Behind this shot : YMY 5

Before anyone gets on me about this photo I took on the beach last week, I’d like to say that I’m completely comfortable with it. Yes, it’s sexy and yes, it was taken with a man’s eye. Let’s go back a bit. Last Thursday I decided to take the boys to the beach. For the occasion, Nathan, a friend of Joachim’s, accompanied us as he had spent the night at our place. Our initial plan was to go to Boucan Canot in the west, as the children love this beach. Unfortunately, a strong wind and swell warning had been issued for the west coast and south of the island. The direct consequence was that the nets were not installed at Boucan and so swimming was impossible. We decided to go further south of the island to Etang Salé beach.



This beach is located in the south-west of the island and is a black sand beach. Although most of Réunion’s beaches have golden-coloured sand, we do have a few beaches with black sand. We rarely go to Etang Salé because it’s quite far from where we live. This time, we went there because it was a little less windy. First surprise: the flag is red and swimming is therefore prohibited ! Here too, the lifeguards have received instructions. But there were quite a few people in the water and the children did as the others did and threw themselves into the waves ! It has to be said that Yellow Vigilance takes effect at 4pm. But the lifeguards had already put up the red flag in the morning so they wouldn’t have to get everyone out of the water at 4pm. From what I understand, given the number of people in the water, swimming is tolerated. At least that’s my interpretation.



Nevertheless, I ask the children to stay on the shore and not to go too far. All they want to do is roll around in the waves and come back to the shore with 3 kgs of sand in their swimming costumes ! Etang Salé beach is much wilder than Boucan. The black sand is much finer and the photo results are amazing, with beautiful reflections when the sand is wet.



As usual, I’m hanging out at the water’s edge with my Ricoh GRD IV to take photos of my children, but I’m also on the alert for any photo. I have a keen eye, whether in town or on the beach. As you can imagine, these two girls didn’t go unnoticed when they arrived on the beach. You can see them in the photo taken of Ronan making mud out of the black sand.



I’m still snapping at my kids, who are playing silly buggers and having the time of their lives. They should be. It’s still the holidays and I envy their carefree attitude !



Like any photographer, I’m attracted to extremes. It can be beautiful people like here, or people with a more unattractive physique. In fact, I need something out of the ordinary. That’s essentially what catches my eye in the first place. Of course, that’s not enough. I need something else. I need to tell a story. I love the freedom I have as a street photographer. With just a frame I can tell a story with the composition I choose. Here, two gentlemen in their late fifties came out of the water and stood right next to me. At the same time, my two naiads took each other by the hand and headed for the waves. I quickly framed and clicked because I knew I had a great photo with this man in the foreground.



It’s easy to see that the man in the foreground, with his stout build, is a mature man. The contrast between him and the two young girls walking away is striking. It looks as if the man is telling himself: “Man! I wish I was younger… Times flies away…” In fact you could imagine any story about this scenery. As you can see, I got a bit splashed by my boys and micro-droplets on my lens caused the blur. I’m quite happy with the result. The last important element of the photo is the tilted horizon. It adds an enormous amount of dynamism to the photo. So no, this isn’t just a photo of two young girls in thongs. That would be a rather facile shortcut !

All the photos were made with the Ricoh GRD IV.

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5 thoughts on “Behind this shot : YMY

  • John Harper

    It’s a great candid photo. What we’re seeing is something out of the ordinary, makes no difference whether they’re beautiful or otherwise. A scene attracts us, our eye is caught. No matter the subject matter (I’m going to get a patent on that phrase!). We’re drawn to a possibility of a good photographic frame because that’s what we’re looking for, nothing else and nothing more.

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      The worst thing that could happen is to censor myself. Sometimes I don’t take pictures not because of censorship but just because I don’t feel connected to what i’m seeing. We’re only capturing and recording what is happening just in front of us. Anybody that pays attention could see the same thing as us. What we do is creating something by selecting what we put in the frame. It’s our way to tell a story. I can link this photo to another one I took in boucan canot. Might write a blog on that…

  • John Wilson

    Not knowing your beautiful piece of heaven on earth island, what is meant by your statement on other beach that nets aren’t out? Since you obviously make me jealous of your work and I assume quite a few others can I ask your opinion of the gr3 models? Thank you

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      The nets prevent us from the sharks! We had a few shark attacks and now it’s forbidden to swim outside those nets. Like in Australia. When there is too much swell, of course the nets are useless and swimming is forbidden.
      You know my opinion on the GR3. It’s not for me a good camera. Overheating, bad ergonomic, no flash, Lame AF… frankly, I trust more my GRD IV…
      I don’t know about the GR3x as I have never tested this camera. I ‘m a 28mm shooter and I’ ll be 50, by the end of the year. So let say that I don’t like changing my habits ! 😉 a camera I had really a lot of fun shooting with is the GR. The 16 MP one. A very good camera, except from the downside of gathering dust on the sensor…

  • John Wilson

    Thank you for your insight, my grd4 is superb and gr11 w conversion lens. Will have to find the GR Jean Pete net loves his interchangeable lens GR maybe I can find one of them, now get back your vacation