Thursday, November 24, 2005

No Laughing Matter

A wonderful addition to my 'Paris Behind Bars' series, this cheery chap caught my attention whilst walking along rue de Rivoli through the wonderful arcade just opposite the Louvre where you get some superb shadows of an afternoon. I must have a photo of that somewhere too.

This row of shops, just before you get to all the tourist stuff at the Palais Royale, is sort of attached to the Louvre, in that it's full of antiques and various items of more or less dubious merit. Old rattlebones here was by far the most interesting item on display in any of them.

I've got another wonderful picture on the skeleton theme somewhere on the Paris Set Me Free site where a ribby drain cover has been turned into a skeleton's ribcage in a moment of rare humour. Ahh! After a great dredge around I've finally found it here, but you'll have to scroll down. You can't miss it when you get there though, I assure you! And you even get a rather inebriated poem into the bargain! There are days like that...

Just a bit of background on my 'Paris Behind Bars' series, which is coming soon on my site and which I'm very excited about.

I've realised slowly over the years, that you need to work to themes, both to discipline yourself, and also to give greater coherence to your work. It's a bit like the old adage that if you don't know where you're going, how the hell are you ever going to get there?!

So I've developed a few themes which I try to shoot to when I'm out. The simple fact of having themes helps you to focus and also reveals more opportunities for great shots than if you are just wandering around aimlessly.

Take the 'Paris Behind Bars' theme, for example. Now I automatically look in every shop window at night when the shutters have been lowered to see if there's anything interesting peeking out from behind them. And it's amazing how ofter there is.

It puts a whole new perspective on ordinary shop window displays when you see the normally glamourous, over-the-top, happier-than-happy and freer-than-free models, for example, suddenly imprisoned behind cold aluminium grills. But occasionally you can play with that. The full pouting hexagonal lips of a sexy siren can be echoed in the form of the interlinked metal tubes encapsulating her. A proud stalking tiger can be reduced to a pathetic, impotent zoological exhibit. And tribal effigies, supposedly evoking far off exotic places, are shown, cruelly, for the shams they really are, so far from their homelands and the calloused hands that carved them.

Other themes I work to, which you can see on Paris Set Me Free soon, in the pictures section, include 'Paris Under Bars' (me getting sloshed and waving my camera around a bit at the same time... don't ask), 'Paris Rainbows' (where I look for any manifestation of rainbow colours wherever I find them), and a few others which are brewing. What about 'Paris Lampposts', 'Down & Out in Paris', and 'Pigeon's Eye Paris'. Could be fun! Let me know what you think, viewers!



Anonymous said...

Nice creepy shot .... Happy T-Day from the USA ;-) Or should I say In ... Anyway have a great day...

It has been snowing here for the last 24 hours we have over a foot on the ground and more coming.. It is pretty. But I'm tired of shoveling the driveway :-)


Mdx said...

Good idea the theme thing. Seems like a logical way to collect and organize your work - and push you to be more creative. I like the skeleton!

Tomate Farcie said...

Nice teeth on that thing.


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