#150 The great anniversary post: celebrating our owner, Pascal

By philberphoto | News

Aug 12

The purpose of this post is to celebrate its n° 150. Quite an achievement! Bravo Pascal! And also a way to revive brilliant pictures that might otherwise stay buried in the past, too deep for new visitors to exhume, too old for established friends to remember.

So, at the expense of Pascal’s modesty, I shall comment on some of his more striking photos, as I see them. Not only as a tribute, but also as a reflection on the highly individual notion of “what photography means to each of us”

The first thing I noticed when I viewed his pictures is his talent for visual creation with a camera. He can see and create where others (I for example), would just see nothing. Which means of course that he is not content with “just” showing the world as closely to what our eyes and brain see as possible. Remarkable! DSC_5662

I just want to sit there and watch this scene, drawn into this form of mind travel that the best photography offers. Then, when I try to analyze where this brand of magic comes from, I am struck by how little he had to work with. No breathtaking landscape or architecture. Just what to everyone else, would have been essentially empty, shapeless, uninspiring.

And, lest you think that this is due to his choice of B&W, here is another one from the same set, just as successful at turning visual lead into photographic gold.


Now, so that you think he is not “just” a landscape guy, where Mother Nature wows us with her beauty and lets even ordinary photographers take extraordinary pictures, let’s see him do this with architecture: A chimney and rooftop theater at Le Corbusier's La Cité Radieuse, Marseilles. Olympus OM-D E-M5. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ah, yes, you are thinking: OK, sure, those are striking pictures, but architecture when shooting masterpieces from Le Corbusier or Calatrava, that is not so hard. That isn’t exactly creating great pics out of very little.

So, let’s look now at minimalist creations, and see how Pascal does it. What could be more minimalist than a snow-covered, deserted patch of Lapland?

A pair of frosted trees at sunset in Lapland. Nikon D800e with Leica Summicron-R 35

The Couple

A frosted tree at sunset in Lapland. Leica R Summicron 35 ans Nikon D800e

The Tree

There: he’s done it again! Almost nothing to work with, and, hey! Presto! My mind wants to be there. I am there, inside the picture, wandering, inspired.

So, say you, you are choosing pictures where Pascal can actually, so to speak, mold the world to his vision. Eaaasy. But how about when he can’t? Where there is reality, and there is nothing he can do about that? How does he get us to board his Magical Mindscape Machine?

A metal statut reflecting passers by. Sony NEX-5n and Biogon 25mm/2.8 ZM Zeiss.

Shiny Pelvis

A pink modern art statue of a nake lady in a gallery next to the Louvre, Paris. Sony NEX-5n & Zeiss ZM Biogon 25mm f/2.8

Lady in Pink

I can see myself reflected in the eyes of this young lady. Olympus OM-D E-M5 & Olympus Digital Zuiko 45mm f1.8

Reflected in her eyes

See it? Shop windows or even just a simple face. Material that all of us have. Each of them made into a mindtrip Just sit back, and enjoy the ride!

As I write this, of course, I examine what it is in me that draws me to these pictures, which may well not be Pascal’s favorites. Clearly, those are some of the ones I would have liked to take, but haven’t. Call it envy. I call it appreciation. In both cases, it is highly personal. Welcome to your own world of photography!

Look at the last one I selected. What can be more postcard-ish (as in “boring”) than soldiers parading in front of a public monument like the Beefeaters in front of the Tower of London? Look at what Pascal chose to do: a night scene, where darkness invites the imagination to fill in for what the eye doesn’t see…

Well done, Pascal, and thanks for inviting me into your world.

Three levels of roads and passageways in Hong Kong

As Above, So Below

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