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Thread: 8x10 in Paris-Chamonix-Normandy-Dublin-Clonakilty

  1. #1

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    8x10 in Paris-Chamonix-Normandy-Dublin-Clonakilty

    June 26 through August 1 this year, my wife and two daughters (ages 8 and 12) will be traveling around France and Ireland.

    the ITINERARY: One week in Paris, four nights in Chamonix, three nights at Mont-Saint-Michel, ferry from Cherbourg to Dublin, free-ranging around Ireland for the rest of July with bases Dublin and Clonakilty (both places where my wife's family live). I've been to Europe half a dozen times, including all of these places, save Chamonix.

    the GEAR: 8x10 Kodak Master Camera, 10" Wollensak Vitax, 12" Kodak Commercial Ektar, Gitzo 5-Series carbon fiber tripod, five Toyo film holders, 50 sheets of HP5, 50 sheets of Delta 100, Harrison changing tent. The camera, lenses, and holders fit perfectly into the same internal-frame MEI backpack that I bought back in 1993 for my first backpacking trip around Europe. I'll carry the tripod in a sling diagonal across my front.

    the QUESTION: What the heck should I photograph?

    Typically I shoot portraits, and while I certainly try to make each image stand on its own, I almost always conceive of any one portrait as belonging to a larger body of images. For instance, I set up an outdoor portrait studio each year at a music festival here in Washington State and make portraits that I'm planning to show when the project is finished in 2030; I shoot portraits of my students each year and hang the portraits in the classroom (my classroom is starting to look like a portrait gallery); I shoot portraits of my own kids and their friends (of course) to hang on the wall at home; I shot portraits of all of the teachers and administration at the school where I work which we put into a 50-year time capsule; etc...

    With only ten sheets of film to shoot per outing, I figure I'll go out by myself for a part of the day on the days I shoot (probably two or three days each week). I don't think it would go well to have my wife and daughters along when I shoot because the process of scouting and shooting is pretty ponderous to them. When I make their portraits, I always have the setup complete when they enter the situation. That actually goes for anyone whose portrait I make. I'm bringing along a stereoscopic Sputnik for family snapshots.

    So, again, what should I photograph?

    Pictures of buildings and monuments? Landscapes? I don't usually shoot these subjects. It's hard to imagine my making a contribution to what's already been made of these subjects.

    What about setting up with a little sign in French and English offering to shoot portraits out in a public space like a park and just seeing what happens? I could mail prints to the people I photographed after I return to the states.

    Does anyone know any interesting people in any of these places who'd like to meet up and have a portrait made?

    It feels natural to bring the big camera. I want to do it just to not miss whatever I'd miss if I didn't bring it. But I'm having trouble visualizing how to make the most of the opportunity.

    I'd appreciate any constructive thoughts.

    Cameron Cornell
    Washington State
    www.analogportraiture.com
    www.instagram.com/papacornell
    Last edited by Cameron Cornell; 17-Apr-2019 at 14:12.

  2. #2
    Serious Amateur Photographer pepeguitarra's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 in Paris-Chamonix-Normandy-Dublin-Clonakilty

    Are you sure your wife and daughters will let you set up an 8x10 to take photos? Time is so valuable where you are in France, specially in Paris. I took a Leica M9 and a Rolleiflex (MF), and still was not enough. Everywhere you go in Paris, you will find things to shoot. I have not been to the other areas you mentioned. In Paris, I would stay close to the Latin Quarters, that is where some of the Roman ruins still exist. Then, the Luxemburg Gardens, the Soborne, Louvre, etc.
    "I have never in my life made music for money or fame. God walks out of the room when you are thinking about money." -- Quincy Jones

  3. #3
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 in Paris-Chamonix-Normandy-Dublin-Clonakilty

    Michael Kenna made some nice photos in Mont St. Michel (of course, really long exposures, that's his thing): http://www.michaelkenna.com/gallery.php?id=9

  4. #4

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    Re: 8x10 in Paris-Chamonix-Normandy-Dublin-Clonakilty

    Quote Originally Posted by pepeguitarra View Post
    Are you sure your wife and daughters will let you set up an 8x10 to take photos? Time is so valuable where you are in France, specially in Paris. I took a Leica M9 and a Rolleiflex (MF), and still was not enough. Everywhere you go in Paris, you will find things to shoot. I have not been to the other areas you mentioned. In Paris, I would stay close to the Latin Quarters, that is where some of the Roman ruins still exist. Then, the Luxemburg Gardens, the Soborne, Louvre, etc.
    We do happen to be staying in the Latin Quarter. We’re renting a two bedroom apartment for the week on Rue des Gobelins. As I said in my post, I’m not planning on bringing my wife and daughters along on my outings when I shoot.

  5. #5
    Serious Amateur Photographer pepeguitarra's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 in Paris-Chamonix-Normandy-Dublin-Clonakilty

    Here is a list of things I would recommend:
    1) Tour Eiffel (close up with wide angle), or shots from anywhere with it in the background. There is an obelisk at the Place de la Concorde that would make a good photo with the Tour Eiffel in the background
    2) Notre Dam from across the River. (not sure after the fire)
    3) The Luvre outside, fountains and Arcs
    4) Fountain des Innocents
    5) Enchanting place des vosges
    6) Jardin du Luxemburg (you have to bring the kids here!!! great for them too)
    7) Can you drive to Giverny? Monet's Gardens? Bring your Ektar and Fuji color film.
    "I have never in my life made music for money or fame. God walks out of the room when you are thinking about money." -- Quincy Jones

  6. #6
    Drew Saunders drew.saunders's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 in Paris-Chamonix-Normandy-Dublin-Clonakilty

    This sounds like a great idea! Assuming you and/or your family will bring along more compact (and probably digital) cameras to take photos to remember your visit, why not make photos that mean more to you that are very different from the standard tourist photos? If portraits like this is what you prefer to make, then make them!

    Our French members should be able to answer your questions as to whether or not this would be practical, plus could help with your sign (if that kind of thing is allowed). If you do get a sign, since these are touristy areas, adding Mandarin and Japanese might cast a wider net for subjects.

    Go for it, and, more importantly, share the portraits with us here!
    Flickriver (to avoid Flickr's annoying new format): http://www.flickriver.com/photos/drew_saunders/

  7. #7

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    Re: 8x10 in Paris-Chamonix-Normandy-Dublin-Clonakilty

    Quote Originally Posted by drew.saunders View Post
    This sounds like a great idea! Assuming you and/or your family will bring along more compact (and probably digital) cameras to take photos to remember your visit, why not make photos that mean more to you that are very different from the standard tourist photos? If portraits like this is what you prefer to make, then make them!

    Our French members should be able to answer your questions as to whether or not this would be practical, plus could help with your sign (if that kind of thing is allowed). If you do get a sign, since these are touristy areas, adding Mandarin and Japanese might cast a wider net for subjects.

    Go for it, and, more importantly, share the portraits with us here!
    Precisely! Thatís my point: why bother bringing this equipment and making the same photographs that weíve all seen thousands of times? Iíve always felt that you have a better chance of making a contribution if you try something different than the herd. If I were to use a sign, however, I think I would only post it in French while I was in France because Iíd really rather make portraits of locals.

  8. #8

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    Re: 8x10 in Paris-Chamonix-Normandy-Dublin-Clonakilty

    You're a portrait photographer. Shoot people, in the neighborhood where you're staying. There's little point in trying to re-create the guidebooks.
    Photographing the local neighborhood itself (wherever you are) would go well with the portraits.
    Although Mont-Saint-Michel is tempting- see the work William Clift has done there.

  9. #9

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    Re: 8x10 in Paris-Chamonix-Normandy-Dublin-Clonakilty

    Great advice, Mark. Thank you.

    On the topic of Mont-Saint-Michel, take a look at this aerial photograph. It's a three-part scan I recently stitched together of a 16x20" vintage print that my wife's grandfather brought back from WWII. It's been hanging on our living room wall for years. I'm making a high-resolution digital copy so that other members of her family can have prints made. Her grandfather was in the Army and friends with a recon photographer who gave him a few prints. Looking at the image up close, I can see Willys Jeeps and other Allied military vehicles in front of the gates, so the image was obviously made after D-Day.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
    Serious Amateur Photographer pepeguitarra's Avatar
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    Re: 8x10 in Paris-Chamonix-Normandy-Dublin-Clonakilty

    Good luck with the locals to pose for a portrait! Since you are a portrait photographer, why not take the three ladies and shoot them in every place, focussing on them!?

    Since thousands of photos have been taken of certain monument/place, should we stop taking photos of them? Not sure. Should we stop going to Yosemite because the site has been photographed million times? This the part where your own eye, your own inner eye, right side of the brain will tell you what to shoot. I went to Versailles with my 35mm Leica and there were thousands of people walking around. I was taking picture of only few things that interested me. None of them contained people and some of them contained portions of things I have seen in magazines, but I liked. Think also time of the day for the photos. Sometimes, those are the best times to be with the family.
    "I have never in my life made music for money or fame. God walks out of the room when you are thinking about money." -- Quincy Jones

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