On the cover of a chocolate box…

One of my winter pictures of the beguinage of Bruges has made it to the cover of a chocolate box, and although it is small (you can see it between the “Cachet” text and the chocolates) I am still very happy of course. The picture was taken after a snowstorm in 2009, which covered the whole of Belgium (including the coast area which seldom happens) in a beautiful white blanket of snow. A panoramic image of the white houses in the beguinage covered in snow and contrasting with the black trees was already lingering longer in my head, and that day i took my chance. The fact that i had to risk life and limb to get to Bruges that day is another story… More info on the chocolates and where to buy them on www.kimchoc.be. Image data: Fotoman 617 panoramic camera, lens 90mm FujinonSW with center filter, Fuji Provia 100F medium format slide film, exposure unrecorded. Follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/frankdeluyck) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FrankDeLuyckPhotography)!

Cover Cachet Chocolate box

Mois de la Photo Paris 2012

Also this year we joined Aalst’s “Academy for Imaging Arts” for a weekend of indulgement in the photo exhibitions on show during “Mois de la Photo Paris 2012” – still having good memories of the beautiful images on display in 2010 we left with high hopes on a cold Friday night from Belgium. In the morning we were greeted with the familair sight of an Eiffel tower hiding in fog:

Eiffel tower in fog

Eiffel tower in fog

As tradition wants (it seems, we also started here in 2010), first exhibition of the day visited was at the “Bibliothèque nationale de France” hosting “100 Masterpieces of Photography”. It’s poster was straightaway my favorite picture:

100 Masterpieces of Photography

From there on we moved towards the “Ēcole nationale Supérieure d’architecture” where i found my favorite images of the whole weekend: the large format images of modern cities contrasting with their older remains, by Peter Bialobrzeski. I knew the work of this photographer already longer time (also went to a lecture by him at the photomuseum in Antwerp), and here in Paris my admiration for the works by this photographer only became stronger:

Peter Bialobrzeski

At the same location, black & white images by Gerard Rondeau were on show, below some impressions:

Gerard Rondeau

From here onwards, we travelled back to the 3eme arrondissement and made a brief stop at Galerie Baudoin Lebon showing images of Chrystèle Lerisse and Patrick Bailly-Maître-Grand:

Chrystele Lerisse

After this we moved to Hôtel de Sauroy, showing an exhibition called “Thanks to Luigi Ghirri and Italian Emerging Photography”. Nice image from Marco Barbon:

Marco Barbon

Final visit of the day was to Galerie les Filles du Calvaire showing “Corinne Mercadier, devant un champ obscur”:

Corinne Mercadier

This concluded our first day of exhibition visits in Paris, quite tired from all the walking the next challenge in Paris was waiting us: finding a decent, reasonably priced restaurant at this time of the evening (moreover Saturday). This took us quite a while, until we found a Thai (our favorite food)/ Chinese restaurant. We should have known better of course, the Chinese don’t have a clue how to cook Thai, other then putting some chili in an otherwise normal Chinese dish… Anyway we were so hungry that it didn’t really matter what they served us, we ate it anyway 😉
After a good night’s rest and nice breakfast at the hotel, day 2 of our “tour of Paris” could start, commencing with a visit to Maison européene de la Photographie. Nice images seen here:

Also a Helmut Newton (another one of my favourite photographers),

Helmut Newton

an amazing shot by Jean-Paul Goude of Grace Jones:

Grace Jones by Jean-Paul Goude

and beautiful black&white photograph by Bettina Rheims:

Bettina Rheims

Next visit planned was to the Centre culturel suisse, where I found this image by Annelies Ŝtrba very nice:

Annelie Strba

Further some images by Richard Avedon, Nobuyoshi Araki and Nan Goldin (this last one not really my taste, therefore no images, sorry) were on show:

Richard Avedon

From this exhibition we moved on to the Galerie des bibliotheques, where the exhibition “L’ Enfant & la Photographie” was showing. Here i didn’t find too many images nice to my taste, therefore no favourites here ;-). Since it was already getting late, we split up here from the rest of the group since the majority was returning by bus the same evening. We (my wife and I) treated ourselves to an additional night in Paris, and therefore could still visit the Jeu de Paume where images by Manuel Alvarez Bravo where on show: also very nice black & white photographs by this Mexican artist:

Manuel Alvarez Bravo

So, that was it – quite a long post about our adventures in Paris… Generally, I found this edition of Mois de la Photo a bit weaker then the 2010 version: this year there were much more “conceptual art” photographs, which sometimes (euh most of the times) I fail to understand hence do not really like, while during the 2010 edition more of the old masters were on show – for instance, I still vividly remember the amazing shots by André Kertész that I saw… I dont think this will be the case for this edition. But hey, every excuse is good to pay a visit to the City of Light! To finalize this long post (to make up for the long silence on this blog ;-)), some general views of Paris:

And a parting shot of our group:

Photo Fair Bievres 2012

For all enthusiasts of the (photo)film era, a nice venue to be present and wonder around (and maybe buy that long-looked for vintage camera/lens/print) is the International Photo Fair Bievres. It goes through on 2nd and 3rd of June:

Photo Fair Bievres 2012

 On the first day of the fair weekend, emphasis will be laid on the sale of vintage cameras and lenses, whilst the second day more focus will go to photo art. An event not to be missed, and to mark in red in your agendas! More info on website www.foirephoto-bievre.com.

Exhibition at Netwerk Aalst: Fat Birds don’t Fly

We went yesterday with the Art Academy to an exhibition hosted by Netwerk Aalst. Although I was a bit sceptical at first seen earlier (dissapointing) visits at the Netwerk (we are regularly requested to visit as part of our courses on art history), I was pleasantly surprised. The main theme of the (group) exhibition is basically about people and their (de)constructed identities. Further, in the context of the Louis Paul Boon year, the exhibition is intertwined with audio clips and quotes from Boon’s “90 People” and “The Paradise Bird”.
My favorites at the exhibition? As first a video from Finnish artist Pilv Takala called “Real Snow White” where the absurd logic of the “real character” and the extreme discipline of Disneyland become apparent when a real fan of Disney’s Snow White is banned from entering the park in a Snow White costume, and as close second the photography series on the “Furries” by Belgian photographer Charlotte Lybeer: “The Furtastic Adventures of the Cabbit and the Folf” : in this series people who like to dress up as furry animals, (and organise gatherings where the animal behaviour is re-enacted (inclusive sounds they make – talking is prohibited at these meetings)), are photographed as their “alter-ego” in their own living room resulting in weird (sorry don’t find another word) pictures…
Definitely an exhibition worth a visit!

Koyaanisqatsi – Life Out of Balance

We went yesterday to Docville 2012 (International documentary festival) in Leuven, to watch one of my favourite movies on the big screen: Koyaanisqatsi. Even after 30 years this movie never fails to impress… in the language of the Hopi, Koyaanisqatsi means “unbalanced life” – this unbalance is ilustrated in the movie (which is in fact the first part of a trilogy) by slow-motion and time-lapse footage of cities and many natural landscapes across the United States. The music by Philip Glass helps to make the movie an extraordinary experience. Here is the trailer of the movie:

Masterclass by Luther Gerlach

Continuing my interest in the “wet plate collodion process”, I enrolled for a masterclass by the master of the process himself: Luther Gerlach. He’s a true master on wet plate photography and his work is currently hanging in the White House as part of President and Mrs. Obama’s art collection. Gerlach’s work has appeared in Architectural Digest, American Photographer, People and View Camera Magazine, and exhibited at over two-hundred art festivals. He has won major awards at Cherry Creek, Coconut Grove, Tampa Bay and Salt Lake City. 
Celebrity clientele include also Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Nick Nolte, Bruce Willis, Michael Wilson, Oprah Winfrey. The class was given 14th and 15th April, during the 1st European Collodion Weekend, at the FotoAcademie Eindhoven.
Amazing to see how Gerlach’s experience managed to get such a beautiful image on the first try… and even more amazing where the images taken with a mobile darkroom in the forests around Eindhoven. A short movie of the class can be found below:

Masterclass “Wet plate collodion process” by Luther Gerlach from Frank De Luyck on Vimeo.
For more information on the process you can as well check out Alex Timmermans’s blog: http://collodion-art.blogspot.com/