Thursday, April 05, 2007

A la Doisneau


Wherever you're from there are good chances that you already heard of Robert Doisneau, one of the most famous French photographers in the world. His most famous photos (including the unforgettable Baiser de l'hôtel de ville) were taken after the war, in the 50's. Until recently there was an exhibition about him at the Paris town hall and now that it's closed this exhibition has moved to the web. Here is the link. Enjoy! As a tribute I took this photo of La Cour des petites écuries from the rue du Faubourg Saint Denis and it probably did not change much since the 50's.

59 comments:

  1. Ah, que c'est formidable, ça !

    It is very evocative of Doisneau's street scenes.

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  2. The guy on the far left looks like a mannequin!

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  3. And I have "Baiser de l'hotel de ville" on the wall in my office. I look at it many times each day. I LOVE his work.

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  4. Perfect! I love the way the photo seems to guide us into the cobblestone street.

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  5. what a great photograph! I am not a great fan of B&W, but this, this is a great picture. I like the cobblestone road and how it leads to the building in the back of the picture. It gives more great depth.

    The three people in the forefront look busy with their own little thing, evetnthough one is led to think that they are talking with each other, but upon enlarging your pic. one notices that the lady is just crossing the other way. The only draw back is the mnequin. Even then, it remains a favoured picture of your 2007 selection.

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  6. There's another great old photographs exposition right now: Eugene Atget's collection, early 1900's. The venue is la Bibliothèque Nationale Francaise (the real one;), rue Richelieu.
    http://www.bnf.fr/pages/cultpubl/exposition_648.htm
    Features French collection as well as pieces from Berenice Abbott's collection (she was Man Ray's assitant). 350 pictures are shown, don't miss them ;)

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  7. Very expressive photograph! Great tonal range!

    Cheers!

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  8. 1) The guy on the left is hot.
    2) The guy on the left is really hot.
    3) The guy on the left is really, really hot.

    Now that we got that out of the way ;)

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  9. Eric, thank you VERY much for posting something about Doisneau! Doisneau is a great, great favorite of mine, and is also very popular here in the States, so I'm sure your post will please many!

    I had the Baiser de l'Hotel de Ville on the wall of my living room for years until I decided it was time for a change, but I still have it, wrapped and stored somewhere.

    I never get tired of Doisneau's street and people shots. Never. The guy just had the magic touch!

    As far as I can tell, some areas of Paris are still exactly the way they were 40 or 50 y ago (well, maybe except for the posts planted in the sidewalk and of course, the trades and shops (petits commerces), those are not always there anymore, but if you're willing to walk in the lesser known neighborhoods, you'll see them, too.

    Eric, thank you also for posting the Gallery link, too. I'll go play with that now. :) (I noticed that Alstom was a sponsor in the Hotel de Ville Expo, according to the poster, so I know it must have been good, uh?! ;)

    Last but not least, you did a good job at making your picture look like a Doisneau! This should be a popular post! :)

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  10. Eric: I said it a few pictures ago but it is just as prescient now, you are our Doisneau!

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  11. I'll second that... you are our Doisneau.

    As I noted before, I think your Paris Filmloop collection is a work of Art!

    It really does take a special ability to photograph strangers on the streets. I'm terrible at it... so I know.

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  12. I am enjoying the photos. Thanks for the link, Eric.

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  13. Excellent photo and link Eric. The guy on the left looks like he's walking a dog or something with his outstretched hand, but can't tell.

    Tomate, I had no idea that Alstom helped sponsor the event. You're so gooood...

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  14. This picture is really cool - there is so much going on - from the crooked little street, to the guy on the left. Eric, please do tell us - was he real or a mannequin? He looks like a mannequin to me, but he's holding a cigarette and in an awkward place to be a mannequin. If he's real, he's got great lips!

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  15. Bravo Eric ! Very nice photo. It's amusing your nostalgic pictures always please me (and others) so much. How classical we are, aren't we ?
    I'm really amazed by this guy on the left. Real one or mannequin ? Makes me feel a little bit uncomfortable…

    In relation with your post on the TGV, this information found there (http://www.batiactu.com/data/04042007/04042007-170554.html) this morning : "Alstom équipera un tunnel ferroviaire sous le Bosphore". Is it another effect of the succes of PDP, now visited also by turkish government ?

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  16. Ahhh...Magnifique Eric!! If you look at the photo it seems as if the people in front are walking by a movie set as if they were on a back lot or someplace like that. Really interesting!

    Doisneau is a personal favorite and tomate is correct about him being very popular in the US. Each year there are different calendars printed and sold with Doisneau themes; for example.."Doisneau's Paris"..."Doisneau 2007"..."Doisneau's Lovers"..etc. I still have my "vintage" French books from grammar school with photos by Doisneau! Atget, and Willy Ronis are also popular but the Doisneau pics are definitely more "mainstream".

    The man to the left does look a bit like a mannequin...interesting facial hair! LOL!

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  17. The guy on the left... what about the guy in the middle far at the end of the street? he is interesting non ?! : lol

    Thank you so much, Eric, about the link of Mr Doisneau!! oh thank you Robert Doisneau for having freezed the time of Paris, for having brought us so much emotion!

    And thank also FredB for the news about Eugene Atget! i may try to see it...

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  18. This link is a true treat for me, thank you! Quite fitting as it's my birthday tomorrow so i feel gifted Eric! I shall keep going back to the exhibition, it's great to see these shots. Paris in the fifties... wow it must have been a wonderful place to be. The black & white of course adds to the romance i think.

    Your photo is a great tribute. Shame about the Lidl carrier bag (i was in there just yesterday!) still, one can't avoid everything. The chappie on the left seems mannequinn-like and i feel it was great to capture him. The man on the right fits right into the fifties.

    This is my sort of photography, the frankness and humour he caught seems so casual yet you could easily wait all day for such a moment and not get one. Certainly one of the greats, Doisneau.

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  19. Wouldn't it be interesting to have a Doisneau Tribute DP Theme Day!

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  20. The series of children in the street is just marvellous, i love the one of the boys looking in the toy shop and of the group of naughty children playing 'knock down ginger' (pressing a door bell and running away; don't ask me why it's called that in the UK - no idea!)

    I often want to photograph children but today you have to be so careful. You should get permission to photograph children here in the UK. A group photo in an open space you might just get away with, but it's still a risk that you will be in trouble. How is that in Paris, Eric?

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  21. I often stop taking a shot because children have entered the frame, i just wouldn't do it unless i had permission, but although it's paramount to keep children safe, it's a shame that we can no longer capture the free play that Doisneau did so well.

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  22. Lynn, how wonderful that tomorrow is your birthday! Where´s the party?!!

    And for those of you who celebrate it, Bonne Pâques everyone!!!

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  23. lol no party i'm afraid, Monica. Just one son with me, very quiet! Boyfriend is working so won't be coming this weekend. Very sleepy birthday actually this year. lol. :(

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  24. Then I guess we´ll have to throw you a surprise party then!!! oh right, now it won´t be a surprise anymore. If only we could be in that loft of yesterday.. we´d party all day long!

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  25. This is great, when we enlarge the picture it seems we´re actually there. Bravo Eric!

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  26. Just the idea is superb, Monica! Thank you how sweet. Wow we're back in that loft again in our minds aren't we. Birthday cake on the edges, bucks fizz, chocs and photographs by Doisneau around the walls! I'm very content with that image!

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  27. Thanks so much for the link to the exhibition. I can't wait to take a tour. I love your photo too, a real slice of life in Paris.

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  28. thank you for posting the link to the online 'exhibit'! i missed the exhibit in paris as it was closed on the only day i could visit. i saw the willy ronis exhibit last year - photographs of paris are delightful. also why i check your site everyday! :)

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  29. I've hit on your blog so many times today Eric, using spare minutes i've had and i'm STILL enjoying the exhibition! Thanks again, this is a wonderful post.

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  30. that's a very fine photo, Eric. Doisneau would be honoured!

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  31. Eric

    This photo is great, not only have I been transported to the Rue of Paris, but also in time. I love B&W! I have several in my home that I photographed and then sepia toned.
    I check your blog each day and it was a happy circumstance that I found it, someday I will tell you of the search that led me to Paris Daily Photo.

    I miss read your comment and thought the photo was Doisneau. You really did him honor. I also thought the gentleman on the left was a mannequin and the slightly balding man looks a little like Ed Harris.

    Lynn
    So when does the virtual party begin?

    Jeff
    I arrive April 26 as well and will be staying at The Mercure Suffren Tour Eiffel. I wish I could meet everyone here that would be in Paris, but I will be with several others and we haven't made our plans. If Michael or Eric have a suggestion? Maybe for a cafe, but of course you all have known each other for so long and I am so new. Anyone interested in giving my friends and I a guided tour in exchange for being in the company of 4 blondes of exceptional personalities?

    PHX-CDG and Monica

    Will you be in Paris anytime between April 26 - May 2?

    AND I have black sneakers on the way AND as someone suggestion I have started reading Almost French. So you see, I listen to suggestions.

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  32. Loved the Doisneau mention, Eric and especially appreciated the link to the exhibition.
    I've been checking out your site regularly to whet my appetite for my upcoming trip to Paris in about 3 weeks.
    I linked to it your site and Doisneau show on my blog at www.wineguyworld.com
    Keep it coming!

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  33. This photo is fabulous. As we can read, one can examine it for a long time, both for details and for feelings. I'll bookmark the ling to the exhibition. Merci, mon ami.

    Philly: I think it would be fun to meet, maybe see some of Paris. How shall we arrange this?

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  34. What a great photo. I especially like the fashionable guy on the left.

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  35. What a great photo. I especially like the fashionable guy on the left.

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  36. Philly: Ah, any time! I suggest we all just pick up a glass when we pop in either here or Cheltenham tomorrow shall we? LOL or even start now if you want, why not? he he. Here's a glass, Philly. cheers! Hope Eric doesn't mind. I'll provide the virtual champagne, Eric!

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  37. Philly,
    I wish I was going to be in Paris on April/May. But I won´t be there until July...
    I hope you meet them all - what fool male would miss the opportunity to be in the company of 4 blondes! - have a wonderful time there and tell us EVERYTHING when you come back. Black snearkes or not, your trip will be fantastic!

    How´s Almost French? Any good?

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  38. I wonder if Michael and Eric will be able to meet all the people that are going to Paris and want to have a coffe with them. They´re so popular. It would be funny to see them trying to keep up with them all!!

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  39. wow, this is a great, great shot...
    Does the asian lady realize she was followed by this weird guy in the hat (is he real? is he in plastic? is he coming from an other planet?)

    Looks like he just ask her for a cigarette and is tryin to keep on talking to her into going out on a date, but she keeps on walking, cauz she scared of his hat and sunglasses... LOL.

    Anyway she's shopping at LIDL... damn, I'm not the only one to be broke then...

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  40. PHX-CDG & Jeff,

    It would be great to meet up. I've put it in my agenda and will do my best. Jeff has my email address and I'll drop him a line with my mobile number. As for Eric, you'll have to ask him.

    Happy pre-birthday Lynn. Not sure I'll be able to get to you tomorrow, but will try. Save a glass for me and if I don't show, feel free to down another one!

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  41. Monica...this one's especially for you. I hope you can read French:


    (Tradingsat.com) - L’agence de presse brésilienne Estado rapporte jeudi que des représentants de l’Etat Sergio Cabal ont été reçus au siège d’Alstom afin de prendre connaissance des plans d’investissement de la société au Brésil.

    A cette occasion, Alstom a fait une offre préliminaire dans le cadre du projet d’un train à grande vitesse entre Sao Paulo et Rio de Janeiro, une proposition qui intervient après le record de vitesse battu mardi par le TGV.

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  42. Michael that´s right! Thanks for the info, I can read french yes.

    It´s true the governor of Rio is in Paris, his mission is exactly what the texts says, he wants to get to know the projects and investiments required. Yay! I have my fingers crossed! Of course I know any project like this should take some years to leave the paper. Anyway... I was talking to my dad the other day what a shame it is we don´t have comercial trains from Rio to Sao Paulo (there used to be when I was little, but not anymore).

    If you see our governor down Alstom corridors, tell him I said hi! ;-)

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  43. Thanks Michael! Ohhh but you thimply HAVE to! Otherwise i might just break out into "it's my party and i'll cry if i want to" (see my post) Pop over now; the champagne is poured in readiness!

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  44. He he Lynn, it's almost 12 and...

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  45. That's it! It's midnight - in Paris... - All together: Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, Lynn, happy birthday to you...

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  46. Yes Lynn

    birthday cake and
    champagne toasts for the birthday girl!

    Have fun, but remember a birthday on a friday is celebrated all weekend long so pace yourself Now pass the champagne!

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  47. Lynn

    The cake should be presented to the birthday girl. (that was the error above)

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  48. Thank YOU! How lovely.. Eric, you sang...mmm....sigh... i adore it. In your French accent too. Gosh i wish i could have heard it! lol.


    Thanks so much, Philly! Cake was delicious, champagne slipped down and the cartoon, gosh yes i bet i'll feel like that tomorrow if i have another one as i really don't drink much at all!

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  49. Happy Birthday to Lynn and thank you so much Eric about this wonderful photo and the gallery link !!!

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  50. Thank you Fabrizio. Isn't it wonderful? I've enjoyed this exhibition so much today! I'm still there.

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  51. Lynn, have you seen the gallery (in Doiseau's link) of the chiens parisiens? I simply can't resisit it!

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  52. Yes it's wonderful. The children too. In fact i've seen them all now. Bliss, this has been!

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  53. I thought for a moment it was Doisneau and then read your words. Adore Doisneau, adore black and white photography. Thankyou for this, Eric.

    Jilly x

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  54. Thank you for the link. I love Doisneau and missed the exhibition...

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  55. Eric, You had me absolutely fooled at glance! I thought the image was one of Doisneau's. Well done, sir! Bravo and kudos! The lighting and the feel are exceptional. Thanks for the link to the web exhibition. And. . .belated happy b-day to Lynn.
    -Kim

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