Day 3, already. And what a day. As I write these few words, disorienting amounts of Gamay-tasting Shiraz molecules are disrupting my nervous system, making each keyboard stroke as easy as juggling in space.
We have just left legendary restaurant Bouillon Chartier to conclude a very unusual day of photography and I couldn’t be more chuffed.
Today was special. Due to exhaustion, some of us (me included, I am ashamed to admit) skipped the early morning session to focus on late (as in 8 AM) street photography, while the brave left at 6 AM to photograph sunrise at Le Louvre.
We split the day into two parts. Freestyle in the morning, model shoot in the arvo.
While two very different stories unfolded during the wee hours (the braves reaping the colourful benefits of their early rise bravery, while we lazies roamed the interesting back alleys behind the Grands Boulevards) most of us pushed ourselves away from our comfort zones to tackle new styles of photography and tackle the environment in ways that feel unnatural and, sometimes, scary.
For me, that meant real street photography. Not the hiding-behind-a-long-lens type of shy approach but a close-combat 25mm Biogon way of the samurai. That resulted in a subtle blend of bliss and pants-threatening stress. This is me trying to emulate Paul’s natural close-up style. On the streets.
Interestingly, this was a re-uniting with a long-lost friend: the Zeiss Biogon 25/2.8 ZM. I owned and loved that lens in the days of my Nex-5n ownership, then sold it when the Sony A7 series was released because some wannabee Internet pundit declared it unfit on the new Sony full-frame cameras. While this may have been true with the A7r, I hope the photographs on this page (all of which, except those of our model, are made with that lens) help dispell the myth for the more recent generation of imagers.
It’s hard to overstate how much of a cookie that lens really is. It is remarkably affordable used, tiny, beautifully built and just *so simple* to use. It feels like having an autofocus that actually works, doesn’t hunt, and really knows where you (not a silicom brain with the IQ of an earth-worm) think the important parts of the photographs really are.For the afternoon, we headed to Palais Royal to tackle a type of photography very few of had any experience with: portrait.
Yay me, I have a pigeon on my head!
Our model was great. Our requirements were rather strict. Beauty alone was far from enough, we really needed a model who could handle herself without expert directions (although some of us turned out to be surprisingly good at that). She was just perfect! If you are ever in Paris and want to experience the thrill of fashion shooting in a fantastic setting, give her a call. Thanks to her!
Before our final get together at Chartier’s, we headed to a vintage car exhibition held in Drouot and this lovely vintage Roller waiting outside Palais Royal was an unexpected bonus.
As usual, here are contributions (a tiny selection from a ton of superb shots) from the workshop members. Guys, thanks again for sharing.
But, before I leave you, here is a brief preview of a guest gear star we had today: the new Sony Master-G 85/1.4 lens. Here are a few sample shots with this during a brief test period. I shot an aperture series with my OTUS 85 and with the Sony to compare the two. Watch this space for more on the subject 🙂
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