26 by 26 9:03am, 14 November 2013
Challenge #19:
Take a photograph of your present.
– Alain Laboile

Alain adds…

“Yesterday is history,
Tomorrow is a mystery,
Today is a gift,
That’s why it is called the present.”
– Master Oogway (Kung Fu Panda)

La Famile


All images copyright of Alain Laboile

"Born on May 1, 1968 near Bordeaux, France, Alain Laboile is a photographer and father of six. In 2004, as he needed to put together a portfolio of his work as a sculptor, he acquired a camera, and thus developed a taste for macrophotography, spurred by his passion for entomology. Later on, he pointed his lens towards his growing family which became his major subject, be it in a realistic depiction of their atypical lifestyle in 'La Famille', or in bizarre stagings around a pond in 'Réflexion autour du bassin'.”



As well as being a good place to connect with other members and share your initial reactions, thoughts about how to 'solve it' and any links you think might help the group. This can also be a good place to include any old photos you have that fit the challenge or your work-in-progress during the two weeks before posting your final image to the group pool.

We're looking forward to hearing people's thoughts, good luck everyone!
— 26 by 26 team
scala66/Paul Marsh PRO 5 years ago
oh yes.
very much influenced by Alains work. if you havnt seen his work, go have a look, you wont be dissapointed.

also his book, En attendant le facteur, is fantastic.
Mark W Russell 5 years ago
I know and admire Alain's work some of which reminds me of Sally Mann's Family Pictures;

Also I am reminded of a saying I use in some of my workshops, when I talk about the "now": "The present is a membrane that tomorrows pass through to become yesterdays".
david_gillett 5 years ago
Your #50 from last year reminds me of his work.

I *think* I might base my response around "You have to know the past to understand the present." in someway. Maybe involving ex-girlfriends (!).
Julia M Cameron PRO 5 years ago

Sounds as though you may be entering dangerous territory! Good luck!
david_gillett 5 years ago
Julia M Cameron:
Texts sent: 3
Replies: 0

Time for a plan B!
cjcrosland PRO 5 years ago
Alain's instruction is already combining in my head with Kung Fu panda and Sally Mann to form a heady mix!
Plus wondering how it will work out for David :-)
Julia M Cameron PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Julia M Cameron (admin) 5 years ago
My early idea is something along the inter-generation line. How to get my 89 year old father and 9 year old daughter to sit for a portrait? Daughter is a doddle, but Dad….oh not so simple…he will pull faces!
Leripix 5 years ago
Phew! I'm in complete awe of Alain Laboile's work.

Until now I was unfamiliar with the philosophy of Kung Fu Panda - you learn something every day (thankfully)

I've missed the last few instructions but hope I can come up with something worthy this time round and I like the idea of some sort of timewarp

dacaccia 5 years ago
Every one photo we are shooting is shooted in the present.
As soon as we develop it, show it, let it be viewed: it is part of the past. :)

charming kettle [deleted] 5 years ago
I wasn't aware of Alain's work, but I'm really glad I took the time to look at 'Réflexion autour du bassin'. Those photographs are so full of life and vigor. I love it.

Regarding the brief I think it is a beautiful and life affirming challenge. Mainly because the only interpretation I can think of is: look at what you are thankful for today and express your gratitude through photography.

I have only one past photograph on flickr that would count towards this challenge. That would be the one pictured above. (but don't tell anyone).

Amble by charming kettle
Julia M Cameron PRO 5 years ago
180 degrees

The Bride and Groom

Body parts 1

A strange mix of genres…but seem to fit ( a bit).
scala66/Paul Marsh PRO 5 years ago

thank you very much david.
Monty May (OBSERVE) PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Monty May (OBSERVE) (member) 5 years ago
Coffin Store (Sarg-Magazin) 1996

Dulcinea #4

Home Sweet Home

Voltaire 2010 5 years ago
Agree with Mark.

Very like Sally Mann, which I like very much.

A great exhibition at the Photographers Gallery a few years ago.

The video of her talking about her work is worth watching too.
johnpaddler PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by johnpaddler (member) 5 years ago
Alain is a he, of course. And a sculptor.

I wonder which video you mean. There are quite a few on YouTube. This one seems to feature most of his family too.
Unfortunately French (& German) were my weakest subjects at school.

Alain's stream is awsome. I think there is something timeless about his photos - with few, if any, dateable cultural artifacts to link them to a specific decade.

More Laboile:

I had some good sculptor friends, way back. Except for deadlines, openings and such they seemed to live in a wider 'now'. It was fun and very relaxing. The now of the city and other people's lives in the city is more split second. You miss it and it's gone. Nonetheless not being a sculptor with a big garden, or a bunch of kids, it is to the street I need to look for moments of play and creativity.

This is Mrs P in my brother's back garden with water feature and koi:

Dancing with Mr D
Voltaire 2010 5 years ago
Sorry John. i was referring to Sally Mann's exhibition at the Photographers not Alain's photographs. The DVD documentary about her work is called'What Remains' directed by Steven Cantor. A brilliant and candid piece.Well worth checking out if you don't know it already.

Her work from 1992 called 'Immediate Family' is very similar in both theme and Alain's in many ways. It hit a lot of problems with the religious right in the US. Alain's work may hit similar problems if it is ever widely publicised, which was Mark's point.

Her now adult children also make comments about how it feels to be subjects/objects of their mother's famous work as children. fascinating stuff.
johnpaddler PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by johnpaddler (member) 5 years ago
Silly me! So much for speed reading.

The comparison is appropriate and relevant. Though I think if more photographers living in rural settings took photos of their kids growing up, we would rather be discussing the differences than the similarities.

But we live in hysterical times...
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