This will surprise some of you to see that RSS feed come back to life, but street photography in Paris is back for a month. Indeed, I’ll be in Paris shooting street for a full month so will be posting daily pictures from there. Not on this website though, so please refer to my new blog at http://www.yanidel.net
As you might have noticed, I haven’t posted much pictures lately. It is probably a good sign that my archive is running low of pictures worthy of being shown. We left Paris 10 months ago, and though I still have a lot of unshown pictures, I feel that the quality is not there anymore. For that reason, I guess it is better that I suspend the postings indefinitely.
Street photography « in Paris » ends, yet it goes on in other parts of the world. You can therefore follow my daily postings of our Round the world trip at my new website, http://www.yanidel.net .
Alternatively, I have created a « Yanidel Street Photography » Facebook page which I update daily.
Thank you so much for all of you that have followed this blog over the years. Thank you for all the comments, emails and sometimes friendships that were created through this blog.
And who knows, we might head back to Paris sometimes in the future !
I am proud to let you know that my book « Little Crimes of Paris » has been selected for the People Choice Award of the Photography Book Now competition. If you purchased it and like it or just want to give me a little help, please followthis link and vote for my book !
I am proud to announce that my first book is on sale on Blurb. « Little Crimes of Paris » is a series of two pages crime stories, that is associations of apparently unrelated candids taken over a three years period. In the respect of the street photography tradition, all scenes depicted are unstaged, unplanned and of unknown people. Like the blog itself, the book has a high touch of surrealism and lyricism. Obviously, all depicted crimes are fictious, and I am sure that they’ll put your imagination at work.
Many of the pictures included in the book have been posted on this website, yet others will be completely new to you. They all have been carefully re-processed and adapted for printing on the book’s 25 x 20 cm (10″x 8″) format. Note that two versions of the book are available, that is on regular and premium paper. Blurb also allows you to select the type of cover, that is soft or hard. I recommend the premium paper + hard cover version, yet the lower cost regular paper is also of good quality. You can preview the 20 first pages in the widget below.
For the regular paper version (80 pages, starts at €23.95, $28.45), click here or through the preview below.
For the premium paper version (starts at €27.24, $32.34), click here.
A big thanks in advance to all of you that will purchase it. It took me several years of shooting and months of editing to come up with a book that I feel proud to offer for sale. So I hope you will enjoy « Little Crimes of Paris » and do not hesitate to give your feedback here.
Note that Blurb handles payment, printing and shipping. I have ordered several times from them and have been very satisfied with the quality of their products. Also, in case of defects or bad quality of a print, Blurb will either offer you a return or reprint.
This start of the year seems to be full of exciting competition for street photographers. Indeed, a new event named the London Street Photography Festival will feature the first International Street Photography Award. Submissions end on March 31st and the Festival will take place in July. To read more about it, click here or on picture.
As a side note, I always struggled to find a good definition for what street photography is. I think the directors of the Festival did come up with a very good one : “candid, un-staged photography which captures, explores or questions contemporary society and the relationships between individuals and their surroundings.”
I am proud to announce you the launch of www.yanidel.net. A website that will document my 80 weeks trip around the world. More interactivity, more contents and larger pictures with a new zoom feature. Hope you will enjoy it, it is still work in progress but it should be running full speed a few weeks from now.
As for this blog, I will still update it and for as long as I find worthy contents in my archive.
Prophotoresource.com is dedicating a full month to street photography, which is an amazing initiative. I was invited to participate as guest writer with an article on the topic of « Luck in street photography ». Click here to discover it !
Leica M9 with 90mm Tele Elmarit at F2.8, 1/250, ISO1600
After five wonderful years in the City of Lights, our last night in Paris has arrived. My state of mind is like this picture, some shadows on the Sacré Coeur but a bright horizon line full of adventures.
Indeed, two weeks from now, a new adventure will start: 80 weeks around the world. I will launch a new photoblog dedicated to this trip as street photography will be a big part of it. Meanwhile, and for a few months, I will keep posting Paris shots on this blog. I have always tried to post shots taken during the current week, but from now on I will have to turn to my archives. I hope you will not mind but be sure that the day I feel I have no more quality shots to show, it will end.
So stay tuned for the launch of 80 weeks around the soon. First stage of the trip will be a far away country whose capital is very reminiscient of Paris ! I’ll let you guess ;) (click on picture to enlarge)
Leica M9 with 90mm Tele-Elmarit at F8, 1/500, ISO200
We are already at week 6 of the Street Photography Now Project. This week instruction was « Never overlook a cliché » by Artem Zhitenev. It got me to reflect on what can be considered as a cliché picture, especially in Paris. Indeed Paris, together with New York, is historically the city most concurred by street photographers and has probably been shot upside down throughout the last century. It makes it difficult to innovate and showcase the city in a different way then what has been done before. In some ways, any shot taken in Paris becomes almost instantly a cliché and when I look at my archives, I am sure that a very high percentage would fit the cliché category. But in the end, does it matter ? What has been done before has never been done in 2010, so even if so themes and composition are recurring throught the years, we shoot yours times with our own vision.
Making abstracton fo it, if I would have to define a cliché shot in Paris, I would mention, love, glamour, art, bohemia and the great humanist tradition. This is what I think I found in the shot I submitted. It was taken by the Alexander III bridge as this girl waved towards her boyfriend for a reunion. (click on picture to enlarge)
Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/3000, ISO200
I took a picture of this Mercedes in a street by Les Halles, probably attracted by its weird orange color. A couple of minutes later, I crossed path with that lady and automatically took her picture. That reason became clearer while reviewing the sequence of these shots : it looks like our brain has an inconscious short term memory of colors and structures, or who knows, a special ability to detect a link between a car and its owner. (click on picture to enlarge)
Both shots with Leica M9, 50mm Summicron, 1/500, ISO200
Some of you asked me to post an autoportrait yesterday. So to make it more interesting than just a guy sitting in front of a camera, here is a series of autoportraits straight from my bath tube. I let you guess by looking at these the way I dress before I hit the street. Answers given after the pictures… (click on pictures to enlarge)
All taken with Leica M9, 50mm Summicron at F2, ISO800
Answer : Well, except for a a few details, 1, 3 and 5 are definitely outfits you could see me with in the street. While 2 and 4 would need quite a few bottles of wine before, but you never know. Morale of this post : it doesn’t matter how you dress as a street photographer, no need to look like a black ninja to hit the street. Stay cool, act normal and enjoy !
Sometimes this week, this blog reached the count of 1 million unique visits and is now running at a daily rate of about 4’000 visits. I’d like therefore to thank all of you that have been following this blog, I am very honoured and happy to see all that interest in street photography and Paris. Also a special thanks to the many that have commented, sent me emails and to all the great people that I have met in person. It has been a great learning and human experience for me.
It does not stop here but I take this opportunity to announce that we will be leaving Paris by the end of the year. Time for new horizons and for new adventures : 80 weeks around the world ! I plan to maintain this blog and its one picture a day routine, but more to come on this exciting trip soon ….
Meanwhile, time to get ready and buy a backpack as the sun sets on my Paris years …. (click on picture to enlarge)
Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/750, ISO200
I spotted this girl getting ready to hit the street with her Vespa and took a first shot unnoticed. Yet the only way to have a composition with depth (the street behind) was to position myself in front of her. I took the risk and unluckily got spotted before I could take that second shot. I therefore asked if she did not mind that I take her picture, to which she agreed. I could have asked her to act and look somewhere else, but by doing so, I would have created a fake street scene. I would not have felt confortable doing so, I always feel there is something unethical about it.
In the end, I like the aesthetics of the picture, yet to me it is a portrait more than a street photography shot. (click on picture to enlarge)
Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/180, ISO800
When you don’t ask for permission before taking a shot, you obviously expose yourself to all kind of reactions. In very few instances, people will get mad and start arguing with you. Their arguments almost exclusively revolve about the fact that they think it is illegal to have their picture taken in the street, which is incorrect. My best advice here is to just smile, apologize and go away. Don’t waste your time, you’ll never succeed to convince them and once you have engaged in the discussion, it will only be a slippery slope.
This being said, I never had an argument become physical. And only twice in the last three years did someone show me the middle finger when I took their picture. One of them happened actually last evening, though I am almost sure that this sympathetic woman didn’t really mean her gesture. (click on picture to enlarge)
Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/60, ISO200
One of the question I often get is whether I ask permission to my subjects before I photograph them. The answer is a straightforward no. There are two reasons for that : first, scenes unfold and fold very quickly, most of the time what attracts your eyes initially is gone in a second. If you ask for permission, that scene will be gone forever and what you recreate will simply be untrue to your first vision. Secondly and let’s face it, most people are terrible actors. Asking for permission will mean that your subjects will start to act, or at least try. Yet unless you crossed path with Sean Connery, the awful acting will also show on your picture.
To illustrate, let’s take a look at the scene below. I spotted that dandy from about 50 meters out. I then moved as discreetly as I could until I reached the postion I had selected. I quickly kneeled and took the shot, it is clearly a candid as the man attitude remained unaltered by my presence. The man then spotted me and asked me « Can’t you ask for permission first? ». I answered to him straight away that I wanted to keep the spontaneity of the scene. His reply to that was « I understand, that is a good reason ». (click on picture to enlarge)
Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/2000, ISO200
We then chatted for a while and I asked permission for a close-up portrait. This leads me to this advice : when shooting strangers, take shots as long as you remain unspotted (if you ever are). Then deal with the reaction and do not be afraid of people. Being photographed by a stranger can be perceived as an intrusion so be ready to explain and be honest about it. People will react much better then if you simply walk away. Coming back to that man I met on Les Champs-Elysées, I think I got lucky since is acting wasn’t all that bad. (click on picture to enlarge)
Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/2000, ISO200
In an earlier post, I mentioned how one’s photography is often influenced by the work of other photographers. Nevertheless, inspiration really comes from any fact of life, be it of your daily existence or fiction as seen on TV. Last night I saw the awards winning French film ‘Ne le dis à personne’ (‘Don’t tell anyone’) which features a man searching for his wife who he tought was dead. As the thriller comes to an end, they are supposed to meet in the entrance of the Parc Monceau, next to its famous rotunda, for the long awaited reunion. Unluckily, the woman has to run away as killers break in the scene, and it delays the Happy Ending. By coincidence, the rotunda of the Parc Monceau is on my way to the dentist. So a few hours ago, as I was reluctantly walking there for a session of suffering, I crossed path with that couple in front of the rotunda. The movie immediately popped to my mind as I suddenly had the opportunity to create my Happy Ending version of the movie. Though perhaps, something in the eyes of the girl could let you think that the new story was not all that over. But I’ll leave it to your own inspiration. (click on piture to enlarge)
Leica M9 with 60mm Hexanon at F1.4, 1/2000, ISO200