The Littoral Series : Introduction and Lady of the Ferry

Mid-August and Paris is half empty as most Parisians have headed to the beach. So this is the perfect timing for a new summer series, similar to last year’s « Countryside series ».

This year I enrolled in a week long photography course in the city of Arles led by Eric Bouvet, a photo reporter that won several prestigious awards during his long career, mostly as a war photographer. Together with 11 other students, Eric taught us how to approach and build a reportage from daily shoots to the final editing. So here we went in great fun to the nearby beaches, campings, harbours or islands in search of shots to build a serie on the theme of the « Littoral zone » in French Camargue. We were limited to 50 shots a day (though I admit I did go over the quota in quite a few instances) that were all printed and commented by Eric at the end of each day. The last day was dedicated to the final editing of each students’ series and resulted in a joint display at the Rencontres d’Arles photography Festival. Over the next two weeks, I will therefore post some of my keepers and favourite shots as well as some hindsights on what I learnt. I will then end by a slideshow of the 12 pictures that made the « final cut ».

So here we start by The Lady of the Ferry. This elegant woman had gone for a day at the beach on the Frioul Islands and remained admirably quiet and cooperative as a herd of amateur paparrazis pointed their cameras at her in the boat commuting back at sunset. This picture was taken as the ferry entered the Marseilles harbour. I took a few shots of her but I believe it was the best due to the tight framing, the woman’s puzzling expression and the out of focus boat masts in the background. Yet this shot did not make it to the final cut. (click on picture to enlarge)


Leica M9 with 60mm Hexanon at F1.4, 1/1500, ISO200

2 Responses to “The Littoral Series : Introduction and Lady of the Ferry”

  1. Maarten B. dit :

    This promises to become a great series just judging from the first photo. I can’t wait. I’ll like the repetition of the forms and colors and the impressionistic background which could be by one of the famous French painters.

  2. Fotoleica dit :

    It is generous of you to share your experience of this course. I too would like the tight framing and out of focus background (so beloved of Leica shooters) so I am surprised that it was not chosen