I must admit that the last few months have been intense. As you have probably noticed, I’ve been working on many projects and there is no question that I didn’t publish enough on this blog. That’s changing now!
The first weeks of this year have been spent reducing my commitments and organizing my photographic life! Just a week ago I re-launched Simplicity-In-Seeing in a brand-new form and some of you have already contacted me saying that you like it a lot. Indeed, I find it such a joy writing personal LETTERS about photography. Now let’s get back to today’s point.
When I looked at the imagery shot over the last few months, I realized that I haven’t shown you the imagery taken in Paris last year. As I look back at the photographs, I realize that many of the shots are not typical travel images and to be honest with you, I like it this way.
When we travel, we are intrigued by all the new things we are going to photograph. Many photographers I talk to make up must-have shot lists and detailed plans of their trip to make sure they don’t miss anything. I know because I used to do the same.
We run from one location to the other following our list but the more I travel the more convinced I am that this approach does more harm than good to our “seeing.”
One of the best antidotes to such pre-planned shooting is to calm down and linger in one space (thank you Ibarionex Perello for this term). It is a deliberate state of mind which slows down your visual impulses and allows your vision to linger over the spaces that surround you. You might practice this observational state on your trips. When exploring cities, I find an area, street or even a small plaza where I slow down and just linger photographically.
This approach allows me to extract all the visual opportunities in front of me, even if they do not necessarily represent the place well. When I was shooting the streets of Paris, I let my eye and imagination lead me to unexpected places. I refused to follow well-trodden paths and allowed myself to be led by light and visuals, regardless of the route.
Why would I take such a radical stand? Because almost every time I came back from my trips, the images shot during those slow and creative periods were of much higher quality than those taken under the pressure of running around and checking items off the list.
I noticed that during my last visit to Paris I took many let’s say “unusual” shots which some of you could argue might have been taken in any other place. Maybe you are right, maybe not. I strongly believe that when you travel, it is worth forgetting where you are and letting your “seeing” open up to the visuals around you.
Today I’ve selected some images which I took in Paris during a photographic outing.