In this visit, you will discover women from all around the world, as suggests the title of this exhibition: World Wide Women - Femininity.
Everything you will see is essentially photography in its very essence, which means: pictures written with the light and post-produced as it used to be done on film.
The contrast, the colors, and the depth of field were all adapted with a single aim: magnifying the reality and turning it into an entrance for the viewer, before letting you go beyond with your imagination.
So have a nice trip...
Photography, I was saying... Writing with the lights, using backlight and blur to keep the model anonymous and intensify her Femininity. Here, only the essential of their curves remains and it's up to your imagination to recreate reality. The more you step back, the better you will see it.
To create a frame in the frame, using the skimming light and the shadows of a Parisian bridge. To give life to the curves of the model, in contrast to the rectangles and lines of the set.
This time, let us use the matter to redefine the outlines and transform the bed sheets in a dress in order to highlight the curves without revealing them. As I told you, you will need to use your imagination.
So again, let us play with the shallow depth of field, with the drops of water and the reflection in the mirror. Come closer and you will only see the water; then, take a step back to slowly discover the model. The less you stare at her, the more you will see her.
Right here, only the glass is focused. Regardless of your distance, your eyes will always be drawn to her face, even if it is out of focus. Let the magic of the Femininity amaze you.
Finally, to end this introduction, here is a backlight, a classic of photography. It was done in the early hours of the morning, on the Californian West Coast. The background is full of light, while the model appears as a dark shadow of Femininity.
It's time to introduce you to AYA, a painter and artist, who accepted to adapt some of my photos to painting, with her sensibility.
Now let us go further in the backlight with this diptych. First, at the top, a blond woman outlined in the dark, with the light shining only in her hair.
Secondly, as a negative, this other backlight, much whiter than black, only the fabric catches the light and draws the outline. With the same technique, two different results, diametrically opposite to one another.
Now let us play with reflections. Nothing better to instigate the imagination. First, let us start with the water, that keeps the model anonymous and stretches her outline.
Reflection in the glass. One of the oldest photographers' tricks, it turns the model into a kind of ghost, through which you can see. She becomes a mirage in the heat that she tries to dissipate with her fan.
Reflection in the mirror, in which we try to recreate the face that the photograph has maliciously left out. Once again, take a step back if you want to have a better point of view.
A mirror again, but this time doubled. The left part is not focused because it is closer, so you will have to chose which one you want to contemplate.
To finish, an even more malicious mirror. Wherever you look, you won't find its limits and at last you will forget it. So you will find yourself face to face with the model, who is putting her makeup on before the shooting, or maybe she knew it had already started.
You have just arrived in the chapel, which was built 300 years ago. Not so long ago from now, let us travel in time with photography using anachronistic sets and sepia colors in this huge stairway in an abandoned place...
In this bathroom from the 50's, with the eyeliner reflecting through the mirror spotted by time.
Or with this desperate housewife shot in a loft in Brooklyn, a place where the landlord preserved the charm from the 60's with a few collectors' items.
Here she is again, through the paintings of AYA, focusing on the face of the model.
Let us go now to what used to be Emmanuel's first and favorite photographic exercise: portraits. First, with skimming lights, which draw only the outline of the model's face, as if it was a drawing.
Revisited now through AYA's paintbrush.
A colorful one, with bright whites diluted by a slight blur, which, in opposition, highlights her eyes as blue as they are focused.
At last, another black and white portrait, inspired from the Egyptian drawings with more nuances in the lights, and a shallow depth of field which focuses only on her eyes.
Before continuing, let us have a first break into the world of the Cinema. With some glasses, hats and other accessories, here are some iconic actresses that made great sequences full of Femininity.
Let us chose the frame to hide a part of the model and allow you imagine all that you can't see, as a reader gives life to a character from a novel using only his imagination. Here are some starting points, as anonymous as they are Feminine.
Now let us keep playing with lights and recreate reality using overexposure. Your eyes you never see this normally, because they will adapt continuously and uncontrollably. However, the sensor of the camera can be overexposed and retain only part of the subject on the final image.
As this silhouette that seems to bathe in light.
Or this face, of which half of the outlines equally disappear, giving more intensity to her hair, her eyes, and her mouth, as we can see in AYA's reproduction.
This photo is overexposed and victim of a motion blur. Many photographers would have deleted it, but, in this technical chaos, rapidly the intensity of her eyes becomes the only focus of the viewers' attention.
Last but not least, to go further in this exercise, here is a supreme cliché done in Grand Central, the famous train station of New York City. A still model, mixed with a very long-exposure, gives this amazing result with only ghostlike traces around. To capture Femininity, you must be patient.
When you play with the lights, the water becomes a great ally, enhancing the colors, creating transparencies, and redefining the reality as it can be seen in this swimming pool.
You can use water and backlight to create fascinating sets, like this one, using the water jets from Trocadéro fountains in Paris.
Water can sometimes become a screen trying to protect the model from your eyes.
Or it can reveal the curves by transparency.
The cinema often uses this sensuality created by the water. By the seaside, in swimming pools or in bathrooms, here are a few scenes that are part of History.
Now press pause and dive into some unforgettable sequences on this dedicated projection system created by Romain Lalire.
If you know Georges Brassens, you must know the lyrics of the song "Le Parapluie": "un petit coin de parapluie contre un coin de paradis" ("a small part of an umbrella exchanged for a small part of paradise"). So, here are a few parts of paradise. First, under the Trocadéro fountains one more time.
A low-angle shot made under a bridge in Central Park, in the heart of Manhattan.
And with a touch of madness, under a shower in the ancient public baths of Strasbourg (East of France).
Let us go back to tranquility, using a new graphic path to explore Femininity. In the white bed-sheets slightly overexposed, the fabric becomes limitless. So the softness and the tranquility appear on these faces as never before.
We have arrived close to the end of this exploration of Femininity. It is time for us to have a new break into the world of The Seventh Art. Silhouettes, lopsided postures, legs... to make a long story short, unforgettable sequences that show Femininity intensified as never before.
Let us remain in these photos overflowing Femininity, where the model becomes an icon.
Completely overexposed and dancing over an esplanade...
With a see-through dress and high heels that seem to be part of her legs...
Backlit and dancing with the birds in the early hours of the day on the Santa Monica Pier.
Or creating beauty by contrast, so sophisticated inside an old and ugly place.
In the water again, with blue reflects over a seemingly frozen skin.
Bucolic, backlit and dressed in a white shirt.
Or in transparency, barely hidden behind a bokeh.
Finally, we finish this exploration with a concept that, while not obvious, is deeply touching. The abandon, this ephemeral moment that rarely manifests in a photo-shoot.
This furtive moment when the model completely forgets the photographer and concentrates on herself, giving all her intensity to the cliché.
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