scene as if someone was walking with their dog, but it didn’t work. The photos are interesting, but not really what I wanted.

This dog had heart-shaped glasses and was winking. I told myself that I could play with the slightly naughty side of this dog who would have eyes that pop out of his head like in the cartoons. I took a lower point of view to compose that the legs of passers-by. There of course, the ideal would have been to have a young woman in a skirt with heels that would pass. Much like the photo I exchanged with Elizabeth Char which you can see here. Incidentally, it’s just a sublime photo ! But no, none of that. I had to do with what I had.

What bothered me the most was the black plinth that carried this cartoon dog. Switching the photos to Black & White made it possible to make this metal plate less distracting, but took the interest away from the photo. I tried to cut off his legs a bit so that it looked like a real fake dog. Are you still following me there ? It was then that I saw this postal van arrive and was drawn to the similarity of the colors. I showed it to my children and it made them laugh, this contrast between the cartoon dog and a real life scene. And they were wondering how I had done that ? It’s a pretty simple photo and in the end it works.

All the photographs were made with the Ricoh GRD4.

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2 thoughts on “Behind this shot : Cartoon life

  • John Harper

    You’ve been at that photoshop again 😉
    It really does work with the postal van, although it would be chasing the postman in reality. Actually I also like the the black and white attempts. Next time you’re there I bet you’ll get a completely different set of shots, whether they’ll be any better is anyone’s guess. I went back to Bristol this week to rework some scenes I thought might be good…they weren’t…bloody Street Photography!!!

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      It’s something I’ve already tried. Going to a same place because I felt that a place or scenery would be worth photographying again. As you said, it rarely works … Most of the time, I try to reproduce what I have already done and in the end, I give up …It’s all about the mindset. You mentaly build your image but you forget that the street offers what it wants. You have to deal with it and have no expectations. In this exemple, the sun could make a difference with brigth sun on the dog and the plate in the shadow, but frankly, I don’t think that I will look for more interesting shots from this place