Monday, April 26, 2010

A Day to Remember . . .

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This past Easter Sunday, the 4th of April, through a series of coincidences (as with most things in life) and a little bit of collective will, the authors of five blogs found each other in the long line of people waiting to get into the Maison Européenne de la Photographie to see, on its last day, the exhibition of photographs by Elliott Erwitt that had been runninng there since early February. The expo was titled "Personal Best", and encompassed over sixty years of Erwitt's fabulous photography. It was a real treat so see Erwitt's photos presented so beautifully in very large format prints, in such a lovely setting, and with such excellent company. Erwitt's photos were simply stunning . . .
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© Elliott Erwitt / Magnum Photos
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This next of Erwitt's was among my favorites . . .
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There were people dressed in black and white looking at these black and white photographs of people looking at pictures at an exhibition . . .
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I couldn't help wondering if Elliot Erwitt might have had in mind a title for this next photo of his something like, "Horse & Horse's Ass" ?
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Also being exhibited in parallel with the Erwitt show was an awesome exhibition from Philippe Bordas, with a selection of photos from over 20 years in Africa, of a rare emotional power. . . this gentleman was wearing a rather large snake around his neck . . .
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© Philippe Bordas
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The Philippe Bordas work included a long series of wrestlers and other athletics shots from Africa . . .
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A fellow blogger was caught here photographing one of Bordas' luminous portraits. They simply glowed. Although not very visible in this image, the person holding the digital camera here was none other than Nathalie, of Avignon in Photos . . . more photos with her below . . .
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This next is of course the delightful author of Spit & Baling Wire, who shall remain un-named here, (unless she says I may) but who goes by the nickname "The Pliers". A joy to see her again after meeting her for the first time at the airport when she finally arrived for good in France. And she came in the good company of her husband, and his brother and sister as well. Her smile is perhaps the most contagious I've ever seen on anyone . . .
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The third blogger present that fine afternoon was Peter, of Peter's Paris, an amazing blog in which he provides beautifully detailled accounts of his un-ending strolls through Paris. Pictured here with Nathalie who was dressed in red that day (see her photos of people in red on her blog) . . .
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This next portrait of Peter was taken by Nathalie, who very kindly sent me a copy . . .
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The next two shots of Peter were taken by myself. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of the fourth blogger who was present that afternoon, but I can only recommend that you visit Catherine's blog The Five Of Us, which is brimming over with humorous stories about life, illustrated with many funny photos . . .
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And it was Peter who took this shot when Nathalie wasn't looking, thus catching the fifth blogger of the day . . . Mr Toad of the Magic Lantern, camera in hand . . .
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After the photo expo we all piled into a nearby café for crepes and cider or other refreshments, where this odd piece of art (?) adorned the wall . . .
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As we had just come out of Elliott Erwitt's show which featured several of his unforgettable dog photos, I couldn't resist doing a couple of dog portraits in the nearby streets . . . which I can only dedicate to Jilly of Riviera Dogs, who is a friend of Nathalie's, and would have been here that day I'm sure if she could have . . .
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If you are interested in seeing the photos which Elliott Erwitt selected as his Personal Best, I can only recommend you make a trip to Amazon.com where the exhibition book of the same title can still be found.
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39 comments:

Stickup Artist said...

Looks like it was a great day with friends old and new. I like that Peter, a snappy dresser with ciggy and canon props in hand. You can tell him I said so. And of course, the inimitable Ms P. Ain't she a HOOT! I'm green with envy, wish I could have been along on that wonderful expedition.

Owen said...

Dear StickUp, you get the early bird award, and I guess we'll just have to give you a rain check, so the next time you're here in Paris, we'll make a date with the Pliers and go do something fun, like skipping stones on the Seine, or having a drink in all the bars where Hemingway drank, or some such... And yes, Ms P is the hoot of all hoots, when that smile breaks loose, who could not help but start smiling too ??? Loved your walk photos from after the rain...

Virginia said...

Owen,
I am delighted to see my dear Peter and Nathalie and you of course!! What a grand day you all had. I do so admire Elliot Erwitt's work and wish I could have joined you all.

Catherine said...

wow a true bloggers convention - how nice to see the people behind the blogs - their faces rather than their words and images - and thos images by erwitt are stunning - thanks!!

English Rider said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
English Rider said...

On the outside, looking in. A day to remember full of stylish photos and people.

Amy said...

How delightful to see so many faces behind the words. It sounds like a day of perfection and friendship. I love when a blogger meet up comes together! All of us readers benefit from it too. :)

ftylos said...

Good morning from Athens Owen..It is the first time i am visiting you. It is 7.30 in the morning, i am watching all that beautiful faces in the photographs and i am smiling..Have a nice day...

.:: Karine ::. said...

owen adoré, quelle belle visite chez toi ce matin !
et cette deuxième photo, elle représente tout ce que je j'aime : un grand merci pour cette découverte !
et peter, il a une bouille extraordinaire :-)

très belle journée owen, à très bientôt
des bisous ensoleillés

Steve said...

A veritable smorgasbord of photographic delights - thank you, Owen. Looks like it was a fabulous day out.

TechnoBabe said...

It would have been such fun to see both exhibitions. Even more fun with the bloggers mentioned. I agree with you regarding The Pliers smile. Beautiful.

Clytie said...

An absolutely fun time had by all, it appears. It is always fun to see the faces behind the talent we see so much of! I love the picture of the black and white people looking at black and white photos of people looking at a black and white photos of ... great fun!

BLOGitse said...

wow, what a gang!
I'm trying very hard to learn French so I could manage also in Paris...I guess Bonjour! is not enough :)
Your third picture is great!

BLOGitse

French Fancy said...

How lovely to have a bloggers meet up and get to see a cracking photo exhibition from the look of what you posted here

French Fancy said...

p.s. great to see a photo of you, Owen

The Pliers said...

Owen,

Thank you so much for stopping by to comment at ...Spit and Baling Wire... and sending up a flare about today's post. I was honored to have been included in such a wonderful group of people, especially your own dear wife and lovely teenaged daughters.

Our outing with you, your family, and your friends was the highlight of my time in France to that date. The photo exhibit was fantastic but the gathering afterward for cider and conversation was a dream come true for yours truly. Everyone––Peter, Catherine, Nathalie, you, and our family members––was just so nice and so much fun. It would have been quite difficult to do anything other than smile.

Irving Penn at the Cartier-Bresson Foundation anyone?

Amitiés,

Priya said...

The second photo is utterly incredible.

Oh my God! There's Mr. Toad!!!! Hahaha....I am so glad to see the face within the Magic Lantern :D

Gry said...

Amazing exhibition! Very interesting.

Regarding the swan and mallard it was very inocent. I and my kids where feeding the ducks, and the swan just chased the duck away.

clo said...

owen ,cher owen....
jeff a raison mille fois raison....
quelle saveur que ton poème sur le mont de piété...moins courageuse que notre ami précité je m'étais juste contentée d'admirer ta cabane délicieuse...et voila une traduction inespérée qui vient rajouter a ma joie ...
oui je sais c'est de la fainéantise..j'ai en plus eu un british lover pendant de nombreuses années..j'ai même fait un gamin avec lui...:o)a l'occasion va faire un tour la...c'est mon fils il fait aussi de la photo:
http://cmosmique.blogspot.com/
pour le moment il visite l'immense Australie....
mais voila pour te dire que ça bloque dans mon petit cerveau l'anglais..j'ai pourtant vécu près d'eux pendant assez longtemps..
non ,mais non ..j'ai du mal...
pourquoi ne nous installes tu pas un petit traducteur ..je sais que les traductions ne sont pas géniales mais ça donne une idée générale de ce qui est écrit...ça nous simplifierait la vie ...avec jeff...:o)
c'est une suggestion cher Owen...sinon on continue comme d'habitude no problems ;o)...
un beau post Owen about the frienship blogosphere...et le portrait de Peter avec sa clop au bec est tres bon...
je t'embrasse ..

Karine A. said...

tu as une manière sympathique de partager émotions et ... amis!

ρομπερτ said...

This entry of yours felt like being on a holiday.

Please have a wonderful Wednesday.

Nevine said...

A lovely selection of photos, and of blogs and bloggers, Owen. You are ever gracious to your fellow bloggers. Thank you for sharing these dynamic talents with us! It's always lovely to visit... :-)

Nevine

The Sagittarian said...

And there you are in person! Great stuff, you've 'come out' as it were! My grandmother had red hair apparently (however I only ever knew her as having perfectly kinked white hair) so it would seem our family is ever growing closer!
I am sooo envious that you can meet up with your fellow bloggers, and In Paris no less, drinking cider!

James said...

A very great day indeed. That exhibit looks amazing.

Eva said...

It's always interesting to see someones day through photographs. Voyeuristic in a sense. I loved the photograph of the couple reflected in the mirror. Lovely.

Jilly said...

Oh Owen, I've so looked forward to this post as I'd heard from Nathalie and from Catherine what a wonderful time you all had. What brilliant coverage of the event. You are SO right, if only I could have been there too and thankyou so much for the dedication. I adore those two dog shots you show.

As soon as I'm finished this I'm going to take a look at your Amazon link for the Elliott Erwitt book. Think I might be very tempted after seeing your shots.

Do hope I get to meet you too one fine day, Owen. Thanks for a great commentary and fabulous shots of our blogger friends.

Alberto Oliver said...

That is for sure Owen, the apotheosis of the blogging experience. To meet for real all those great, interesting wonderful people, sharing interest, pations, dislikes, etc etc. And above it all, all that everyday people, the people that give form to the world, the gear that keep on moving the machine. Altough attending such an exhibition should have been great, i am sure that met with people like that and spending a memorable day like that as well is sometimes more valuable than meeting one of those unbearable Divas that "hoard" the headlines of newspapers and magazines. Long live blogging and hope we could meet someday as well, you dear fellow. =)

K'line Bloom said...

Une journée remplie de sourires...comme autant de soleils.

.:: Karine ::. said...

tiens owen adoré un gros gros bisou du matin comme ça !!!!

Roxana said...

what a wonderful post again, dear Owen! i so love what you do, your immense generosity and openness and warmth of heart - how you introduce other blogger friends to us, how you document this new but so enticing phenomenon, that we could call: virtual friendship? (but what does 'virtual' mean? is such a friendship less valuable and rich than a 'real' one?).

ps. i didn't know my profession was so easy to guess haha - i thought i would hide it well behind those mists of the bridge :-) what field is your father in?

Jo said...

What a wonderful post...! I have not had time to visit my favorite blogs lately, and every time I visit you, I see the most extraordinary photographs.

Isn't it fun meeting other bloggers? Talk about synchronicity ... serendipity?

It's fun to see a photo of you. Another strawberry blond. *heh*

I love the photo of the "Horse and Horse's Ass". The horse is looking at them as if to say, "What the h*ll are those two humans doing!?"

Laurie said...

Owen, Great post and great to see you no longer in negative - [profile mugshot]. Now, you remind me of someone - Oh NO!, he says.

If you were twenty years older and had a beard, and put on a bit of weight, you would be a dead ringer for the author of The life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid.

PS Just found another three large boxes of photographs, postcards and historic documents - oh and two more boxes overflowing with in memoriam cards - and . . . several hundred black and white negative strips from the sixties and seventies - ah Pink Floyd? Those were the days!

Keep stunning the world with your great piccies.

Laurie

louciao said...

That looks like it was an all together wonderful day, in every aspect. As most of us couldn't be there, it was very generous of you to share the fun with the rest of your blog friends the best way that you could. Merci. I am only slightly green with envy.

As it seems you caught me skulking about here in the middle of the night due to that damn airplane flying my approximate location flag, I figured I'd better drop a message on your site, as well as my own.
:-)

Owen said...

Dear Each and Every One of You,
It's 5:00 AM after another night at work, and although a little "knackered" as some say in England to mean "pooped", I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed all these messages as they've come in over the past day or two... Whether this was your first visit here, or you've stopped by before, I am equally touched that anyone would take notice of this obscure little blog at all, among all the millions of blogs out there... and I thank you profoundly and profusely and would give you all lollipops and chocolate and whatever you care to drink if I could...

Ah, there you have it, some will be thinking, oh no, the late nights and long hours of blogging are starting to get to Mr Toad, he's going a bit dotty, a bit soft in the head...

But no, nothing a good morning's sleep won't cure, and I send big smiles and hugs to all of you in the meanwhile... Blog On !

Et en français, un grand et profond merci à vous tous, c'est un plaisir indicible chaque fois que vous passez en laissant ces petits mots plus que sympas, et je suis indeliblement marqué par votre gentilesse... Bisoux, je vous embrasse... je ne peux pas répondre individuellement cette fois-ci, mais j'apprecie plus que vous ne savez... Bonne journée ensoleillée à toutes et a tous...
:-)

:-)

(-:

jeff said...

Comme vous êtes beaux tous ensembles en recollant les photos ! ! ! Il ne manque plus que moi !...:)
J'aime bien le chien qui devait être là aussi pour poser pour la photo ! ça va ! Vous avez tous des trombines sympas ! Sinon, je vous l'aurais dit !... A part le mec là, Peter ! Il est utile de poser avec sa cigarette ?... Avec des yeux si bleus, dommage qu'il ne voit que quelques panaches de fumée bleue ! ! !
Sinon, toi aussi Owen ça va ! Tu fais vraiment jeune comme mec ! Je sais à peu près l'âge que tu as et tu te défends pas mal ! Pas aussi bien que moi bien sûr, mais ça va mec !...:) Je plaaaaiiisaaaannnte bien évidemment !
Nath n'est pas mal non plus ! dommage qu'elle baisse les yeux !
Et vous avez fait quoi à part voir une expo photo ?...:) Je sais ! je suis curieux ! ! !

Il se fait tard amigo !
Ciao pixpot... et à bientôt... vers de nouvelles aventures ! ! !
A plus...:)

Owen said...

Ah Jefffff, il y a des secrets qui ne se racontent pas !

:-)

Tom Bejgrowicz said...

So much inspiration in this world. From the galleries and museums to the streets and blogs of this world. Thanks, Owen.

Sar@h said...

La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, voilà un endroit que j'aimerai découvrir.
A la capitale, quand je devais attendre un train, je suis souvent allée à la fondation HCB parce que c'est à proximité de Montparnasse. Qui plus est l'accueil est charmant …

Peter said...

I arrive late, but I just wanted to prove that I have read (and seen) your post ... and noted all the anti-smoking remarks! Looking forward to more meetings with our protraits or not! :-)