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Et le temps glisse à nouveau | by Zeb Andrews
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Et le temps glisse à nouveau

I have written much about creativity before, and these series of images from Paris I hope continues that discussion. I have longed believed creativity to be a skill, not a trait per se. Meaning, you learn it. You practice it and it improves. It can be taught and forgotten. Being creative is much like learning how to read a light meter or to compose a photograph. In fact, creativity arches over both of those facets of photography. I know my series of photos made around the St. Johns bridge is one example of how to creatively approach the same subject in different ways, time and again. I want this series of Eiffel Tower images (and the rest of Paris as well) to be the same. The key difference being my St. Johns Bridge images have been made over the course of a decade. All of these photos of the Eiffel Tower were made over the course of seven days, more or less (I think I made a photo of the Eiffel Tower almost every day that week anyway). I made quite a range of images of the same subject over that very short span of time. Some of it came from the equipment and knowing how to use it. The changing of cameras and filters. But most of it comes from my familiarity with a certain bridge in my hometown, and the practice I have had walking around it again and again. That practice has not been in making different photos, but rather in how to look at something in as many different ways as you can. It is hard to describe. With the Eiffel Tower, it meant a lot of walking, a lot of pausing, a lot of looking and a lot of waiting. I have 218 images in my Edited folder to share. That represents about a half of all the images I made. Of that 218, about half are the Eiffel Tower. I estimate that about half of that 400 total images made were also the Eiffel Tower. 200 images in seven days is not a rapid rate of photography.... my point is, most of the work I did was not with my camera. It was not me shooting willy-nilly hoping that a photo would jump in front of my camera. Most of the work was of a quiet and decidedly undramatic nature, it was done with my feet, eyes, curiosity and imagination.


If any of that makes much sense, then hopefully there is some wisdom imbedded in there. I sometimes find this aspect of the business harder to explain than to demonstrate, which in turn is more difficult than me just going out and doing it. There is a certain level of intuition involved, and intuition is not something that can really be taught, but has to be learned on one's own.


As far as this image goes, it is a break from the Wall for Peace (I have several more from there) and is back up at the Trocadero. This was a day I was on my own wandering the streets of Paris and walked several miles (Paris tip #2: Walk everywhere. The subway system is very good, but the streets hide so many interesting things, get a good map and plot a course and just walk). When I arrived at the Trocadero I was in time to witness a pretty amazing display of hip-hop/breakdancing. I backed off from the crowd for a minute to make this exposure with the Hasselblad and an 8 stop ND filter. I really do love crowds and long exposures. People are so much less predictable than clouds or waterfalls when it comes to long exposures.

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Uploaded on March 12, 2012