Mo Blog

Friday, 29 April 2011

Paris: le doc

Documentary chat 101. The reason i am in Paris at all is on a work experience project funded by a European educational foundation. The nature of bringing us here is to allow us two glorious things. To explore a foreign city and plunge right in to its cultural tide, but to also expose and document what we see as we see it. We are, if nothing else, given a small voice. It is also engineered to encourage us to represent through photography, Paris through the medium of documentary. We are granted licence to investigate something foreign, visually. We are allowed to be our own masters, to try new techniques or approaches, to push ourselves out of our comfort zone or refine our workflow with a time limit and a dead line.

In order for us to carry this out we have a few nifty treats at our disposal. The first and second are free flights and free accomodation directly in the heart of Paris. The third and in the same vein, is a little cushion of cash to allow us transport, access and the all important cuisine. So we are, if nothing else, given a small voice and a lot of money. But once the struggle of finances is taken care of, we have little excuse but to get right to it, and since the word is documentary, its about time that we get out our dictionaries.

For the documentary photographer, there is clash of identity especially when landed in the centre of the biggest tourist hothouse in Europe. When everyone carries a camera and every subject is aware, jaded and unwelcoming to the turn of the lens, there is a hard and difficult moment where you need to stop being a tourist. For me over the last few days the shutter has been snapping  less, the gaze has trained in and my pace has slowed down. The barrage of beutiful and compelling shapes, colours and textures is ebbing away and now i can feel a story out on the streets that needs to be told. At the moment, this is what i think is the call of the documentary. I am not really taking pictures, i am now looking for images. And a cheap pint.

The search continues, stay tooned

Mesdames, Messieurs, le disc-jockey Sash! est de retour.


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Bienvenue a....

After all the moving and shaking over the last few days, here here! Everything is well settled and far from remaining so in the beautiful capital of France. After what was really quite a seemless travel episode, the only main obstacle was an absence of internet at the hotel so i am 3 days behind in me postings -quelle horror! The only reason that is so tragic is, not the catch-up workload, but the inevitable amnesia at the gems of hilarity and the waves of brilliance that mark any group expedition abroad.

So i wont even start. Needless to say, its been a very active arrival. The early mornings are witnessed and twinned wearily with the same late of night. All kinds of light from all kinds of angles. Incredible mileage and impossible photographic curiosity. All the mod cons but with comical foreign names and eccentric hues and colours. Rest, work and leisure all at the same time, all chasing for priority. So far it smacks of all the right flavours that round a holiday to completenes.

The highlights so far include:

The horror at our cupboard hotel room.
Gradual stitches as we squeezed crucial storage space out of the most flush and mundane fixtures and fittings.
Helping, from out of nowhere, a couple carry a giant slab of marble up three flights of stairs to their apartment.
An impromptu traditional ceileidh session au bord de la Seine.
And a legendary free banana...



Saturday, 23 April 2011

La France

Alors! For the next two weeks I will be off to Paris as part of an educational exchange programme funded by the Leonardo Da Vinci foundation. This means that yes, the toilets are on hold for now and that OUI the old blog will be back in action!

The exchange programme itself is trés superior and i will give more info during the 2 weeks depicting in eye watering detail, just how sweet we have it. I'm not one to count my chickens so since i am still in a chilly fog-spread Edinburgh, i'll reserve judgement until i arrive.

I will be trying to update the blog daily with all my photographic adventures as well as my choice phrases of French i have dared to try out. Paris, fait peter le fromage!