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2017 retrospective

One of the most important aspects of my “real life” work (aka the one that brings food to the table) is the retrospective: an objective view on what went well, what went wrong, and how to improve. So, let’s do this!

What went well

2017 started pretty strongly. The 2 books I was published in got released, WeStreet 2016 and the Street Photographer Book vol. 2. I also won the 2nd place in the Sony World Photography Awards 2017. Not bad for a start!

I also found the Heavy Machinery complex that fulfilled my thirst for urbex, and that also started the Ghost project.

Last but not least, a short trip to Portugal gave me a few good shots, like the Initiation well series.

It all happened during the first months of 2017. But then…

What went wrong

2017 has been a very busy year on a personal side. Change of job, change of country (going back home in France!), buying a house, living almost as a camper for a few months between 2 moves… it definitely has affected my craft. From summer until now I must say I haven’t done much. It’s a way to say I haven’t done almost anything 🙂 Winter is definitely not a great season for me, I lose all my inspiration. I also had my mind occupied with a lot of stuffs that made photography go back a bit on a lower level during the last months.

And as a result, it has also hurt quite a lot my online presence. My blogging rate is now in limbo. Which is very, very bad, and has killed all the efforts I’ve put on. My Instagram following has risen a bit, but not as much as expected I must say. Well, this is what happened when you can’t post daily! On Facebook, meh, stagnation. Anyhow, Facebook is kind of dead on the photo side. Groups are now going crazy (in the bad way), the Pages are nowhere to be seen, it’s pretty much about occupying the place. The only surprise came from Twitter, where my following has grown a bit, without any effort.

So, to resume what went wrong this year: I’ve been out to shoot much less than what I should have, and whenever I was out I was not very productive.

At least, this period gave me the time to think a bit more on what to focus on in 2018…

How to improve

Maybe the most interesting part of any retrospective: how to improve.

Being back in France close to Paris has a big advantage: there are a LOT of great photography exhibitions over there! I went to several expos, by Sebastião Salgado or the World Press Photo 2017 expo, and it struck me that reportage type photography is something that I would love to do. Not telling a potential story with an artsy photo like I’ve done until now. Telling a real story. I really think this is the path I want to follow this year, in the next years. I don’t have yet the key to realize this, but I fell this is what I have to do. Locally at first, maybe telling the story of interesting people around me, and then I’ll try to expend my range.

If you guys have any suggestions, please comment !

Conclusion

That was my short retrospective of 2017. A frustrating year, photography wise, where I feel I’ve taken a step back. And you, dear reader, how was your year?

A glimpse of light

A glimpse of light. Orléans, France, 2017.

A glimpse of light. Orléans, France, 2017. Get a print!

Having moved backed in France, it’s a new playground for me. I know Orléans, my home town, quite well, of course. But as my passion for photography has developed when I was abroad, it is the first time I roam in its street with the eye of a photographer. And trust me, it’s a beautiful city! It’s amazing to figure out how my perception of things has changed…

Orléans being a medieval city (you all know Joan of Arc, right ?), its historic center is a maze of narrow streets with old but tall houses close the ones to the others. And when the sun sets, it’s the occasion for its rays to light up those streets like they’re on fire, while others are in a deep shadow. A glimpse of light. This is the approach I’ve taken for my first photo in Orléans.

Get a print!

Do you like this photo? Why not getting an original, signed fine art print in limited edition?

More about Ghost in the Stairs

For me, it’s important to share as much info as possible about the photos I take. Therefore, here are the EXIFs for this photo:

  • Camera: Fujifilm X100T
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Focale: 23mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/2000s
  • ISO: 200
  • Copyright: Pierre Pichot 2017, all rights reserved

Ghost in the Stairs

Ghost in the stairs. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

Ghost in the stairs. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017. Get a print!

Another night at my favourite train station. This time I let the station’s dock in peace for a dive in its underground passages. It’s a good spot to get some low angles shots, with people going down the stairs.

I really like this photo. The light from the dock creates a great backlighting effect, anonymising the subject, making her almost disappearing in the shadows if the stairs if it wasn’t for the glow of her hairs. She almost seems… unreal.

Get a print!

Do you like this photo? Why not getting an original, signed fine art print in limited edition?

More about Ghost in the Stairs

For me, it’s important to share as much info as possible about the photos I take. Therefore, here are the EXIFs for this photo:

  • Camera: Canon 6D
  • Lens: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art
  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Focale: 50mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/60s
  • ISO: 3200
  • Copyright: Pierre Pichot 2017, all rights reserved

Strangers in the Dark XXIV

Strangers in the Dark XXIV. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

Strangers in the Dark XXIV. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017. Part of the “Strangers in the Dark” projectGet a print!

This photo is definitely one of my favourites of 2017. The symmetry of that place is just incredible. The dark hole in the middle of the frame, the not yet lighted street, seems to suck all the light, and the main character of this photo, into its emptiness. Black hole vs bright lines, the fight of the contrasts is still raging out there! The graphic component of this photo is just incredible, typically what I’m expecting to find from a new building.

I must say it’s a photo I didn’t plan at all. I was just out testing my just received Sigma 50mm ƒ/1.4 Art lens when I came by this new “The Office” building. Being a brand new architecture I was expecting to find something interesting, one can say I got served, right? Keep in touch, part of the site is still in the works for a few weeks, I plan to go back there and get a few awesome shots!

By the way, the Sigma 50mm ƒ/1.4 Art is a great piece of glass, a review may come soon!

Strangers in the Dark project

Find out more about the Strangers in the Dark project here, and discover my favourite ongoing project!

Get a print!

Do you like this photo? Why not getting an original, signed fine art print in limited edition?

More about this photo

For me, it’s important to share as much info as possible about the photos I take. Therefore, here are the EXIFs for this photo:

  • Camera: Canon 6D
  • Lens: Sigma 50mm ƒ/1.4 Art
  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Focale: 50mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/60s
  • ISO: 400
  • Copyright: Pierre Pichot 2017, all rights reserved

An unexpected duo

An unexpected duo. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

An unexpected duo. Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 2017.

Continuing my love for tunnels and corridors with this new photo from an underground passage in Manastur, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. This time, it was a raining evening, which means that the people preferred to go under the road in this creepy looking corridor rather than facing the rain outside. Good for me!

I spent some time experimenting with backlighting and the dutch angle. I’ve also had an interesting “chat” with two drunk people 😀 It was indeed an interesting evening. And then, a weird duo formed by lookalikes of Annie Lennox and Jean-Michel Jarre appears in front of me at the other side of the corridor. Pretty outstanding in my book 😀 Hopefully my framing was already tested on previously passing people, I just waited for their shadows to be at the right spot, and voilà!

Get a print!

Do you like this photo? Why not getting an original, signed fine art print in limited edition?

More about this photo

For me, it’s important to share as much info as possible about the photos I take. Therefore, here are the EXIFs for this photo:

  • Camera: Canon 6D
  • Lens: Canon EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Focale: 50mm
  • Shutter speed: 1/80s
  • ISO: 1600
  • Copyright: Pierre Pichot 2017, all rights reserved