Stolen moment

Sorry, not much time to post on the blog these days, my schedule has been a bit hectic lately to say the least. There isn’t a moment of rest but I’m doing what I love. The Normandy photo workshop was another success. I met some really wonderful people and made new lifelong friendships along the way. I am now teaching another workshop in Paris with a new small group before going back to my other home in the US. I usually don’t shoot as much as I would like to during a workshop I’m too busy teaching and helping students. But I grab a shot here and there and stole this timeless moment at a cafe during one of our breaks yesterday morning.

A stolen moment…

valerie Jardin - La Femme au Cafe-1

While Waiting For My Ride At Paris CDG

I just arrived in France to teach two week-long photo workshops. As soon as I picked up my luggage at Paris CDG this morning, I noticed the silhouettes above at the departure level of Terminal 2. Lucky for me, my ride was a few minutes late so I grabbed a few fun pics.

Photographers are never bored! :)

 

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

 

Beautiful Smiles of Strangers ~ DeSean

I was out shooting street photography in Minneapolis with one of my best photo buddies last night. It’s always a blast and we meet so many interesting people along the way. A back alley led us to the best encounter of the evening: DeSean Mills. He led us up a rusty escape ladder to a roof top terrace where we talked for a while before he disappeared through an open window. As he was leaving I called him back and got this shot of him.  Later we met him at his store. This young man is quite an entrepreneur in the world of fashion and just opened a retail space downtown Minneapolis OOTN Life Style. He also has a FB page. Check it out and send him some love!

 

DeSean Mills ©Valérie Jardin

DeSean Mills ©Valérie Jardin

When Your Vision Becomes Reality

As photographers, we are constantly scanning around us for photo opportunities. I drove under this pedestrian bridge many times. A quick stop to get the shot is not an option as it crosses over the highway and the light rail. I knew I had to make a special trip to find the best access to position myself below it and away from oncoming traffic. It was a stormy evening last week and I had the urge to finally get the shot, or at least make a first attempt at it. I had also just received the new Fuji XT-1 and wanted to take it out for a spin…

A heavy downpour was threatening and bicyclists on the bridge were scarce. At least I had found the best way to access it for the next time, but I was determined to get at least one decent shot that night.

I was envisioning a very minimalist image. The bridge taking center stage and the human element as a silhouette very small in the frame. I also envisioned some motion blur for added effect. I was ready!

This first shot is exactly the image I had envisioned each time I drove by that bridge. The bridge is the main subject, but the image is only complete with the human figure which draws your eye immediately. I was satisfied but not thrilled. It was okay for a first attempt, I guess.

 

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

 

I almost left after this shot because I wanted to stay dry and the sky was more and threatening. Then I decided to get a bit closer and try another frame if, by chance, another bicyclist would enter my stage…

AND there he was! The guy with the unusual bowler hat. Forget the previous shot, I knew I had a much stronger subject in this second one and a better composition as well.

 

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

When you envision a shot at a certain location for quite a while, it is not unusual to postpone the satisfaction of getting that shot for weeks or months. Why, you may ask? Because now that location is ruined for me, I will never be as happy with another shot as I was with the silhouette of the bicyclist with the bowler hat. It’s very bittersweet and, if you are a photographer, you know exactly the feeling. But it’s part of the game. The hunt for another a great backdrop is on and it’s all part of the fun!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please leave a comment below if you did!

A Walk Around The Kirkbride Insane Asylum

I visited the grounds of the impressive abandoned Kirkbride Insane Asylum in Fergus Falls, MN on Monday. The state hospital was built in 1885 outside a very small town. There was no access inside the building but I was able to get a few shots through glass or holes in windows. Eventhough it was a beautiful summer day, the place remains eerie to say the least… Here are a few snapshots I grabbed along the way.

valerie Jardin - Kirkbride-43

©Valérie Jardin

valerie Jardin - Kirkbride-6

©Valérie Jardin

valerie Jardin - Kirkbride-2

©Valérie Jardin

valerie Jardin - Kirkbride-3

©Valérie Jardin

valerie Jardin - Kirkbride-4

©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

valerie Jardin - Kirkbride-12

Emergency escape chute ©Valérie Jardin

valerie Jardin - Kirkbride-13

©Valérie Jardin

valerie Jardin - Kirkbride-14

©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

valerie Jardin - Kirkbride-19

Shadow figures haunting the halls… ©Valérie Jardin

valerie Jardin - Kirkbride-20

©Valérie Jardin

valerie Jardin - Kirkbride-21

©Valérie Jardin

valerie Jardin - Kirkbride-22

©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

valerie Jardin - Kirkbride-30

©Valérie Jardin

valerie Jardin - Kirkbride-31

©Valérie Jardin

valerie Jardin - Kirkbride-32

Not a breeze, yet the swing was still moving… ©Valérie Jardin

valerie Jardin - Kirkbride-33

©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

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©Valérie Jardin

valerie Jardin - Kirkbride-42

©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

The mandatory eerie selfie reflection :) ©Valérie Jardin

The Streets in Motion

I put this little video for you to enjoy some motion in street photography.

iPhoneography At The State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair is huge, both in size and popularity. It is the largest in the US. It lasts 10 days and attracts nearly 2 million visitors. I did an experiment this year. I went to the Great Minnesota Get-Together just with my iPhone and cash in my pocket. I had a blast! No pressure to get great shots, just recording life around me with a simple tool. The following pics are straight out of the iPhone, I didn’t even bother with an app. to make them look cool, the pics should speak for themselves… They’re not very sharp, they’re not properly exposed, but that’s not what story telling is about!

I had fun captioning the snapshots, I hope you have fun reading them.

 

On the bus to the fair

On the bus to the fair

Stuck between a belly and a butt...

Stuck between a belly and a butt…

photo 5

Sharp shooters

The guy in the middle must be a sharp shooter!

The guy in the middle must be a sharp shooter!

It's not a cig, only a fry!

It’s not a cig, only a fry!

photo 1

Eat up, you’re going to need a lot of energy to carry those giant Teenage Mutan Ninja Turtles all day….

photo 2

Say Cheese!

photo 3

You’re cute, but I will not play the basket ball game, I’m sure the diameter of the hoop is smaller than the ball…

photo 1

Friends enjoying a break… and a snack!

photo 3

That’s a lot of cookies… Do you know the saying: ‘A minute on the lips, a life time on the hips’?

photo 3

Eating close to the garbage can…

photo 5

Yep, the corn on the cob is a big seller!

photo 1

‘Lucky Dog’

photo 2

Big boys with sippy cups :)

photo 5

Parading on the service cart

photo 2

Sharp dresser!

I'm not a fan of mustaches in general, but those require some skills!

I don’t care much for mustaches in general, but those are cool!

photo 4

I won… And it only cost me $50 in tickets!

photo 4

Twins??

photo 3

Remembering his childhood on the giant swing…

Always an old favorite!

Always an old favorite!

photo 4

Checking out the Java Jive.

photo 5

I see triangles!!!

photo 4

A happy grandpa

photo 2

Maybe I should deflate it for the day…

photo 1

“Come on, it’s only 3 tickets!”

photo 4

“Come here, you won’t regret it, 1 ball for 3 tickets!”

photo 3

Mirror image

"I know I can get the bullseye!"

“I know I can hit the bullseye, the sign says Winner Every Race!”

photo 2

Visitors came all the way from Scotland!

photo 1

“I do love you, but I need to check my messages.”

photo 4

“A little nap and I’ll be ready to walk for a few more hours…”

photo 3

“Holding it for my grandson.”

photo 3

“This is just grand, honey!”

photo 4

Girls just want to have FUN!

Girls just want to have FUN!

Beautiful Smiles of Strangers from Around the World

I decided to put together this 3 minute presentation of nearly 60 beautiful smiles of strangers photographed over the past year and half. I am missing a few but every single one of them made my day.

Let me know if this video makes you smile!

Street Encounters

I just answered a question for my new podcast Street Focus: An ongoing exploration of urban photography (soon to be launched on iTunes), about the experience of being a street photographer.

As many other street photographers will tell you, street photography is more about the people than it is about photography. It is definitely my interest in people and my curiosity that drive me to roam the streets with my camera for hours and hours as often as I can. Most often, my subjects never know I capture their story in a frame. The job of a street photographer is to be a close witness while remaining invisible. Other times I interact with my subjects and make a quick street portrait of them. They will either catch my eye because of their expression, their beautiful smile, their funky hat, or anything else that makes them stand out. Before we part ways I often hand them my business card and invite them to contact me for a copy of the picture. I often receive an email a few days later or they stop by my FB Page to say hello. I’ve made many friends that way!

I want to share the story of my encounter with Karim, aka. Falk Desdichado. I was walking down Chapel Street in Melbourne Australia last February when he stopped me to ask me to sign a petition (if I recall correctly). We started a conversation and he happened to be from France.

Two Frenchies on the other side of the world!

This was an opportunity I couldn’t miss and I asked him to make a quick street portrait or two and handed him my card in case he wanted a copy of it. The next day he visited my fb page and saw his picture in my ‘Beautiful Smiles of Strangers’ series. Since then I’ve been following the story of this talented young artist on social media and it’s made the experience even more special. Today I saw a link to his new song on FB and I thought of sharing this story with you.

Street photography is a beautiful thing, and you never know the friends you will make along the way. I am fortunate to have hundreds of similar stories that have enriched my life as a photographer and as a human being.

Here are a couple of snapshots of Karim I took that day for my Beautiful Smiles of Strangers series:

 

valerie Jardin - Karim-2 valerie Jardin - Karim-1

 

 

And here is the link to a new song by a talented young French artist traveling the world :)

 

Silhouettes From Around The World

Okay, I admit, I love shooting silhouettes! I made this short video presentation just for you :) Enjoy!

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