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

  1. #21

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

    Hmmm. In fact Strand used the right-angle attachment only during his early days in New York City- "Blind Woman" being the most famous of these. And even c.1914., he was 'busted' by an onlooker at least once (the story is somewhere in one of the monographs). For his best portrait work, as in the Hebrides and in Italy, he took the 'total immersion' approach- and in Italy he had a a colleague who was from the town to introduce and interpret for him. Your project is a very appealing one, and I wish you the best of luck- and when it's done I hope you share your results

  2. #22

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

    Thank you all so much for your advice and input. Emmanuel, thank you in particular for your generosity in sharing so much detailed information about Chamonix.

    In Ireland and Normandy, I know a few locals and I’m hoping that might open some doors to interesting portraiture opportunities. I’ve thought about mentioning to the fellow who’s apartment we’re renting in Paris that I shoot large-format portraits and directing him to my website to see if he or anyone he knows would be interested in sitting for me. I’m also comfortable just finding a good spot with good light and a good background, and then just setting up and waiting for the right person to come along. That way, people self-select who are interested. I’ve had some good friendships start up this way in the past few years.

    If anyone on the forum is going to be in any of these areas and wants to meet up, please get in touch with me! I’d be happy to make your portrait or just meet for coffee.

    I’ll be running the north light portrait tent again at the Subdued Stringband Jamboree one week after we return from Europe (https://www.largeformatphotography.i...udio+portraits). If anyone can make it up to the festival, of course I’d be happy to make your portrait there. It runs August 8-12 this year.

    I’ll post the keepers from the trip down below, probably in August or September.

  3. #23

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

    A few words regarding the weather in Chamonix. Since your stay will be relatively short, 4 nights, weather conditions will be important to plan your program.
    Here is the English version of the weather forecast I usually read before going to Chamonix.
    http://chamonix-meteo.com/chamonix-m...r_forecast.php.

    Just as an example of the temperature drop between Chamonix and the top of Aiguille du Midi, the weather report for today April 21st, mentions at 7:00, 9°C (48F) in Chamonix, -10°C (14F) at Aiguille du Midi.

    -----------

    And a few words regarding Mont Saint Michel.

    At Mont Saint Michel, recent work has removed the access dike to reinstall a bridge that allows seawater to flow freely.
    The problem with the dike was that the surrounding area of Mont Saint Michel was becoming irreversibly silted up and risked losing its unique character as an island.

    Access to the site for vehicles is now strictly limited, so you must leave your car on a parking area located quite far away, and take a shuttle bus.

    Being one of the most visited monuments in France (** see note), and end of July / beginning of August corresponding to the peak touristic season ... well, you'll probably consider that Chamonix is a desert in summer, compared to Mont Saint Michel


    ** note : in Paris, Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral was, together with the Eiffel Tower, one of the most visited monuments in France.
    A (probably accidental) catastrophic fire destroyed the roof and its millenial wooden structure on Monday 15, 2019.
    Notre Dame and immediate surroundings are now closed to the public. The cathedral itself will probably not re-open before the Paris Olympic Games in 2024 ...

  4. #24

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

    Thank you for those additional tips, Emmanuel. We rented a house for three nights that’s situated on the beach across the little bay from Mont Saint Michel, so at least at a distance we’ll get to see it out the window and from the back garden without the other tourists in the way. The first full day, we’ll make the trek over to explore the island. The second day, however, my wife and daughters are going to walk around the village and/or just play on the beach (which is just beyond the back garden) and I am going to take the rental car and drive the ninety minutes over to the D-Day landing beaches with the 8x10. The girls just aren’t at the age yet that they would appreciate that place.

    My grandfather and my wife’s grandfather both landed in Normandy on D-Day. My grandfather, who was a truck driver all his life, drove a truck for the army supplying the front lines as the Allies pushed through France to Paris. He was there the day they liberated Paris (My mother jokes that she probably has a Parisian half-sibling). He never talked about the war, but I do have the letters he wrote to his sister. Here are a few pictures. Notice that he drove for Galveston Truck Lines back in the states and that he painted “Galveston Gal” on the side of his army truck.

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    I’ve not been to the landing beaches before. Last time I was in Normandy, I was a high school exchange student in Germany and I’d gone on a road trip with three of the fellows from school. We camped the whole way, including three nights in a park in Paris. In Normandy, we slept in a campground near one of the resort beaches. It wasn’t a very thoughtful exploration of the place (beer, cards, trying to meet girls, etc), but it was a very good time. We did talk about the irony that we were 18 years old, one American and three Germans, and that fifty years before (this was 1993) we would have been enemies.

    Cameron Cornell
    Washington State
    www.analogportraiture.com

  5. #25
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    Re: 8x10 in Paris-Chamonix-Normandy-Dublin-Clonakilty

    I’m also comfortable just finding a good spot with good light and a good background, and then just setting up and waiting for the right person to come along

    Keep in mind that you may be hassled by the police for a permit to set-up like that - especially in a scenic area.

    I've used this dollie to photograph in San Francisco' Aquatic Park and Fisherman's Wharf area with a Toyo 810G: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ly_with_3.html. There are better (and more expensive!) dollies but this one worked - it being necessary to keep a firm grip at the center of gravity point, maintain the same speed of the dollie that you are walking, and keep a lookout for uneven pavement which is a reason that you want to always maintain a firm grip at the center of gravity.

    Thomas

  6. #26

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

    I realize that for Chamonix I forgot to mention another well-known and very interesting cable car operating in summer: Planpraz / Le Brévent, it starts very close to Chamonix downtown and top is at 2525 m (8280 feet), same side of the valley as La Flégère, similar grand view over the Mont Blanc range.

    You can have a look a topographic maps on several web sites to plan your trips in Chamonix, I use the French governement "geoportail" web site.
    For example - a link to a Chamonix map on Geoportail where you can easily locate the Montenvers train and cable cars mentioned above


    ---

    Regarding your planned trip to D-DAY beaches from Mont Saint Michel, travel time by car is about 1h50 one way, hence you can easily devote one day to the trip without spending too much travel time.
    The advantage I see, as a photographer, to take one day off without the family is that you can stop anywhere, at any moment, to take pictures

  7. #27

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

    I was in some of those places last October. We taxi'd over to MSM from St Malo - because on the first evening in the way to dinner our Hertz car managed to blow two tires - Hertz picked up the car but never brought the one they'd promised us so we were car-less. The French Hertz office was - well - a disaster, as was the so-called service at the airport in Rennes. I'm glad that I took Emmanuel's kind advice and stayed in St Malo. Honestly didn't see anything at Mt St Michel that I wanted to photograph. We would have probably enjoyed the area to the East of MSM, though - quite pretty. I took a Mamiya TLR and a Mamiya 645 with film and digital backs - wanted to take the Technika but it was just too heavy. I'd recommend a side trip to St Malo if you get a chance - the city walls are quite impressive. By the way, there was a horse drawn wagon that ran over the access bridge at MSM - the shuttle bus was packed - no way I'd have been able to carry an 8 x 10 setup on the bus from the parking lot. It was hard enough to keep the 645 from getting knocked around. I suspect crowds in June will be worse and even at the end of October there were so many people crowding into MSM that it would have been pretty much impossible to set up a tripod there. I wanted to see the US cemetery, but my wife is Japanese and while she's happy living in the US, she isn't to, put it mildly, interested in anything relating to the US (or Japanese for that matter) Miltary.

  8. #28

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

    Cameron - curious as to how your trip is unfolding (or unfolded), photographically and otherwise.

  9. #29

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

    Quote Originally Posted by cbella View Post
    Cameron - curious as to how your trip is unfolding (or unfolded), photographically and otherwise.
    Thanks for asking. It’s been great so far. We’ve been in n Paris for a week. Today, we take the TGV to Geneva, rent a car, and drive to Chamonix. The trip is going beautifully, aside from some upsetting but not totally unexpected news from our house sitters last night at 3 a.m. that our fourteen year-old standard poodle, Major Tom, may be failing.

    The kit I spent the winter sorting out has worked well. I did have a mishap literally the night before we left: the ground glass broke in one overpacked iteration of the case (a Halliburton Zero carry-on suitcase). I swapped in the ground glass from my 8x10 Ansco and ordered a spare to be shipped to Dublin. I found a better way of packing the case, but in an abundance of caution, I removed the ground glass, wrapped it in cotton batting, and carried it separately inside an old 8x10 film box in my carry-on messenger bag that also contained the film holders and the Vitax. All in all, though, the kit worked well and I’ll be glad to have it for all of my future travels.

    I’ve gone out three times to shoot in Paris and used 16 sheets of the 100 that I brought along. I shot landscapes and details in the Luxembourg Gardens and set up last night on rue Mouffetard near our rented apartment and shot portraits of my daughters on the street. Interestingly, two different policemen in the park approached me and asked if I was a professional. When I told them that it was just a hobby, they said OK and walked on. I assume that means one must have a permit to shoot professionally. Of course, I had several other conversations with passers-by about the camera and I invited several people to look through the ground glass. It was fun. I don’t love shooting the landscapes and details as much as shooting portraits, but so far, I haven’t shot any portraits of strangers on this trip. Hopefully, some of that will unfold as we go along, but even if it doesn’t, I have the big portrait tent at the Subdued Stringband Jamboree happening six days after we return home August 1.

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    So, next stop, Chamonix, followed by Normandy and then Ireland. I’ll keep after it and see if I can get a good picture or two!

    Cameron Cornell
    Washington State
    www.analogportraiture.com
    www.instagram.com/papacornell

  10. #30

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

    We could have crossed paths!






    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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