On The Beach

Nice la Belle. The summer of 2015. In a photography magazine, I read about Martin Parr’s photo exhibition “Life’s a Beach”, obviously a hint to “Life’s a Bitch”, though I am not sure how to understand the paraphrasing. Parr, a Magnum photopgrapher, has a reputation. He is a chronicler of our age. His photographs may seem exaggerated, even grotesque. They indulge in criticism, seduction and humour. They show us in a penetrating way how we live, how we present ourselves to others, and what we value: the mission, par excellence, of photography. Beaches, in that sense, are peculiar biotopes, micro worlds that people resort to temporarily, massively, intensely. They forget about their walks of life, their complexity, their inequality. Lemmings they seem, whose sole destination it is to go out there and capture and mine a free piece of beach. I went to see Parr’s pop up show at Nice’s Théâtre de la Photographie et de l’Image. A video showed Parr at work on the beach: a man properly dressed,  holding an in beach terms flashy DSLR camera with a flash on it, a seducing smile, humour. It inspired me to go out there and try my own observation: with my Leica M, its 50mm summilux. Off we go. I hope you enjoy the story.

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ROUMANIA’S MUD VOLCANOES

The Berca Mud Volcanoes are a geological and botanical reservation located in the Berca commune in the Buzău County in Romania. Its most spectacular feature is the mud volcanoes, small volcano-shaped structures typically a few metres high caused by the eruption of mud and natural gases.

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AUSCHWITZ 70

Auschwitz 70.

The tragedy of Auschwitz and the memory of its victims lies deep in the hearts of people all over the world. During the process of evacuation and liquidation of the camp the Nazi authorities managed to evacuate approximately 100 thousand prisoners and put them to work as slave laborers for the benefit of the German war economy. Some 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed there between 1940 and 1945, when Soviet troops liberated it. About 7 thousand prisoners awaited liberation in the Main Camp, Auschwitz II-Birkenau, and Auschwitz III-Monowitz. Fascisme and nationalism take up different faces today. People easily forget the refined manipulative strategy that leads to a society devided into WE and THE OTHERS.

These photos were taken with a Rolleyflex of about my own age, using Kodak TriX film.

Auschwitz Birkenau

Auschwitz Birkenau

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SOUTH SUDAN: PORTRAITS BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR

Harmony makes small things grow

“In the end we shall have had enough of cynicism, skepticism and humbug, and we shall want to live more musically,” Vincent van Gogh said.

I do wedding photography and I do it with great pleasure. Recently, I photographed a musical couple on their love day. During the reception, the brass band – Koninklijke Harmonie Concordia, Merchtem – where the bride plays traverse flute, gave a concert. It is when I took these photographs.

 

Father Karel or the endearing remnants of catholicism

Last week, for a film production, I joined father Karel Stautemas, a Norbertine from the abbey of Grimbergen, not far from Brussels, in his daily routine. I used the occasion to do some shooting at the side with my Leica MM.

Father Karel starts his day before 6 am, preparing breakfast for his fellow Norbertines. He enjoys a coffee in the local petrol station, has a parish to attend to, a 92-year-old former farmer friend to share communion with, and eventually misses out on the contemplation in the abbey.

O ESPIRITO DA PAZ_Colourful touches of Portugal

 

 

 

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OSTEND in EKTAR 100

A PRETO E BRANCO_ Portugal, a black and white impression

HASTINGS, UK, AN IMPRESSION