“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” – Ansel Adam
It’s true that photographs say just as much about their photographer as they do about their subject. What makes a person stop in their tracks and see something worth capturing on film? What memories or hopes or dreams do they see in this scene that you don’t? What tugs at their heartstrings, compelling them to freeze this moment in the face of time’s relentless melt? As wise men have said, taking pictures means “savouring life intensely, every hundredth of a second” (Marc Riboud). It means holding one’s breath, as all faculties converge to capture a fleeting moment.
Since yesterday would have been Robert Doisneau’s 100th birthday (thanks for the reminder Google), I thought it fitting to celebrate his photography here. Born in Paris in 1912, Doisneau became famous for his playful and powerful photos of Parisien street life. He is most famous for this shot of a couple kissing passionately in the streets of Paris – Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville (Kiss by the Town Hall).
I love that all his photos are black and white. “When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls.” – Ted Grant.
These are some of my favourites by Doisneau.
Browsing Doisneau’s beautiful photos inspired me to do a little random photography of my own. I’m always taking photos of food, but I thought this time I’d try my hand at photos of things that aren’t edible, but are merely everyday objects and places. I thought maybe I could discover some unobserved beauty in the unassuming and the mundane. So here are some of my photos below (don’t laugh).
Until next time.