Week 0-1: Paris, La Grande Mouffe

Hey folks! Well, the first thing I did after my last post was find just when exactly each week of the year was, so I knew what actually I was shooting. And the internet, of course, easily offers up this kind of information (there is even an ISO number for this !). News to me, but New Years’ is actually in something called “week zero”. Anyway: I had also some more time to thing about my film project: it is to shoot at least one roll of film with my Leica and a 50mm lens. Now, if I managed to shoot more than one roll, why then, I would allow myself another focal length … dangerous, eh?  Anyway, I am back from a trip, and now I have some time to develop and scan from the first few weeks. Still on course! Anyway, thanks everyone for the positive comments, it’s nice to discover this film-loving corner of the internet…

Anyway, for the first week of the year I have stayed here in Paris, and here are some images. The weather here has been terrible for most of the past few weeks, clouds, no sunshine, rain. Not great light… But I still found time to go out for a short walk to the 13th / 14th districts (I wrote about this part of town many years ago on my blog).  The streets were deserted, and not many people were around. First stop is at the strange real-estate agency that has a large bear in the window, I have never figured out why.

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Then on to the “Prison de la Santé” which is still a functioning prison, or it will be when they have finished the renovation work. It has some very photogenic walls of which I have often taken photographs.

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The further along, crossing over Boulevard Arago. You can see how much it is raining at this point (and this was about when I was certain that I would have to throw away my shoes and get some new ones).  Boulevard Arago (named after the astronomer guy) is one of the big streets in Paris made at the end of the 19th cenutury by Mr. Baron Haussmann.

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Then finally along to the ‘la grand mouffe’, Rue Mouffetard. This was for a long time a very popular, working-class street but now those days are gone now. It is still very popular, but the clientele has changed a lot. I talked to some tourists from Normandy who were standing outside “au vieux chene” which is the bar that Yonnet talks about in his book (it’s further up the street from this photograph).  They didn’t know the story: according to Yonnet, the bar’s sign comes from the wood of a boat that crashed into the Seine centuries ago. Looking at the sign, this doesn’t seem plausible.

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Anyway, I think those are the most interesting photographs from this first roll. Technical details: all are Ilford HP5+ (I have some test stock, but now I am reverting to Tri-X) developed in HC110 for 5 mins.  Thanks for reading!

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