Modern architecture on the Île de Nantes

I remember when the words, “modern,” and “architecture,” when used together in the same sentence would conjure up images of post-war concrete brutalism. Think carparks from thw 1960’s etc.

Thankfully, this is no longer the case! Or at least I hope not. So nearly 60 years later, yes, that does give you a bit of a choc, modern architecture is no longer a dirty word, used, to put architects down.

In this series of photos you will see geometric forms, textures, walkways, and a place I would consider living if it wasn’t so pricy… Maybe in the 60’s they said similar things, but this time around, I believe them!

Today’s weapon of choice was the Canon 6d Mark II and the 16-35mm lens.

Down by the waterfront Part 2

Right, where was I? Ah yes, down by the waterfront, the front being the Hangar à Bananes and the water being the Loire. So we’ve done the Grue Titan, had a quick look at the rings, and even looked at the Cantine where Kate and I had lunch.

Whilst having lunch I noticed a gentleman and his wife and their two boys. There’s a kind of hilly thing that the children can play on and I think I have a picture of it somewhere… It’s called the “Coline” which means hill. I get you a photo next time… Anyway. I noticed the guy had a rather nice camera and we got talking, and comparing photos and Instagrams etc. Which was nice because anyone that knows me, knows how I can go on and on about photography, and my wife gets bored of it all very quickly, but this guy didn’t. So thank you very much Patrick.

The conversation kept going and it turned out that he, and his wife had moved to Nantes from Paris in much the same way as I had moved to Vendée from Paris in 2001. So we got talking about the differences and how we both had no regrets coming out here. The conversation turned into an impromptu photo walk and it was lovely!

This is where you get to see the big Yellow Titan crane, which has become a symbol of Nantes, as well as the elephant, which is massive and definitely something that every child wants to see and go on!

Down on the waterfront Part 1

After having met Nikos Aliagas on the Saturday I was still starstruck and it seemed to bring me out of my photographic funk… I’m not saying that all my photos were crap, but I was definitely getting into a rut.

I was originally going to go out on my own to Clisson, but Kate asked me to wait and take her to Nantes.  So I waited.  Thinking that she would use the x100 and I would use the Canon 6d Mark II with the 16-35mm lens, we set off to the Hangar à Bananes and got into action.

I love this bit of Nantes’ industrial heritage and happy that they conserved it.  This huge grey crane looms up before you and is on the very end of the Île de Nantes. I’ve photograped this crane many times and I might publish some other photos from the archives later on.

When one says Hangar à Bananes, people from Nantes get images of the huge grey Titan crane, les Anneaux de Buren, la Cantine (where we had a lovely little lunch), various pieces of modern art, the HAB Galerie (place the Kate loves having a look around), the Carrousel des Mondes Marins, and a big huge Elephant, modern architecture and so much more. This is Nantes, so expect the unexpected!

In this gallery you can see the first part of my photographs. The rest will follow in future articles…

The obligatory bike shot!

Do you ever get that shot that just seems to turn up on each of your films or series on an SD card? I do. Usually it’s doors, or door knockers for me, but I’ll leave that for an other post. This time I’m going to talk about the obligatory bike shot.

Now I’m all for being ecological and actually own a bike. I have even been known to get on it. Not only that but have been known to use it as a form of exercise and ride around my village. I keep telling myself to get my arse back into gear and get back on after a winter break. My body could use the exercise. Anyway, in Nantes, there seems to be a huge amount of bikes around, and you can see the Dilveroo, or Uber eats, guys riding around and they for an integral part of the city’s landscape. The city also has a large amount of cycle paths and I aim to visit Nantes on my bike one day. It should help me get to places that I can just can’t get to with the car, and it will diminish my carbon footprint, but maybe not my rubber tyre print…

The thing with a bike is that you can get up close and it won’t question your motives like you sometimes get whilst trying to do street photography portraits. You can take your time getting the angle you want without it telling you to get a bloody move on. You can get that depth of field that you like so much and it wont tell to Photoshop out any rust. They won’t talk back. No being accused of stalking.

The tools of the trade for these photos are: the Canon 6D Mark II, the Fujifilm X100F, and the Canon AE1. Can you spot which two photos were shot on film? And for the really keen ones amongst you, can you tell me which film I used?

Edinburgh at night

I knew there was something that I had forgotten… To finish the Edinburgh series. I seem to get distracted easily. Oh look, a shiny thing…. It’s like when you’re having a long conversation about something, then go off on a tangent, and then have to work out how to get back to what you were talking about, and at the same time trying to make it look witty, and intelligent. Needless to say, I often just loose track, and have a blond moment. A blond moment being where I don’t know what’s going on, but I don’t care because I’m blond, and therefore beautiful, and don’t have to think too much…

ANYWAY! Back to Edinburgh at night. I mean it’s not at as if I always do it. I mean Nantes is great and all that, and on my doorstep… I’ve gone and done it again haven’t I?

The photos in this series were taken on two consecutive nights after having spent the afternoon south of the border with my parents. As before in the other Edinburgh posts, I was using the X100F and it just goes to show how well it performs in low light. OK I was in Auto for the ISO setting, and yes there is noise but I still like the result and hope you do too.

On the market in Nantes

My name is Ian, I have a Jamie Oliver cook book. Hello Ian! Oh com’on. Gimme a break. We’ve all done it The recipes for the hamburgers were really good. Anyway. What was as appealing as much as the recipes was the photography of some of the food but the markets as well. These were of course English markets and therefore by definition largely inferior to the markets here in France.

So this thought had been in my head for ages stored away in a little cupboard in my brain. Since seeing these photos, the idea of doing the same has been working on me. I finally did it. Rémi was one of the guys on the Instagram walkabout, and said OK to accompany me. Helped make sure I didn’t do anything silly.

I wanted to capture the colours in the beautiful light on that day. Weapon of choice was the X100F .