Tuesday, 7 April 2009

A few European moments

Pin It I was recently in Berlin for a week and in Paris for less than 8 hours. Although I was in neither place to take pictures, I found the few hours in Paris to be far more productive than the time in Berlin. It must have been one of the first days of spring in the city of romance; the sky turned blue, the air was soft and warm, and the entire city seemed intoxicated with either love or the warm day, or perhaps both. There were lovers everywhere; so nice to see romance in an often visibly turbulent and conflictual world.

In contrast, and while I really liked Berlin, the city and much of the population seemed to languish in the grumpiness of winter. Pointing a camera in anyone's direction generally met with an icy stare and after a while it all seemed like too much effort at public relations to bother to continue. Besides, the camera was big and heavy and possibly intimidating. One really needs a small and good camera for this sort of work. And one that is weatherproof.

In the end, I enjoyed doing some images in the classic black and white style of the street photographer. However, I think it must be much harder to do the sort of work now that people did twenty or more years ago and back into the era of Cartier-Bresson. A post-911 world, security, obsessions with privacy and other issues have placed much more restrictions on photographers when it comes to catching the fleeting moments of a 21st century world fast rushing past to God-knows-where.

Images Nikon D700/Canon Ixus


EneMan said...

Peter, these are fantastic images! I am totally blown away what you did in just a few hours in Paris. I was in Paris for 2 weeks last year and my photos totally sucked. I love all your shot! Thanks!

Peter Bendheim said...

Thanks so much -- sometimes moments just come together, but often they don't! The actors need to be on stage for the play to happen!

Mark Theunissen said...

I love your pics Peter. Absolutely amazing. Keep it up!

You really should get a Flickr account though. You will find yourself swamped with admirers and your work will get a lot more exposure.


Milo said...

Excellent Peter. Not used to seeing you shoot in BW. Must be that Bresson thing while in Paris.
Especially like the dog on shoe image.Image if you had more time.

Peter Bendheim said...

Thanks Mark and Milo...Must be the H C-B thing...somehow Paris demanded to be shot in BW, and for once I enjoyed the discipline of actually setting the camera to BW and not doing a post colour to BW conversion. It helps focus the mind!

Chris said...

Good stuff

Susen said...

Brilliant!!! I love each one of the photos and I could just sit and watch for hours. You are truly one of the best photographers in the whole wide world. Its the depth behind the pics, the stories they are telling. They touch our souls in a nice way... Thanx

Renee de Wet said...

I have a book called "Rewarding Conservation", about old buildings in Durban. On the title page is a note that reads:
To be remembered when you're famous.
Peter Bendheim

So now that YOU'RE famous... do you remember? :-)

Your pictures are breathtaking!