Photography: “La Dordogne”, a French river

Photography: “La Dordogne”, a French river. How to photograph a river? She’s like the lady you’re in love with: she’s complex, multiple, given, elusive, clear, dark, changing and marvellous. What do I choose? The light? Water? Trees? Rocks? Here are 14 pictures of La Dordogne, near the little town of Carsac.

My big problem with landscape and urban photography

I have a big problem with landscape and urban photography. I chose 5 examples for you, randomly in Google Images. I call this problem the “Intention of Effect“.

Long pauses transform cars into lines. Choosing sunset time gives “interesting” colours to the mountains. Using a drone makes you fly and shows lines. Putting the camera on the ground brings “interesting” lines and reflections.

Well, in each of these pictures I FEEL the photographer’s will, which seems to YELL at me “I AM SMART HAVE YOU SEEN IT?”. Yeah, I’ve seen it, buddy.

Each time I see one picture like this (and they are a majority), I’m rolling eyes. I’m like : “Okey little man, I see what you do”; and this is ABSOLUTELY boring.

Intention of effect kills effect.

This is not art, no art at all. It’s all waxywet, schmaltzy and wishy-washy, it is not gorgeous: it’s ridiculous and I’m already out, goodbye.

The contrary of all this monkey arounding appeared in the 70s with Stephen Shore and William Eggleston.

They knew the “pretty” urban or landscape pictures were ridiculous, and very, very far behind the Art Movement.

They had to find another way to show cities and nature. To stop being a show-off little idiot.

So they experimented a more neutral “way”, becoming an amateur-beginner, or becoming a tech-photographer. I think they wanted to show us the mood of a place, or maybe to be precise, or maybe they simply wanted to stop appearing like a smart-ass “look how I’m good” photographer. How to achieve that?

Of course they began to take pictures of the ordinary, empty urban spaces, parking lots, roads and houses. This was much more interesting and “charged” with the sense of a place.

I chose some Stephen Shore‘s pictures. This man makes my eyes stop. I want to wander on the photography. I (ain’t it strange)… breathe. I almost understand WHY the guy stopped there. This shadow. These lines. An horizon. The light of the day!

You’ll find many texts, articles and interviews about him and his influence on the web. Have fun!

Photography: The roofs of Sarlat, Périgord, France

Sarlat-La-Canéda is a medieval town in France, near Bordeaux. Yes, it’s a good place to drink wine and eat meals made of ducks and geese (confits and all).

Today I choose to show you the roofs. I took many pictures thus you’ll see streets, forests, rivers and… the cemetery.

I added a little Poulenc because it’s my little obsession of the time.

Have a good day!

Thomas Struth, German photographer

Thomas Struth, born in 1954, is a German photographer.

I read about him (he loves museums, he loves “series” of photos, he shows large formats) and I watched his pictures, but I couldn’t find or decide why I stayed… but I stayed, and kept exploring his work.

This tropism, when you discover something, you don’t know why you insist exploring it, because obviously you don’t know why you like it, but you like it!

Is it because of this street :

Or this road :

Or these people watching… what :

Or this city :

Like Jeff Wall, he :

These photos stop me. They have something I don’t understand.

I have this inner smile.

Well, I think I’ll need a book…

Thanks for reading!

My Gurushots Tips, Part 3 (the Events)

Gurushots has invented a new smart way to involve people : they create Events twice a week, like contests of contests in small groups, involving 100 photographers of the same level at a time.

After a bunch of them where I finished 1st 2nd or 3rd, here’s what I found :

  1. When an Event stops, stop (or slow down) posting pictures in the new challenges, keep them to get fast points at the beginning of the next new Event.
  2. The challenges you have already begun will bring you fills and boosts, which will be added to the ones you got from the previous event. Keep all of them as little tools.
  3. But prepare them though. Watch the challenges, watch what people post, and get your pictures ready in your profile basket.
  4. Don’t use the daily free boosts for now, resist.

When a new event begins :

  1. First, review all 4 pictures challenges you have and use the free Boosts on the most successful pictures… or the one you love the most!
  2. Don’t forget to check and use the new free Boosts every day.
  3. Then watch the next challenges which will enterfinish soon. You will need here all the boosts you have (to unlock them). Post your work.
  4. For each of the “4 photos” challenge, I suggest you post only ONE of the four pictures. This way, you take your place in the challenge, and you won’t have to use Swaps to gain votes later (because, as you know already, the boiling appears in the last one or two hours of a challenge). When the end approaches, post the 3 others to fill it.
  5. Then watch the challenges you entered before which will finish soon. If it’s in one or two hours, activate your tools : Swap if you have low votes, Boost if you have some left, Fill. Watch what happens; maybe you’ll get a hit!
  6. If you have some Fills left, review all you current challenges and fill some the most successful ones (which means that your picture is appreciated) – but keep some Fills for later.
  7. Enter all the challenges left you can. Be creative if you don’t fill exactly the challenge rules : use toys to invent fairy tales, use nature if you don’t have National Park pictures, etc.
  8. By doing this, you’re much more active than before, it’s why their Events was a good idea. It can happen that you get a great rank, or Guru picks, or win a challenge, who knows?
  9. Near the end of the Event, you’ll be empty of Boost, Fills and Swap. You can let go, or you can vote to push the soon closing challenges. It takes time.
  10. Please vote really, not in clicking the validation button like a fool – which would encourage the bad works.
  11. If a picture is really successful, Fill it, then every 10 minutes pile around 20 votes on the it to keep your dial at the maximum all along.

Remember : the boiling happens always at the end of a challenge, within the last hour : focus on these – everybody is active (and voting), it’s useful.

Have fun!

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