A few years back I was wandering the streets of Paris on a very hot day looking for some decent black and white street shots. It was what I had gone to Paris for, but the pickings were pretty lean. I have always regarded street photography a bit like fishing, you sit and sooner or later you get a bite. For me Paris is one of the finest salmon rivers there is. You can almost guarantee some decent work, but maybe my mind was in the wrong place and I just wasn’t seeing. Getting very hot and tired I was ready to give up when out of a bar came the sound of pretty good jazz piano. Now, friends will know that jazz piano is a love of mine and the delight of sitting with an ice cold beer listening to some decent jazz was too much to resist, so in I went.
I just sat and listened, drinking the cold beer and savouring the moment thinking that life was not so bad after all. The pianist appeared to be writing on the music score, so what could be better than sitting and listening to a musician composing his next great work. I spotted this young couple looking not that happy with life and managed to grab just one quick shot of them without being noticed – no mention of model releases or anything so foolish in those days! I was shooting with a Canon EOS1 and prime lenses, and I was shooting on 400iso black and white film.It is still one of my favourite shots and has just been used again, this time in the latest ‘Snapixel’ magazine of black and white photography (Page 5). I have no idea who the couple were, but thank them for the image. I hope life worked out for them!
As I was leaving I decided that I should thank the pianist for keeping me so well entertained (you can see his striped shirt and his piano behind the boys head), so I went over and then, to my astonishment, saw that it wasn’t music he was writing but he was filling in his crossword puzzle! Just how do you play that well and think of crossword clues at the same time? Talk about multi-tasking.