Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stan Raucher: What Was He Thinking?

Stan Raucher is a photographer based in Seattle. The photos below are from his Parisian Gestures series made during a four week trip to Paris in 2007.

Boulevard Saint Germain

"This image is definitely a gift from above. I captured it on my very first day that I was in Paris. I stepped out of my hotel, still jet-lagged from my long flight from Seattle, I and began wandering down Boulevard Saint Germain. My goal was merely to practice with my new camera when all of a sudden I saw a couple having an argument in a doorway right ahead of me. I managed to get one shot as I walked by. I love the strong gestures and interaction in this photo, but I really had no idea what I had until later that day when I reviewed my images. This became the iconic image from my trip and pointed me in the direction to strive to capture images with strong gestures and interactions. "

Rue de Rosiers

"I’m drawn to complex, richly-layer images that contain a degree of mystery and strong gestures. This photo is certainly one that falls into that category. What exactly is going on here? I don’t really know, since I took the photo as I quickly walked by. I haven’t had much success hanging out in a location waiting for something to unfold. Most of my favorite photos involve just a single shot of a particular situation. On the rare occasions when I do take more than one shot, it is usually the first shot - taken in an intuitive manner - that I prefer. Even after multiple viewings, I can still unearth hidden gems in this image - I especially like the bug-eyed fish key-chain. "

Rue de Fourcy

"Again, this is all about gesture and mystery. I love the bizarre arrangement of the man’s hands and the empty arms of his coat. His suspicious expression adds to the tension and the three people walking in the opposite direction echo his form. And what, exactly, is he holding in his pocket? Could it be a gun, perhaps? Maybe. That’s why I prefer to keep on walking briskly after I take a photo. "

Rue Tronchet

"I took this image near the end of my trip to Paris. I was still exploring the city and finding fascinating situations everywhere. I saw this woman from across the street and I knew I had to try to capture her gesture. I was too far away so I took three shots as I crossed the street and approached her. This time, it was the final shot, where I was closest, that turned out to be the most interesting. This is another richly-layer image that I love to examine over and over again. The details, from her earrings, broach and coat buttons to the poster on the newsstand that echoes her posture and the man approaching on the right add to the complexity of this image. "

Rue de Tracy

"Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to take this photo, but I couldn’t help myself. I love the contrast of the working woman dangling her keys and leaning against the shop window containing high-fashion mannequins. What I was mostly thinking was whether I could outrun her if she got upset."

Metro Line A near Les Halles

"This is another image that was a gift from above. I had tried quite a bit of photography on the Paris subways without much success due to poor lighting conditions and the movement of the trains. I noticed an interesting couple sitting across from me just as the train moved into the station. When I clicked the shutter, the poster in the station was in the perfect position. Eyes are a prominent feature in many of my favorite images and I love the gaze from both the woman on the train and in the advertisement."

Rue Pierre Lescot

"I took this photo near the end of my trip, and I think it is a fitting image with which to end this series. The photo was taken through the scratched glass of a phone booth, with reflections on both that glass and the shop windows behind the booth. I like the resulting layered effect, but I’m mainly drawn to this photo by the strong gestural elements and the gestures and demeanor of the man on the phone. This image speaks more to me about Paris than any image of the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triumph. Now I wonder how much longer it will be possible to photograph someone talking on a pay phone or smoking a cigarette in public."


Flavio said...

Amazing Selection. Love it. The one of the man with the jacket is superb! I´m trying to buy some emergent Street Photography Prints, any ideas?


China Plate said...

Nice set, especially as it was made in such a short time.

Anonymous said...

"And what, exactly, is he holding in his pocket? Could it be a gun, perhaps? Maybe. "

Even in Paris, the guy can't forget about his guns! Hello? This is Europe. No guns here!

Ben said...

very nice shots!

Anonymous said...

Looking at his "Parisian gestures" and his "metro" set, this guy must be really short, I'm talking 4 feet max. Or shooting blindly from low.

Sorry for the anonymity, cant work out the friggin google id thingy...