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Chris Bertram

Sunday photoblogging: Newport transporter bridge

by Chris Bertram on December 10, 2017

Newport Transporter Bridge

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Sunday photoblogging: St David’s Cathedral

by Chris Bertram on December 3, 2017

St David's Cathedral

Sunday photoblogging: I left my heart in the Grand Palais

by Chris Bertram on November 26, 2017

Paris: Grand Palais

Sunday photoblogging: Paris, Rue Bonaparte

by Chris Bertram on November 19, 2017

Paris: Rue Bonaparte

Paris Photo

by Chris Bertram on November 13, 2017

We spent a few fun hours at the Paris Photo exhibition at the Grand Palais on Saturday. The first time I’d been. Lots to see and lots to like, but also quite a lot to dislike. My attention was caught by a copy of Kertesz’s Chez Mondrian, which is one of my favourite photos of all time (#2 after Cartier-Bresson’s Madrid) on the stall of Bruce Silverstein, the New York dealers. I sauntered up to the assistant and asked how much it was going for, knowing already that it would be beyond my budget: “1.2 million” she said. I’m not clear whether that was dollars or euros, but it doesn’t matter much. It was a print made for an exhibition in 1927, and as such, unique, though it looks like most other renderings of Chez Mondrian.

There is something, to my mind rather off about the enormous sums being paid for photographs. After all, with the exception of daguerreotypes and similar they are actually produced for reproduction and largely only exist in the form of copies of themselves (the negative being rarely for sale). Some of what was on sale for large amounts were shots of really poor and suffering people taken by photographers acting from moral or political motives: all grist to the mill of the gallerists.

Having looked around several stalls containing vintage photography, I asked one assistant why I had not seen a single autochrome. Apparently they have very little commercial value because of doubts about the long-term stability of the originals. I still think it anomalous there aren’t any, I said, pointing out that we were in Paris, where the Albert Kahn Museum (perpetually fermé pour travaux) has perhaps the world’s largest collection. Alas, she had never heard of Albert Kahn.

(For myself, I bought and was bought, some books by Harry Gruyaert, a Belgian colourist at Magnum whom I really rate very highly.)

Sunday photoblogging: Puces St Ouen

by Chris Bertram on November 12, 2017

Puces St Ouen

Sunday photoblogging: Uppsala, stormy sky

by Chris Bertram on November 5, 2017

Uppsala - stormy sky

Sunday photoblogging: Lloyds Building, Bristol

by Chris Bertram on October 29, 2017

Lloyds Building, Bristol

Over a month without taking a picture at all, so I decided to get out with a camera on Friday.

Sunday photoblogging: cormorants or shags?

by Chris Bertram on October 22, 2017

Cormorants, or shags?

The common cormorant (or shag)
Lays eggs inside a paper bag….

Sunday photoblogging: Pézenas houses

by Chris Bertram on October 15, 2017

Pézenas

Sunday photoblogging: Pézenas

by Chris Bertram on October 8, 2017

Pézenas

Sunday photoblogging: at Bouzigues

by Chris Bertram on October 1, 2017

Pézenas-3

Sunday photoblogging: Renaissance courtyard, Pézenas, France

by Chris Bertram on September 24, 2017

Pézenas

Sunday photoblogging: Étang de Montady

by Chris Bertram on September 17, 2017

Étang de Montady

Back to Sunday Photoblogging. I’ve been on hiatus from CT due to some family matters, and others have taken up the photoblogging job. This is the Étang de Montady as seen from the Oppidum d’Ensérune (both near Béziers in Languedoc). Both have Wikipedia entries, so please consult, but the story is that monks constructed this in the 13th century. They drained the swamp/pond by creating a drain at a central point which flows through an underground culvert and the radial ditches that result force the fields into their triangular pattern.

Review of Betts and Collier on refugees

by Chris Bertram on August 30, 2017

I have a review of Andrew Betts and Paul Collier, Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System (Allen Lane) in The New Humanist. It is a curious book, with some interesting and serious parts, but the whole is marred by an arrogant rhetoric and it risks serving as an alibi for some very bad policies indeed.