Honfleur at night

Honfleur is one of those pretty places that you see on postcards from Normandy. It is the birthplace of Erik Satie, the musician, composer, and a slighty, ever so slightly, eccentric, which is how my mother describes me. I think it’s a nice way of calling me a wierdo!

So Honfleur… Full of Parisians and people from just outside Paris that don’t have enough money to be able to afford Deauville. But also full of art lovers thanks to the many painters that have their galleries, and those channelling Eugène Boudin (joke available in French, contact me for details) and those wanting some Monet, Monet, Monet! (the Dad joke strikes again!) And let’s not forget those messing up their cholesterol levels with Camembert and Crême Fraîche d’Isingy, and those ruining their livers on Calva, and Pommeau. Cider is available for the lightweights like me.

On our first night, Killian, my ever dutiful son, needed to get out of the house and stretch his legs, so I tagged along with him. We went out with the two cameras (X100F for me, and Canon 6D for him) to do some night time photography, and headed off to the old harbour. We vowed to keep away from all the bars and ice cream places and actually managed it! Such restraint!

Here are my photos from that trip out:

First night of the holidays

It was Friday. The boss had come round and asked where we were with our workload. I was fully up to date. He asked if I wanted to finish work that morning or work the Friday afternoon. Strangely enough I said, oh alright, I’ll finish at lunchtime then. And so started my four week Summer holidays.

I’d done a reportage of Bouffay at night a while ago and wanted to have another bash at it. And as usual I found the pub… Ah well, I was a good boy and only had a single pint. Yes that can happen! Not often, but it has been known.

I needed food and ended up having a goats cheese and honey pizza. Don’t forget that this is France and that anything can happen as far as food is concerned. On the way back to the pub for number two, pint number two and not a “number two,” even if the loos have just been done up and look rather nice, I just wanted to get a photo of the Café du Cinéma, which is a cafe just next to a cinema but is a thing of beauty with it’s mosaic front and just looks sooo French. I still get emotional every time I pass by. Am I the only person who gets like that when they see a certain building?

Hello, my name is Ian, and I like looking at certain buildings and they just touch me.

Back to the pub just to say hi as the late shift came on, just to say hi. That second pint was just circumstantial.

I was taking the X100F out for a spin that night, and although everyone says it, I’m going to to say it too: It’ a great little camera for street photography.

Photography in the streets of Nantes, May 2019

Now that you’ve had a bit of time to get used to me, I’m going to show you some of the usual photography I do, to keep my eye in. No fancy lenses. Just the Fujifilm X100F with it’s 35mm equivalent lens.

So basically I go into town with my small inconspicuous little camera that does the business, and, believe it or not, take some photos. I then find a café to sit in, take a few more photos just in case, and start editing.

That entails sending the photos from the camera onto my phone via Wi-Fi, and getting annoyed when I have to start again a few times… Then comes the editing on my phone with Snapseed, and there you are. Photos ready to publish on Instagram or Facebook etc.

Win I do this I have my own preset as a starting point and that allows me to finely tune the end result. I nearly always go black and white for this kind of photography. The idea being that o manage to get photos of the ordinary things and try and give the justice. You’ll be able to decide when you look through.

On this particular trip, those of you who know Nantes will be able to see exactly where I went…

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.

Come to Nantes – It’s a riot!

Oooooh… About to get political. Well, not really, but for the last 19 weeks, the Gilet Jaune movement has become a reality and what was at first something pretty scary, has now become part of everyday life and people are just getting on with it! I love the way they just say “merde” which delivers a certain contempt that the English language just can’t manage to doso concisely.

I’m not going to pass judgement on the movement, or am I going to get into the politics of it all. However, as a piece of history, it has been fascinating to watch and photograph. I mean the French are ready to demonstrate about anything, and things can get quite militant, so we know what to expect. The police come out dressed in riot gear, an all of a sudden you some bangs. The first rounds of teargas have been fired. You get that strange mist that permeates the city and gets your eyes and throat. Not the most pleasant experience, but I’ve had worse. Streets get blocked off by rather large CRS (Compagnie Républicaine de Sécurité) or Gendarmes. And they know if you’re demonstrating or not and are quite civil. The ones you have to watch out for are the BAC (Brigade Anti Criminalité) who have less riot gear on but can be pretty brutal.

I watch from afar as elements of the scene fall into place. People are just going about their daily business.

A Manif (demonstration) from last May bout the proposed airport in Nantes.

Thes folowing photos were taken on the X100F and the Canon 6D Mark II, with a Pentacon 50mm lens.

Walkabout in Nantes with the lads from Instagram – Part III

We crossed over from the Castle and headed over past the Tour Lu (sans thé) down towards the Canal St Félix, along the Loire, pas the CIC building, and back into town and we ended having coffee and tea in the Sugar Blue Café where I have this habit of going to and eating wonderful food and having a nice cup of tea… I seem to have this weakness for tea and cake…