I've spent a lot of time walking the streets of Paris recently, for one reason or another. Here are a couple of shots from those hours.
In fact this year has almost been one big walking extravaganza for me. I've done a lot of walking this year. So these images are symbolic for me. I'm the person striding ahead of me. I'm the shadow slipping past barred windows. I'm he who walks where the bicycles go. I'm the one who flits by strange exhibitions of thrown paint, like the paint I've thrown many times myself at empty canvases.
I'm feeling more and more like the shadow man I described in this old poem from another time.
I believe walking, and photography, and Paris, is somewhat responsible for what I am now. Paris never fails to astonish me.
However bad I'm feeling, there is always something to take my breath away when I least expect it. Be it a sudden shimmering of light in a metal grill, a wavery reflection in a puddle, a game of shapes and shadows on a wall, a funny motif under my feet.
Paris will nurse and nourish me. If she can't do it, I don't think anything can.
And on the subject of photography... did you know that I'm holding my first Photography Evening at Shakespeare & Company on Wednesday? Well I am, so there! So what am I going to do? That's the question. I've named the first evening 'The Art of Seeing', which sounds somewhat pretentious, but I really believe that you can't take photos without opening your eyes. Sounds strange, but what I'm really talking about is the eyes of your soul. You need the ability to see things - to imagine pictures which don't even exist yet. You have to 'see' in your mind's eye what you want to exist and then you have to work out how to make it a reality.
Often people don't want to help you. I remember once a strange gallery with a giraffe stretching out its neck, and all I wanted was someone to go past and make it look like the giraffe was trying to take a nibble out of the passerby, and you won't believe how difficult it was to just get someone to just actually walk past the window! They'd stop or hesitate or walk behind me or anything, without realising that THEY were supposed to be the star of the photo! I couldn't tell them, of course!
So there it is. Capturing the moment. Imagining the unimaginable. Setting up shots in your head and hoping that they will come true. I guess we're all setting up stuff in our heads and hoping it will come true. My latest one didn't. So I keep on shooting.