At the Café de Flore

We’re still in Paris and still with film.

This picture was shot with a Pentax 6×7, an oversized SLR, which at one stage in history was the go-to-camera for interior and design photographers, especially in New York. On this trip I had wrongly supposed it would make a great street camera. Sadly for me, the sheer weight of the thing with a wide-angle lens attached made carrying it through the day a dreary experience.

The picture was taken at Café de Flore, frequented in the past by Picasso, George Bataille and other cultural icons. I was attracted by the women in the hat, she seemed almost to be in a trance, and looked like a tourist with her glittery diamanté New York T-shirt. Her far away dreamy gaze suggesting she was thinking about a time in history, pondering maybe, if only, I. Or is that just me, wishfully thinking, if only, I.

Sadly, this picture needed the software advances of today to isolate her and focus the attention I wanted. In the real world almost everything is in focus when you use a 6×7 with a 55mm wide angle and the subject of interest is a couple of meters away. This made the picture way too busy and she became lost in the plethora of detail. Therefore, by judicious use of the blur option in Photoshop I was able to center the focus of attention I wanted without making the picture look like it had been manipulated.é_de_Flore

Pentax 6x7Mk11, 55mm, f3.5, HP5 Plus


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