Saturday | Departure | 7,930 Kilometres To Home

Paramedicine was a dangerous job, the streets unpredictable, but to know true danger you really just need to take a cab ride to Charles de Gaulle Airport.  Last year was the worst, with our driver literally falling asleep multiple times on the highway at the end of a long night spent ferrying revellers home after France won the World Cup.   Lightening doesn’t strike twice though, right?  Well, as it turns out, sometimes it does.  My driver didn’t fall asleep this time thankfully, but he did set new land speed records through the use of… creative… lane changes.

I think I might just walk to the airport next year.

I was excited though, despite the ride, because airports always inspire me to make new photographs.  There is something magical about the way light and shadow bounce through a terminal,  due to the glass architecture and design.  

I had a 2 hour wait, so I made photos until we boarded (see images below).  As I settled in for the 10 hour flight home I had time to reflect on the past week.  How lucky am I?   I lead an amazing life, full of travel and time spent with wonderful students, and now I get to spend time at home with my family.  Balance, right?  And gratitude.  A LOT of gratitude.

I hope you enjoyed this eight part series documenting a week spent teaching in Paris (click here to go to the first post).  Looking forward, there are a few things coming up on this site that I am incredibly excited  to share with you.

Until next time,

Ian

To view the previous post click here

Tuesday | Workshop | Day Two

I woke up tired, realizing as I turned off my alarm that I missed a FaceTime call from my daughter… a frustrating way to start the day.  The weather forecast called for:

“Thunderstorms, some severe.  Storms can bring downpours, large hail, damaging winds and a tornado”.

A tornado?  In Paris?  This could be interesting…

The rain held off until the end of the day, allowing us to explore and photograph the two islands in the Seine:  Île de la Cité  and Île Saint-Louis.  It was a day on the streets, a reminder that the heart of Paris doesn’t just beat in the churches or the towers, in the museums or the palaces.  The heart of Paris beats on its streets, in the lives of its citizens, and this is what we set out to capture on this day.

Simple scenes.  Snippets of daily life.  The heartbeat of a city.

Click here to view part SIX of this series

Les Rues De Paris | The Streets of Paris – Part Two

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

– Elliott Erwitt

“Street photography is capturing the beauty in the mundane”

– Eric Kim

Street photography came into my life during a period when I felt creatively drained as an artist.  I had been shooting a lot of portraiture, working with a creative team in studio to produce images that were often pre-planned and somewhat structured.  I reached a point where this environment felt stifling, like the walls around me were drowning me creatively.  Discovering my love of street photography was like having my head pulled up out of the water;  like I could breath again.  I loved the lack of formality, the lack of a schedule, the excitement of discovering new photos around every corner and the ability to experiment as often as I liked.  The blank canvas of the street challenged me and kicked my ass, but it changed the way I saw the world and rejuvenated my love of photography.  I learned to look past the beautiful model or epic landscape and to appreciate the simple beauty that exists in every day life.

This approach has also had an impact on my professional work:  My wedding photography focuses more on beautiful, candid moments.  My travel albums, which used to be full of epic cityscapes, now feature street scenes and tiny detail shots that tell a better story of the places I visit.  I shoot more candidly during portrait sessions now, featuring environmental portraits more than studio work.  Even my landscape and cityscape photography has changed, as I often include people in the frame now to give a sense of scale and a sense of place.

If you find yourself in a photographic rut I highly recommend shooting in a different genre for a period of time.  It is refreshing, inspiring and will change the way that you see.

And, go to Paris.  It is a wonderful city to photography.  🙂

Cheers,

Ian

p.s.  Part one of this series can be viewed HERE.