2013 is on the road for a while now and I could not find my time until today to write even a short new post.
That’s life, that’s this crazy dimension called Time that does not stop, even if photographers have the illusion to have done it for a moment.
But I still want that blog alive and, so, let’s go for another photo-story.
That one came to me when opening old boxes from my beginning times, and made me smile with the memories about how they “happened”.
It was the 70’s and, as I told you before, I went to Paris for the explained reasons and specially focused in study photography.
I was the only foreign student in my school, speaking a very poor French, with no friends yet, passing the most of my weekends alone, walking around in the city to familiarize with, and my camera as my companion.
I was usually dressed in blue jeans, a leather old jacket and…a pair of Spanish black boots, that I loved.
Well, a sort of informal uniform, completed by the camera on my shoulder. My “style”!…
Remains from that time my addiction to a Lewis pair of jeans.
The contact with the photos shown today confirmed me also the conviction that my photo-work, as for probably the most of photographers, is above all a big diary containing our lives in small pieces inside each photo, goods and bad ones.
During those weekends, alone, I was always looking for something new to visit, discover and that could be interesting for shooting. Also testing myself with manners to how approach people or being introduced somewhere. Difficult thing, a battle to win inside yourself, specially being shy and a lonely guy as I was.
Some days before, in the subway, Krishna’s people were distributing leaflets to publicize and invite to their cult. I got one.
The next Saturday I decided to go there and ask permission to make some photos. I had to discuss a moment with the “strange personage” that was the public relations of the place, but I could get the authorisation to enter and use my camera.
I can’t remember no more the kind of story I invented to convince him. Some years latter, working in cinema I had the chance to have an “excellent teacher” about how to enter in places and make photos that looks impossible to approach.
One other day I will talk about that and my best friend from ever “this teacher”!…
So, authorized to go inside of the “temple” the only condition was that…my Spanish boots should remain outside of the “temple space”, in fact a small apartment, somewhere Avenue de la Grande Armée.
I spent four or five hours with them inside this space trying to make myself the most invisible as possible.
I could assist to all the preparations for the ceremonies and the evolution all along those hours, passing from the silence and calm to a progressive growing of chants, prays and drum’s sound until a climax where I was sometimes involved in such a manner that I was obliged to control me for not forget the controls of my camera. I was there as a “reporter” after all.
As I did not knew almost nothing about them everything was a discover to register.
The thing became really spectacular when the chants, prays and drums got louder and louder in such a small place.
For the first time in my life I could feel the power of music, and specially the power of the sound of percussion instruments, making you the effect of a sort of hypnosis drug that almost stops your normal thinking.
With no autofocus cameras yet, people dancing and singing all around, from children to old people, I was trying my best to control light, focus and frame.
I still can remember that, in the middle of all that convulsive ambience, and from time to time, I thought about if my “Spanish boots” were still there waiting for me when coming outside or simply have been stolen!…
And that because, the mix of people inside was so different, with some looking very kind and peaceful, when others had faces like guys that could have been released recently from some prison.
At the end everything passed with no problems at all and I even could have lunch with them, eating an absolutely “terrible” vegetarian meal that I took with always a smile in my face, as if I was in one “gourmet Parisian restaurant”.
And…finally, going outside, my beautiful Spanish boots were still waiting for me, ready for some more miles of walk in Paris streets.
It was really good to be again in those streets, breath a bit of fresh air, to ear the “possible” silence of Paris avenues.
Of course, arriving to my small room, lab corner installed, I started immediately to develop the films, anxious about to see what was inside.
Black and white film as almost always at that time, on my “trusty” KODAK TRI – X pushed to 1600 ISO.
Surprise! Some photos were not so bad and just a few out of focus.
I think I felt happy that evening dreaming that, maybe, I could become a photographer one day.
Those are simple scans from the paper prints made at that time, with all the defects of a “printer beginner”… A lot still to learn about the magic of interpret a photo when printing.