Thoughts behind images

August 1, 2014

My Summer is busy over here, too busy, not enough time for taking pictures unfortunately. I apologize for not posting more regularly. I thought why not look into my archives and find some pictures I like and write a post around them ? Let’s go to Australia, Victoria, an area I visited a  few years ago and let’s imagine the thoughts behind the images. immigration museum 1 Melbourne, the Immigration Museum. A beautiful  desk aboard a ship sailing to a faraway world. Someone had been sitting there and writing home. I imagine he or she was writing home about the long, so long travel to the other side of the world. The various feelings  one tried to express in a letter : sadness of leaving behind family members, maybe and a place called home, the hope of a new future, seasickness, meeting other immigrants, limited place to live all together… And certainly a lot more personal feelings and messages. dsc07288 Melbourne, a large avenue in the center. A coffee shop. At first I thought : “Why such a difficulty choosing from all those similar bags of oranges ?”  But then maybe this man’s indecision comes from choosing from the various snacks or meals sold in the shop ? St-Ex in St-Kilda 2 St-Kilda near Melbourne. A bus stop. Those words scribbled on a board: “What is essential is invisible to the eyes. It is only with the heart that one sees clearly” . Did the person who wrote this quote just read St-Exupéry’s book “The Little Prince” and liked it or was he/she in a particular mood which inspired these thoughts ? Melbourne card-4 052 Maldon, Victoria, is a notable town for its 19th century appearance, maintained since the gold-rush days. As I walked in front of this porte-cochere, I thought how relieved travelers  must have been to  finally find a place to stop, eat and rest after a long journey by stagecoach. a person 1 Carlton Gardens, Melbourne. An oasis of peace in the middle of this large  busy city. I stopped there just to look at my city-map, eat a snack or just give a break to my tired feet. Someone was sitting nearby, reading. In front of me a man was also sitting, quite immobile, meditating maybe or lost in his  own thoughts ?  Or taking a nap ?

 

Do you sometimes wonder what thoughts or situations hide behind your images ?

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This is my contribution to a new photography assignment proposed by Scott Thomas:  black-white photography. I find it always interesting to join in,  visit other participants’ blogs, learning more about photography and  seeing each one’s perception of a similar theme. March 20th, 2013, is the deadline to share your pictures.

All details are given here : http://viewsinfinitum.com/2013/03/06/assignment-24-black-white-photography/

Nino, regard, B&W

Ninio, my Beagle, in one of his patient looks, waiting for the photography session to end and go for a walk. I converted this picture  to see how my colourful  dog (black, white and tawny) would look in B/W. I like his somewhat softer look and particularly the expression in his hazel eyes.

magnolia B&WEarly morning in a park of Houston, a flower of magnolia that looked so fresh and brilliant. I felt like heightening this contrast in converting the picture in B/W.

Lyon, B&W, 2Lyon, France, on the deck on a barge. The colours of the boat were a bit dull and I was surprised to see the difference in shades as I converted the picture.

double click, Williamstown, Melbourne

“Here’s to the happy couple !” Williamstown’s harbour, Melbourne. And long live the daring photographer 😉

Since I did not take a lot of  pictures during the past months, I thought I might as well dig into my archives and especially my travel shots. Today I would like to share with you a few moments spent some years ago in Bendigo’s Conservatory; a major regional city in the state of Victoria,  Australia. Bendigo is notable for its Victorian architectural heritage and mining industry.It was midday on a  hot day at the end of austral Summer. There were not many visitors in Rosalind Park  which surrounds the Conservatory but a few tourists like me attracted by its pleasant architecture and setting. As far as I was concerned,  there was a definite hope for some freshness.  The sun shone fiercely. I spotted an ancient bench leaning against the brick wall of the Conservatory;  I sat  there for a while enjoying the green and summerly landscape.  Still, it was too hot for someone who had just left a snowy and cold month of March in the Northern hemisphere.

The door of the Conservatory was open and inviting. The contrast of light was visible through the windows and it immediately suggested coolness. Without hesitation I went in.

The large hall was not as cool as I imagined but somehow it brought a sense of freshness and humidity. I was struck by this strange green shade diffused in the whole glasshouse. Trees and plants seemed to reflect in the glass windows and roof.  Shade, silence, peace,  the perfect moment to make a pause and sit on another bench surrounded by exuberant vegetation.

I was mesmerized by the delicate sound of these few drops of water falling gently into a little pool, like a well.  I had stepped into a green world, a vegetation of a great diversity and mystery, an environment not exactly familiar but cosy. It felt good.

A large and heavy urn,  as round as  a globe, was set in another pool. Ripples of water  softly touched the stone shore. Through the glass roof, the blue austral sky reflected on the urn patterns that looked like tracks ? ocean ? bush?  A kind of local  geography.  All new to me as I just landed in this vast and fascinating country and was more than happy to discover parts of it.

Time to leave and drive further. Back into the  hot sun on a  square surrounded by colourful Victorian houses. And another bench sitting under  a huge tree, so  generous with its welcoming shade. There was a lot more to see in Bendigo.  Will we leave it for a next visit ?

carousel

June 7, 2011

A wonderful carousel of images ! This is what my camera, a Sony Cybershot DSC-W5 has offered me for almost six years. Now it is tired of this kaleidoscope of pictures from here, there and further.  We were a good team, I think,  always close, ready to point and shoot.  Sadly  it is no longer so. My camera is beyond repair and will rest now.

Until I get a new one I will post pictures from the past months and years. During a recent Spring cleaning, I was happily surprised to see how many pictures deserved to be brought to light.  Sony did a  good job  indeed ! I look forward to sharing with you some of my earlier pictures.

Let’s embark then for a another trip on the carousel and for more images  that I hope you will enjoy.

Here is a very old carousel in an open air museum in Ballenberg, Switzerland. It could have been made in Germany according to the style of its paintings.

As I was walking along the Yarra River in Melbourne, this ancient carousel  was waiting to turn and turn with the music during a big festival. Its decorative panels looked like alpine landscapes. Maybe they were painted by a European artist longing for home ?

A poem for you. Can you remember the music of your carousel, wherever it was ? I remember the accordion, lots of it !

I saw a carousel which went through the sky
With its beautiful horses, its planes and nacelles
And thousands of children of all colours,
Thousands of children laughing happily.

Turn, turn, carousel,
All around the world and show to everyone
That happy children have all the same light in their eyes.

Janine Dufour

Last night I  saw a movie at the cinema, a Franco-Australian fable  called : “The Tree”. Instantly this movie became a favourite of mine. I felt like sharing my enthusiasm and emotion with you and  I made a collage  to illustrate it. The first picture shows  a huge tree I photographed in a park of Melbourne. Apart from its size, it has not much to do really with the immense and symbolic fig tree in Queensland where the story takes place. The second picture is a photo of the film poster featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg (Dawn), the main actress in the movie. More  talented  and natural than ever.

This film is directed by Julie Bertucelli and is based on a novel by Judy Pascoe “Our Father  Who Art in the Tree”. This  delightful movie was presented on the closing night of the Festival de Cannes in France recently and was widely appreciated. Marton Csokas (George) and Morgana Davies, an exceptional and talented young actress (Simone) are amongst  the characters that will be remembered.

The story ? I do not feel like saying too much about it… Just know that the story starts in Australia. Peter and Dawn live happily somewhere in Queensland in the shade of their huge and magnificent fig tree. When Peter dies unexpectely, each member of the family reacts in his or her  own way in order to continue living without their dear partner and father.  Simone, their young daughter of 8 years old, believes her father’s soul lives now in the fig tree.  This little girl illuminates the whole film.

I hope some day you will be able to see  this movie made with a rare sensitivity. Queensland’s lanscapes are breathtaking and the photography in the film  is superb.

Going South

February 21, 2010

More snow fell yesterday, a Siberian North wind blows over the landscape today and although the sun is trying to shine, its rays are still too weak to warm up the atmosphere. So I thought why not going South ? in my memories at least. When I mean South, I mean one of the most Southern parts of the world if you live in Europe. That is Australia. About three years ago I went there for a while, I left Winter behind  and found Summer in Victoria, beautifully warm and green in many places.

Walking in the bush was quite a discovery for me. Eucalypts and  plants unheard of over here. Forests that seemed to have grown in a kind of disorder  but once you walk through them, you notice a natural harmony in those twisted tree trunks and wild plants covering a rather dry soil.  The woods  were either silent or very noisy with the cockatoes’ calls.

An amazing entanglement of trees, bushes, high ferns. Sometimes a beautiful confusion, at other times a forest as imposing as a cathedral.

The beautiful canopy of a eucalypt, its silvery leaves barely moving in the heat of the day.

Here and there the Australian forests reminded me of a poem of Baudelaire :

La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers
Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles ;
L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l’observent avec des regards familiers.

Nature is a temple where live pillars
Sometimes whisper confused words
Man walks across it through forests of symbols
Which observe him with familiar looks.

Charles Baudelaire
Extract from the poem  “Correspondances”

Here is a site about Australian nature that I love to visit :

http://robertburcul.wordpress.com/

Robert Burcul’s  amazing and artistic pictures of Queensland are well worth seeing.

Skies

September 2, 2009

Skies always fascinated me. Maybe because I come from a country where the horizon is almost always limited by hills, forests or mountains. To see a sky as big and wide as in Texas (see below),  you would have to go climbing on a mountain…  Or go hiking, driving to one of those high alpine valleys. There you would get this strange and unique feeling of being somewhere between sky and earth.

Texas mai-juin 2008 069“The world could have been as simple as sky and earth”

André Malraux

The vastness of Australian skies also made me wonder. Clouds looked different to me, as if more free to expand in all directions. The clouds over St-Kilda, Melbourne just slid away in the immensity of the Southern hemisphere, ignoring the  static world underneath.

vastness

“There are more things in the sky and on earth than your philosophy can dream of”

William Shakespeare

A sky I know well, at all times and all seasons. Vibrant colours of a sunset or dark clouds announcing a storm from the West. This is my part of  sky as I open the windows facing South-West. The forest as a skyline.

Fall, 21.10.07 023“Hope is like a night sky : there is no dark corner where the obstinate eye will not discover a star”

Octave Feuillet

Here is a sky I never get tired of admiring  in the Alps. Mountains are towering in a wide amphitheater. No soft and round hills here but a natural circus of peaks and glaciers. Some say they feel oppressed. If one looks above the mountains the sky shines or darkens like nowhere else I remember of. As if telling ancestral stories of continental drift.

Patch of sun“As long as you are happy, you will have many friends.

But as soon as the sky will darken, you will be alone”

Ovide