Peter Lindbergh

I woke up to a very very sad news this morning. The photographer who ignited the spark of love for photography in me, passed away at age 74. The great Peter Lindbergh ! He brought us the supermodels with this iconic image that appeared on the British Vogue cover of January 1990 and started the golden era of the 90’s in fashion. A picture that redefined fashion, said goodbye to “la bourgeoisie” and decency as were then portrayed. Great photographers disappear and live eternally through their work. RIP #PeterLindbergh

Naomi, Linda, Tatjana, Christy and Cindy for the British Vogue cover of January 1990
Linda, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi and Cindy affectionately crowding Peter Lindbergh

The Wild Ones
Cindy, Tatjana, Helena, Linda, Claudia, Naomi, Karen and Stephanie for Vogue US, 1991

My 70-200mm 2.8 saved me

This is Evan Shay. He ‘s a saxophonist and the leader of Lawful Citizen, a Montreal based quartet. They play a blend of electronic, acoustic, metal, rock and jazz. Quite a fusion eh !

They were playing on Place d’Armes in Old Montreal. This is a common happening during summer and artists are scheduled to play at lunchtime, morning and evening. Some people gathered around and were enjoying the sound of the saxophone, accompanied by some nice guitar and bass licks and a gentle beat on the drum. So I took my camera and adjusted the settings. I use a Nikon D810 and the Nikkor 70-200mm is my workhorse. Where Evan Shay was standing under the tree, it was a little dark as the sun was high up causing a heavy shade. I took a couple pictures but wasn’t satisfied with the light and I was shooting without a flash. I pulled back a few steps and brought the lens to 200mm, shutter speed 250 and ISO 64. Hallelujah ! Some beautiful images came out of this and a very good composition. This lens never ceases to amaze me. I am not getting paid by Nikon to write this but I guess credits should be given where it’s due. However, thank you Nikon for developing these highly productive equipments. Maybe I would say the same thing if I was shooting Canon. Cheers everyone ! Thanks for reading and have a good one ahead ! Hello from Montreal !

The photo-documentary of a portrait session

August 7, 2019 at 10a.m. I was at “Fort de Chambly”, QC, waiting for Mr. Beauchemin when my phone rang, it was him. “I’m sorry I was on an urgent dossier and I did not see the time pass. Come home, we’ll do the photo session here. My address is…It will take you a short while to get here, obviously since you can’t fly. You will need your GPS to get here.” I repeated the address and made sure I got it right. 10 mins later I was there, took my gears, locked the car and rang the bell. There was a glass pane next to the entrance door and I could see through the house. Before entering I was already stunned by the ecsquisite beauty of the interior. The other side of the house was in glass, from end to end, from floor to ceiling, glass only and overlooking the beautiful “Bassin de Chambly” lake. Then came his wife, Sylvie, who opened the door and greeted me in, followed by Mr. Beauchemin a few seconds later with a very welcoming smile on his face and a warm handshake. There is always that bit of nervousness when photographers shoot celebrities, unless you’re an Annie Leibovitz or a Peter Lindbergh.

We sat at a table in one corner of the house, which in itself is a solarium, Mr. Beauchemin offered me an espresso and we started chatting. He asked about me and both him and Sylvie listened with interest. They asked me a few questions about my youth, my home country, my travels and the question every Quebecer asks me, “Pourquoi le Quebec?”, “Why Quebec?”

Sylvie, simple and sweet

That’s Sylvie clearing the table after breakfast, as humble as ever. Sometimes we tend to think that people with millions have a dozen maids working for them. Happiness is found in everything you do with love, so I observed, and not in the money itself.

Our first conversation was about health, food and nutrition, diabetes, phamaceutical industry and the research they fund. As one can imagine, the discussion started on a high level and from his hand gestures one can guess the passion in the conversation. Mr. Beauchemin would explain to me the direct link between people’s nutrition and diabetes and how the whole thing gets out of control. He knows all the technical terms and how they all function inside the body. I was absorbed in the conversation, I observed him and listened attentively, taking a few images just to capture the moment but without disrupting the flow of the discussion.

Mr. Beauchemin then connects the health issue with karma and religion. Thanks to my studying of orthodox hinduism and my involvement in a vedic monastery over the years, I was amazed by his similar enlightenment and could totally relate to it. The subject got very detailed and I am skipping some of that here. He is as well properly versed in Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism. We then move on to do the following portraits.

There were some test shots too that turned out to be very good and funny.

By the end of the session, another gentleman joined in, Stephane Drouin, a well-known man in the entrepreneurship community. He is the CEO of the “Centre Québécois d’Innovation en Commerce”. He is a business partner and a good friend of Mr. Beauchemin.

And finally a beautiful image that captures a lot of the dynamics between these two wonderful personalities.

“Is he drowned?”, she asked

The were sititng on the beach watching the sunset, the girl and her boyfriend. Then he got up and started walking towards the horizon. The tide was rising and the waves were getting stronger. She was sitting on the beach, typing on her phone and keeping an eye at the same time on him. Then she paused, she stopped looking at her phone and kept her eyed fixed on him. The waves would submerge him and she would see his head again. He was neck deep, then chin deep and mouth deep and finally she could not see him anymore. She got up and walked towards the ocean and was trying to get a peek of him, at least seeing his hair or his head. She saw none of him and you can imagine that she would obviously freak out. Where was he? Was he playing a joke or was he drowned?…

Sunset over Marché Bonsecours

Last Friday I took my 5 year old little man to La Grande Roue de Montreal. I wanted to see the Montreal skyline at sunset, so we got there around 7h45pm. We were lucky enough to get a cabin for ourselves and therefore we could view all 360 degrees at ease. On the second round just as the wheel passed it’s highest point, I got this beautiful image. The sun was setting behind the Montreal skyline and the golden rays were shining on the dome of Marche Bonsecours. It was something of a scenery to watch. If you plan to go on the wheel, I recommend that you do this 20 minutes before sunset. It’s magical !