What's (in) the Picture?

Chris Breebaart Photography – finding stories

Posts from the ‘France’ category

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa

France, Paris – September2008

Mona Lisa is one of the most famous and genius works of art in the world. I was lucky to view it for the first time when the Louvre was not modernized. On a Monday morning in February 1984 me and a friend were the only persons in the room to admire her mysterious smile. In 2008 I saw her again from a distance, in a sea of pressing people, holding up phones and camera’s to get a glimpse of her. I have not been there since, but I can imagine what it must look like on a normal day before the pandemic. A wave of smartphones will be raised towards her, in a never ending stream of people on visiting times of the Louvre. Apparently 80% of the visitors of the Louvre come to see her.

I read in an article that at present people seek personal attention in combination with important objects and/or moments. A selfie is the instrument to gain that attention on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook or Tiktok. Mona Lisa/Lisa Gherardini never wanted that attention, a brilliant artist painted her portrait. And the rest is history. She must feel lonely now, no one is coming to see her. Or is she finally getting her well deserved rest.

shot with Nikon D70, edited using Snapseed and Marksta.  Click the picture for a larger version

Mont Saint Michel

France, Mont-Saint-Michel – July 2011

Le Mont Saint Michel is an old village on a rock in a bay on the west of France in Brittany. It is positioned in between Normandy and Brittany, and is famous for its abbey.

shot with Nikon D70, edited using Snapseed and Marksta.  Click the picture for a larger version

From the archive: Famous Neighbor at Père Lachaise 1989

France, Paris – January 1989

One from the archive. Père Lachaise is a famous graveyard in Paris, with lots of celebrities being rested there; another one for this week’s lens artistists challenge #168: seen better days. You can buy a map with the names of the famous on it, to find their graves. One of the youngest to be buried there was Jim Morrisson. Lead singer of The Doors, icon. The first time I visited Père Lachaise was early in 1985. Together with a friend we took a look at his grave; which was not that difficult to find because ‘helpful’ signs on gravestones, with arrows, pointed one in the right direction. At his grave we found a very young girl mourning. I asked her why she was so sad. “Jim is gone!”, she said. She must have been very young when he died in 1971. But her grieve was real. And years later in 2021, on a walk around the local lake, young people were playing The Doors loud on a big ghetto blaster like device. They looked at me as I walked by, smirking at me because they thought I did not like the loudness nor the music. “Great music boys”, I said as I walked by. They were surprised and replied: “Yes, this is great music sir!”. We grinned together, two different generations but the same love for The Doors. Break on through to the other side.

About the B4 retouch series:
I browsed my archive for pictures to publish. Some of them are partly retouched but most do have scratches, dust and stains.

Originally shot with Nikon F301 on Kodak TriX, scanned from negative and tweaked using Snapseed and Marksta. Click the picture for a larger version.

From the archive: Père Lachaise 1989

France, Paris – January 1989

One from the archive. Père Lachaise is a famous graveyard in Paris, with lots of celebrities being rested there for this week’s lens artistists challenge #168: seen better days.

About the B4 retouch series:
I browsed my archive for pictures to publish. Some of them are partly retouched but most do have scratches, dust and stains.

Originally shot with Nikon F301 on Kodak TriX, scanned from negative and tweaked using Snapseed and Marksta. Click the picture for a larger version.

From the archive: Chapelle Finistère 1981

France, Porspoder (Côte des Légendes) – August 1981

The B4 retouch series
I browsed my archive for pictures to publish. All of them are not completely retouched yet. Scratches, dust and stains are not removed.

The  picture was originally shot with Pentax K1000 on Kodak Plusx, scanned from negative and tweaked using Snapseed and Marksta. Click the picture for a larger version.

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