Category Archives: City Streets

Introducing Colour : Urban Uk Photography of Ordinary Places

Introducing Colour : Urban Uk Photography

Introducing colour ? Up till now I’ve only shared black and white photos on this site but I’m taking an interest in colour . Until the digital era, I only rarely took colour photographs but now that I use digital capture all my photographs start out as colour even if I end up converting most of them to black and white. Colour is incredibly flexible in digital and these photos constitute  my first “playing around” with colour. And since I’ve started this personal work ,I find myself looking more and more intensely at the colours around me, not so much in the pursuit of some accuracy but as a comparison point to what appeals to me on screen and in print. I never use to fuss so much when I was only focused on producing black and white photographs.

Ordinary Places

What’s an ordinary place for me ?  They’re simply ordinary because most often I don’t go out of my way to go there: I either have work to do there (work of the best sorts:work with people) or I drive through or around them. They are familiar urbanscapes. Nevertheless I kind of like these places,very different to my small tranquil village but not so different to the neighbourhoods of Paris where I used to live.  Fair enough some are a bit or even very on the run down side and living there might not be that easy but I often feel that I could find contentment there and be happy. They touch me.

My approach borders on the architectural side: there is no story telling as such with the possible exception of the two diptychs bellow made from three photographs: look carefully and you’ll see some people going about their business and spring turn to summer.

Introducing colour : urban Uk  photography of ordinary places

Colour photographic diptych of an ordinary urban landscape ( urbanscape) in the Uk

Introducing colour : urban Uk  photography of ordinary places

You can see more photos in this spirit here or by clicking on either diptych.

Birmingham 2008

Black and white photograph of Birmingham in 2008

Black and white photograph of Birmingham in 2008

Black and white photograph of Birmingham in 2008

Black and white photograph of Birmingham in 2008

black and white photograph of Birmingham in 2008

Black and white photograph of Birmingham in 2008

Also posted in UK Cities Tagged , , , , , |

Blackpool Tower catching the sun. La Tour de Blackpool dans un rayon de soleil.

black and white photograph of the view from Blackpool Tower out on to the sea

Blackpool tower catching the sun. Tour de Blackpool dans un rayon de soleil. Digital/Numérique 2012.
Also posted in UK Cities Tagged , , , , , |

Manège des Jardins du Luxembourg . Merry Go round of Les Jardins du Luxembourg. Paris.

 

Black and white photograph of a child on a merry go round

 Manège aux Jardins du Luxembourg. D’après négatif 35mm. Paris vers 2002 ?Merry-go-round , Jardins du Luxembourg. Paris,  around 2002 ?
Also posted in Paris, People

Ballet à La Bastoche. Ballet at the Place de la Bastille or Bastoche (as well call it in slang).

Black and white photography of the Place de la Bastille

Place de la Bastille From a 35mm negative. D’après un négatif 35 mm.

Ballet at the Bastille,or at the Bastoche as we French call it in slang. Probably taken around the time the area was being revamped in view of the creation of Opera Bastille, on one of those cold winter mornings.

Ballet à la Bastille ou à la Bastoche. Probablement prise à l’époque des travaux liés à la création de l’Opéra Bastille, par une de ses froides matinées d’hiver.

 

Also posted in Paris

Alnwick Anywhere UK ? Alnwick N’importe Où RU ?

black and White Photograph of Council Houses in Alnwick UK
Black and white street photography :Alnwick UK . Digital Capture. Photographie noir et blanc de rue: Alnwick RU. Numérique.

Alnwick is famous for many things including its castle and gardens, its main street with its old market place and so on. But in Alnwick, like most anywhere in the UK , you’ll find variations on houses like these that you’ll never see on brochures or websites flaunting the town’s attractions. Truth be told, you couldn’t have one without the other: where there are picturesque sites, there are often nearby more ordinary places. I enjoy to a certain degree the picturesque places, but I am more sensitive to ordinary ones. I often think about the complex relationships between the two. Here for instance,having noticed  the prominence of satellite dishes I couldn’t help but to ask myself about the role modern television plays in maintaining the social status quo?

Alnwick est célèbre pour beaucoup de raisons dont son château et ses jardins, sa rue principale avec sa place du marché et j’en passe. Mais à Alnwick, comme presque partout au RU, vous trouverez des variantes de maisons comme celles-ci que vous ne verrez jamais dans les brochures ou sur les sites internet vantant les mérites de la ville. A dire vrai, impossible d’avoir les uns sans avoir les autres: là où il y a des sites pittoresques, il y a souvent à proximité des lieux plus ordinaires. Jusqu’à un certain point j’aime bien les lieux pittoresques mais je suis plus sensible à des lieux plus ordinaires. Je réfléchis souvent aux relations complexes entre les deux. Ici par exemple, ayant remarqué la proéminence des antennes satellites,  je ne pouvais m’empêcher de me demander quel rôle joue la télévision moderne dans la pérennisation  du statu quo social ?

Also posted in UK Cities Tagged , , , , |

Brussels Bruxelles La Grand Place

Brussels_La_Grand_Place_DSC3530

Brussels La Grand Place : digital capture. Black and white street photography.  Bruxelles La Grand Place : capture numérique. Photographie de rue noir et blanc. Nikon D700 , wide angle, grand angle.

There was something vaguely unsettling and strange about the people in the car, something hard to pin point. A small crowd started gathering around them. As it was a public event, I felt it was ok to get up close. The wide angle made it possible to bring the car, its passengers, the crowd and the buildings together to create this portrait of La Grand Place.

Les personnes dans la voiture avaient quelque chose de vaguement  dérangeant et étrange, difficile de dire pourquoi. Une petite foule commençait à les entourer. Comme c’était une manifestation publique, j’ai  pensé  que j’étais en droit de me positionner très près. Le grand angle a permis de rassembler la voiture, ses occupants, la foule et les immeubles  pour créer ce portrait de La Grand Place.

Also posted in Brussels Tagged , , , , , |

School is over / L’Ecole est finie / Ashington Northumberland UK

Back_from_school_DSCF4279School is over:digital capture. L’école est fine: capture numérique. Ashington, Northumberland, UK. Black and white street photography. Photographie de rue noir et blanc. Fuji X100

English

It was a lovely summer day and I was walking to a nearby school with my camera over my shoulder when this little girl running joyfully in her uniform caught my eye.  There is so much to say about this photo and what it means to me that I’ve given up trying. The joy that little moment brought me, why I feel at home on that street, the connections I have always felt  with places like these, my experiences, my frustrations, my anger  and hopes, the good times…

 

Français

C’était une belle journée d’été et je marchais vers une école mon appareil photo à l’épaule lorsque cette petite fille  courant joyeusement dans son uniforme d’écolière a capté mon regard. Il y a tant à dire sur cette photo et sur ce qu’elle veut dire pour moi que j’ai abandonné l’idée d’y parvenir. La joie que m’a apportée ce court instant, pourquoi je me sens chez moi dans cette rue, les liens que j’ai toujours ressenti avec des coins comme celui-ci, mes expériences, mes frustrations, ma colère et mes espoirs,les bons moments….

 

Also posted in People, Some thoughts, UK Cities Tagged , , , , , |