Happy 100th Birthday, Robert Doisneau!

I think no other photographer has quite touched me with his work like Robert Doisneau. The French street photographer who would have turned a century old today has captured an almost infinite amount of beautiful photos picturing mostly urban life in his beloved Paris.  If I could have only taken one of that quality I could put my mind at peace forever.

Strangely enough he became most famous for his staged photo of a kissing couple (“The Kiss by the Town Hall”) despite all (or most) of his other images a true candid photographs.

He had an amazing eye for composition, a great sense of humour, a lot of patience and even more luck and managed to combine all in his often hillarious juxtaposing black and white images.

 

Sometimes they are so perfect that I assume that he might have composed a few of them (not just the famous kiss-photo) – but as you can see in the videos below he called himself a picture fisher rather than a picture hunter. He spent quite often a long time at one location feeling or hoping that there would somehow be a good photo to take, but he had to be patient and wait for the right ballance of story and composition to get a photo that satisfied him.

It made me really happy that Google today featured his 100th birthday by turning their famous logo into a collage of his images, because I feel that these days not enough people know about his incredible work. And I really believe everyone should know who Robert Doisneau was – and not only because of his kissing couple image.

So here a few of my favourite of his images

 

And here are two short videos that give you a glimpse into the way he thought while “fishing” his pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

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The First Humans Ever Photographed

Imagine it’s 1838. You live in one of the busiest cities in the world – Paris – 50 years before the Eiffel Tower was added to the skyline. As every day on your way to work you are walking down the street which is buzzing with gazillions of people and horse carriages.

For you it it’s just another day – nothing special – like your whole life. The only thing that you might later remember from that day is that annoying moment when you stepped into that big pile of horse sh*t and you had to spend your lunch money on getting your shoes polished.

But in no way did you know that on that day in that very moment you became part of history – probably in one of the most boring ways anyone could ever become part of history.

As it happened on the other side of the road a photographer named Louis Daguerre had set up his camera to take a photograph – a brand new invention you did not even knew existed – because pretty much no one on the planet knew it existed. And out of pure coincidence Daguerre had aimed his lens at the very street corner you were getting your shoes polished. And out of another pure streak of total randomness he started the 10 minute exposure at the very moment your shoe cleaner started polishing away.

And because of the fact that everything that moves during such a long exposure is getting totally washed out of the photograph and you and the shoe polisher happened to be the only static objects other than trees and houses during the whole time of the photographing process you and the polisher ended up being the first human beings ever to have been photographed.

Maybe that’s how it happened – probably not. But looking at this historic image my imagination drifts of into this very moment and makes me wonder who was that person getting his shoes polished and thus becoming part of photographic history? No other human was ever caught on camera before and captured for eternity that way. But of course we will never know who he or the shoe polisher were. Both faces are too blurred to be recognised – and after all they were just two of probably hundreds of people roaming the street in that moment. So just like on most of the millions of street photographs that would follow the people in it became ghostlike figures of the past – figures that you can create a whole world around in your head. Who were they – were did they come from, why were they there at that moment and where were they going to?

For me this mysterious side of street photography adds to the magic of it and makes it even more powerful to me.

Here is a link to the photograph which allows you to zoom in on every detail of the image.

http://www.retronaut.co/2010/04/the-first-photograph-of-a-human

Photos worth $1 Billion

Well obviosuly not these photos here, but Instagram is – the app that I used to take this photos. I m sure we all heard about the re-tro-photo-sharing platform or are somehow users of it, and today it was bought by Facebook for the quite shocking sum of 1000 Million US-dollars!!!

Inspired by those astonishing news I remembered I too had installed this software and got inspired to take these shots during my journey home.

And I have to say I actually do like this software – it always makes me shoot photos totally different from what I normally photograph. So it’s quite refreshing to look at them for a while.

I am now curious how Facebook will implement Instagram into their FB platform.

 

 

 

Rumpus – Tomorrow’s Party Today

Well actually it was on Friday that Rumpus came back with a vengeance. I keep saying it – but this party is my favourite in London. Not only because it has some of the best and most varied music on offer but also because it is always a feast for my lens – as you can hopefully see on these photos.

There are plenty more on Facebook so just follow the link here and start tagging!!

RUMPUS VOL.9 ON FACEBOOK

Also if you didnt manage to come last time and you wanna check out what Rumpus is all about then click here:

RUMPUS OFFICIAL WEBSITE