Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Paris in the Spring, Mark 1.

Oh dear. Good in one sense, to see that motorcyclists in France suffer from White Van Man idiots just as we do here. But the way the French scooter riders ride! They make our chaps look a tad tame in comparison.

Paris in the Spring. Mark 2.

Should you photograph a garden from a ladder? I'm not convinced. By doing so, you present a view that mere mortals would never see.

What if it looks better from a ladder? A garden is designed for people to work rest and play in. There's little to say that gardens are best enjoyed from the top of a ladder. There's even less evidence to show that garden owners are forever popping to the top of their ladders to enjoy their gardens.

Everything in photography is 'manipulated' to some extent, from what the photographer includes/crops out, to the light (often artificial), to the choice of lens and so on. But let's get some semblance of honesty here. Why not shoot the garden as a person (or child) would see it; from ground level? At least that would reduce the "it doesn't look like that in the brochure" comments. Some idiot once said that the photograph never lies. Just for the record, here's a shot of me, on a ladder, photographing a garden.
It's a self portrait, honest!

Jardin Jardins

Champagne house Laurent Perrier sent me to photograph Jinny Blom's sculpture which was exhibited at the French Garden Show Jardins Jardins. Inspired by seeds (no doubt hugely influenced by my seed photography) these large pods dominated the location in the Tuileries Garden in central Paris. The work was in great company too, as one had to pass Henry Moore's reclining figure (1951) to reach the Laurent Perrier stand.

This was the first time I had worked for this company in France. Zut alors! They looked after us like no other client has got near to. There's a serious point here. Many Continental Europeans have a very healthy attitude (along with a lot of Americans) towards photography, and by association, photographers. If we went even half way towards where these others are, our profession would be a far jollier place to work in.


I was always made to wear one as a child at school, no doubt they were compulsory "in those days". But at some stage of growing up, they became deeply uncool for me. They still persist, though the sight of a string vest on a building site is indeed rare, no doubt because it's covered up by a high visibility vest. So, there's progress, string vests usurped by high vis versions. Why not bet me a date by when we all have to wear high vis vests, just to venture out side.......

Summer Days

Mean some early starts to get on location for sunrise. For once, the roads are clear, and travel times shorten to something sensible. I know of at least one photographer who camps in his camper van next to the shoot, in order to arrive promptly for photography. Maybe that's the way to do it....

It's also a chance to stand alone in the countryside, listening to just the animals and birds, without the intrusion of human generated noise. I really don't miss the emergency sirens that endlessly surround us here in South London.