There are sayings like beauty is only skin deep,; don’t judge a book by its cover; all to make us go past what appears in front of us and get to the heart of what is. Sometimes however what’s on the outside is just as interesting as the inside or what lies beneath.
On this day, while in Paris, I went to the Pompidou Museum, to discover the works of Dora Maar, a photographer who became Picasso’s intimate friend and subject of his paintings.
The Pompidou, opened in 1977 against the critics who claimed it looked like an oil refinery. Despite their short sighted view, it opened with a huge success and continues to do so today, housing great contemporary art along with its public library and center for new music.
Inside, its large spacious rooms, one doesn’t feel crushed by the crowd nor have to fight to see the paintings or other art works, that are sometimes a challenge in older museums. However it’s what’s on the outside that is visually attracting, especially for a photographer, and this Miami Photographer had as much an admiration for what its exterior had to offer as its interior did.
Exterior escalators connect the glassed tunnels that run along the exterior of the facade. More than an entrance to each floor, the tunnels offer views of the city,
and gives it an appreciation for a creative structure that says this is something really different. To me, besides the art, it is a place to be experienced, as much as to be seen.
I travel… a lot. Years ago when I was first married, a clairvoyant told me that in my future she saw three legs going in and out of the country constantly. That scared me. I thought I would be handling a cane,crutches or with some kind of device helping me to walk. I was far from being a photographer, much less a Miami photographer. The years proved her right but the 3 legs were my tripod!
In my travels, I have always seeked out the unknown, small places to stay or eat. Large fancy hotels and restaurants didn’t and still don’t appeal to me. Traveling through other countries aren’t about that for me. Meeting their people, eating what they eat, and trying to assimilate their culture is what travel experience is about. Taking the ” Road Less Traveled ” as Frost so eloquently penned, has led me to places and people that made each one of those trips all the better.
This is one of those, the Hotel Rose, in Beauvoir,France, just before you get to Mont St. Michel. Owned and run by a a charming family, whose ancestors handed it down, it sits with a beautiful view of Mont St. Michel in the distance. Two daughters serve breakfast, two sons pitch in and do the odds and ends of keeping up with the cottage like atmosphere it offers. I spent time talking with their family as they shared their history along with photographs to date their place and surroundings. I got to feel that I was visiting Mont St. Michel in the early 1900’s before it became a tourist attraction.
As an added experience, when I opened my window, above my head and under the eaves, this little guy poked his head out to say bon-jour and we became friends, a la prochaine fois.
I used to walk around with my 20 lb camera bag full of lenses and a spare backup camera…a lot of film as well. I felt secure and ready for anything that popped up on the street. The problem ( for those who have never experienced those days ) was that when something did turn up, by the time I reached for what I thought I would need, the magic moment was gone. As time went on, my bag got lighter and my shoulder less sore.
Today, thanks to digital, and mirrorless cameras, my bag has shrunk to one that only holds one extra lens. The lighter camera, even with its zoom lens, stays in my hand. Of course most of you do that…right?
This was one of those moments walking in Paris with nothing in mind, just taking it all in and camera ready, when thi girl in a very colorful dress caught my eye. She stood in front of a florist, no doubt waiting for her other half. I lifted my camera…she lifted her bouquet and by chance, I was the prepared… Mon Dieu…”love is in the Air”…
This Miami Photographer, returned to my second home, France to spend five weeks in Paris. Yeah I know, tough life isn’t it? But why else am I working, apart from loving what I do. Is this really work?
I get that all the time but it depends on your point of view…if you ask most, it’s not. ” All you do is push a button, look at my Iphone shots, I can do the same” REALLY?
There’s not a pro out there who never heard that one before but the answer isn’t so easy to give. Consider first the scouting to find the shot you have in mind, then choose the right time of day to give it the look you envision, along with the angle you want to try making it different. Then choose the right lens and maybe even camera for it. After you just push the button, sit behind the computer editing a myriad of images to pick the right one, and process it over a few hours to get it the way you see it,include any retouching if needed, unless garbage appeals to you. Also wait for the right timing to eliminate distracting objects coming and going into the frame. This list can go on and on but for those who think it’s just a snap…read this paragraph again.
More from this trip