Backdoor to Paradise

Backdoor to Paradise
Backdoor to paradise, Saint-Paul de Vence, France

Sometimes you don’t need to travel very far to find something that catches the eye, gives rise to a strong emotion. Or a feeling. Even brings back some memories from the past.

Timing is everything

That’s what happened to me a couple weeks ago when I walked up to the door at the end of the garden at home in Saint-Paul. It was the middle of the day and it has been cloudy for hours before the sky cleared out just a little bit. Well I would not say “cleared-out” really, because it was still cloudy but it became very thin at one specific spot and the light was very intense. No actual blue sky appeared at all. Someone up there was just messing around with the strobe. Not completely, just enough to let the sun rays try to sneak out. But this only last for a few minutes before the clouds took back their position for the rest of the day. We got no rain that day, just clouds and strong light behind them. When I see that I always think of it as the largest soft box in the world. And why not make good use of it while it’s there, for free. Who would decline such an offer for free light?

Now all of a sudden the things that I know so well were taking another aspect and became a setup. The work together as a subject while creating a totally different vision. I’ve seen this door so many time, even the bushes and the hills in the background. But now they represent something different as a whole. I’m pretty sure the “decisive moment” (As described by Henri-Cartier Bresson himself: “The decisive moment, it is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms which gives that event its proper expression.”) is playing a role here because everything just happened at a very precise moment without any form of preparation or humain interaction. I was just there at the right time and hopefully had the camera with me to grab a permanent image of what I saw. The photo was taken with the Leica M (Typ 240), which is in color, but was converted to B&W because I simple felt it was more representative of the scene I had in front of me at this very precise moment, and the feeling I had while taking the photograph.

Doors, doors and doors

I hope it brings you some kind of emotion and/or souvenir. For me, it’s another proof that amongst some other subjects, doors in general are something I’m very attracted to when I use a camera. This photo made me think of a gate that takes you to a better place, where the light in the sky attracts you, invite you. And then I woke up!

Good Light! (no pun intended)


© Normand Primeau