Retour au Carnaval exhibition photos, Paris April 2019

Thanks to everyone who visited the exhibition Retour au Carnaval: Rites, Racines, Rebelles. it was truly great to show my work to so many of you during the Mois de la Photo Festival. At the finissage I did a presentation with some behind the scenes shots and went a bit deeper into the work!

All done. Thank you to everyone who came in the past few weeks! Big thanks to Cinémorphe for hosting the exhibition! Merci mille fois!

Paris exhibition: Retour au Carnaval * Mois de la Photo OFF, 4-19 April

Je suis ravi d’exposer des oeuvres sorties de mes voyages récents - ainsi que certains de mes “greatest hits” - à partir de jeudi prochain. Retour au Carnaval: Rites, Racines, Rebels aura lieu du 4 au 19 avril, dans le cadre de l’édition 2019 de Paris Mois de la Photo-Off.

I’m thrilled to exhibit work from some of my recent Carnaval trips - as well as a few of my “greatest hits,” beginning next week! Return to Carnaval: Rituals, Roots, Rebels will run from April 4-19 as part of the 2019 Paris Mois de la Photo.

Retour au Carnaval: Rites, Racines, Rebels

Exposition 4-19 avril, 12h-19h (fermé le lundi)

Finissage 18 April 18h-21h RSVP here

Espace Cinémorphe, 10 rue Bichat 75010 Paris


Carnaval in the Tyrol mountains of Austria

In the mountains of Austria, the town of Nassereith celebrates Carnaval once every four years. In the Schellerlaufen celebration, the sound of the crack of the whip brings on spring, and symbolizes the fight between the Bear and his trainer. The Bear stands for winter; when he finally lies down and rolls over, it means spring is coming. These traditional characters represent the old ways, such those of door-to-door salesmen who used to travel from village to village selling tools, kitchen items, and other sundries.

Botarga tradition in Guadalajara, central Spain

The botarga is a traditional Carnaval character of central Spain, representing the devil and leading the religious procession to the church but not entering it. The botarga carries an orange and wears a yellow mask to symbolize the harvest and the dark side of the human spirit.

Carnaval in Basque country, Spain

Carnaval season continues in Basque country, Spain... I spent two days following the Ioaldunaks as they paraded through the pouring rain in small towns in the region (Zubieta and Ituren), with mozorro characters, the scary ones, those who sow chaos, weaving in and out of the crowd and the parade, not being polite, pushing and shoving. The mozorro represent the tricksters and the dark side of the Carnaval festival.

Masquerade in the mountain villages of Bulgaria (Pernik region)

Bulgarian kukeri.... masquerade in the mountains, in Leskovets, Pernik region.  Representing animals and spirits, the mask of the survakari dispels the dark, winter mood and welcomes the coming spring. This mask takes weeks of hand crafting to make and constant repairing every year. It is quite heavy and cumbersome to carry along the parade route.

The Bear has a significant place in Bulgarian folklore, helping to cure aches and pains, and representing strength and virility. Those who suffer from the curse of the evil eye can burn a piece of the Bear to drive it away. As the groups visit each village, the Bear wrestles playfully with the owner of the house: once the Bear is on top of him, it’s believed to be good luck for the coming year.

Traditionally in the Bulgarian Carnaval, it was not allowed for the characters to touch each other, so they use the gega (staff) to link with each other. Legend had it if a woman was waiting a long time for a baby, if the survakari touched her with the gega, she would soon conceive.

Three Kings, Sopotnia Mała, Poland

Greetings from the mountains of cold Poland! (-10 degrees Celsius). Photographing the Three Kings celebration, traditionally the opening of Carnaval season in Europe. Accompanying the Three Kings in early January from house to house in this small mountain community, Augustus and the Jew are the troublemakers. Augustus is the comic relief, going through women’s drawers, stealing eggs from the refrigerator, tracking dirt and mud through the house and falling down a lot. Meanwhile, the Three Kings perform a more formal song and dance with the owner of the house to ring in the New Year.

Biennale de la Photographie, Mairie 15ème Arrondissement

Je suis fier d’avoir été sélectionné pour participer à la Biennale de la Mairie du 15ème Arrondissement, où deux de mes photos seront exposées.

I am proud to have been selected to participate in the Photography Biennial of the Mairie of the 15th Arrondissement (Paris), where two of my images were exhibited.

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Documenting the Vendanges (Wine Harvest) in Loire Valley

Merci beaucoup pour l'accueil de l'équipe de Domaines Minchin... mon projet de documentation des vendanges était une réussite et un grand plaisir! J'ai appris beaucoup sur le processus de viticulture et je vais apprécier chaque verre de vin désormais!

Thanks to the team of Domaine Minchin for welcoming me to the harvest season, it was an excellent experience to document the wine-making process! I learned a lot and will appreciate every glass of wine in a new light from now on!

Two photos selected for Fête de la Musique exhibition, Mairie XVème Paris

The Mairie of the 15th arrondissement in Paris included two of my photos, printed 2 meters in size by JCDecaux, in their exposition "The Music" to celebrate the Fête de la Musique!

Deux de mes photos ont été sélectionnées de la Mairie du 15e, imprimé à une taille de 2 mètres (!) par JCDecaux, pour l’exposition photo « LA MUSIQUE », 31 rue Péclet. Bonne Fête de la Musique!

“Carnaval Trombone,” Houtkerque, France, 10 March 2018

“Carnaval Trombone,” Houtkerque, France, 10 March 2018

“Panorama Compétition,” Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, 12 Feb 2009

“Panorama Compétition,” Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, 12 Feb 2009

Photo in group show "Water" in PhotoPlace Gallery, VT

One of my pictures of the Orinoco Delta in Venezuela is showing at the group show "Water" at the PhotoPlace Gallery in Vermont, until June 23rd!

An excerpt of the statement from curator Ann Jastrab:

"These photographs of water pull at me in unexpected ways. I feel a longing to return to the extremes of the Northeast, away from the sun and drought of California, to the crushing humidity of summer and the ceaseless snow of the winter. I know this is nostalgia at its finest, but jurying this exhibition of Water has surprised me by not just the flood of memories, but the surprising quality and variety of the pictures."

Thanks Ann - I'm honored to be included in this fine collection of work. Tell your Vermont and upstate NY people to check it out!


Paris Exhibition Follow Up

The Paris exhibition of my “Portraits of Carnaval” series was a success, as we had a full opening and many visitors for the whole show (see photos below). Limited Edition prints are available from the exhibition and other projects, please peruse my website, and contact me for pricing and size details. Merci beaucoup BY Chatel Galerie and Matthieu Suprin for the teamwork in putting everything together!

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Santo Antonio Festival in the Barbagia Mountains of Sardinia (Mamoiada and Ottana)

I’m just back from the Carnaval of Guinea-Bissau, and while I edit that, I realize I didn’t post the images from the Sardinian festival of Santo Antonio, in the mountains of the Nuoro district. This is the beginning of their Carnaval season in mid-January, and this festival is primarily for locals, where they celebrate the plentiful harvest by eating wild boar, pasta, special pastries, and drink local cannonau red wine, while watching the mysterious masked Mamuthones, Issohadores, Merdules, Filonzana, and Boes characters dance and jump along the bonfires spread throughout the towns of Mamoiada and Ottana. It was a fantastic festival, made that much more special by the warmth of the people who welcomed me and introduced me to their special culture. Mille grazie to the Museo delle Maschere in Mamoiada!


Salve Iemanjá! Feb 2nd, is Dia de Iemanjá - the goddess of the sea - one of my favorites! Here's some of my images from the Festa de Iemanjá in various towns in Bahia over the years!

Hoje é o dia de Iemanjá, orixà do mar, um dos meus favoritos! Aqui estão algumas imagens de Festa do estado de Bahia! Bom Carnaval!

Au Passage Restaurant for Edible Queens

Some images from a great restaurant, Au Passage, in the 11th Arrondissement of Paris, for Edible Queens. Known for lovely small plates, this restaurant is often fully reserved for its first earlier seating, but is first come first served in the late seating, and is often patronized by chefs throughout Paris who are attracted to the fun innovative menu with a touch of classic cuisine. Here's the article.

Paris Air Show, Le Bourget, Paris

It was fascinating to document a completely different world for a few days last week at the Paris Air Show. My assignment was to shoot the “trade only” (not public) part of one of the largest air shows in the world, for one of the top aerospace engine and equipment manufacturers.

Shooting a mix of photo and video, I covered meet-and-greets with governors, trade secretaries, and military brass. I covered trade show presentations of new products, created portraits of pilots, and documented various VIPs visiting the company’s exhibition space. I crept into cockpits and peered into fusillages.

And yes I photographed planes. Lots of planes - fighter jets, commercial airliners, bi-planes, small private planes, and even helicopters. It was a thrill to get a first glimpse of the new Lockheed F35, a super fast fighter that had the ability to land… on a battleship! (of course, a good amount smaller than an aircraft carrier). It was also wild to watch commercial Boeing airplanes doing huge sweeping banks, knowing (hoping?) that they would never do this in a regular flight, in order to show the capabilities of the airplane.

As a bonus, I got to learn some of the vocabulary of the aerospace industry: “static” airplanes are those on the ground; “content” is the word manufacturers use to refer to the parts/equipment on a plane that they’ve produced; the “cowl” is the steel hood that goes on an engine. Good stuff!

Cory Seznac at L'Ermitage, Belleville, Paris

My photos of Cory Seznec at L'Ermitage in Belleville, last week, made it into the Soul Bag mag website - great to hear Cory's music and collaborate with JP Bruneau.