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Franck Bohbot takes pictures
February 5, 2014 10:04 AM   Subscribe

Franck Bohbot is an up-and-coming photographer, already seen in HuffPo and Vogue, among others. His eye and choice of subjects seem to draw one to infinity. Or to take one to a recent past, seen from younger eyes. And then there's my favorite collection, all about parked cars.
posted by Purposeful Grimace (31 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Forgot to put this in the post but ESPECIALLY go look at the Théâtres page.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 10:07 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


Glad you posted the Théâtres link - it saved me from being disappointed with all his other stuff. I'm not saying he's bad, but the low-contrast pastel colors everywhere look is not for me. At least those auditorium interiors had some powerful colors.
posted by komara at 10:15 AM on February 5


This is really great. Thanks for posting.
posted by cribcage at 10:21 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


Those are backgrounds for good photographs.
posted by w0mbat at 10:28 AM on February 5 [2 favorites]


His eye for architectural scenes reminds me of the Carel Struycken panoramic photos that were posted here a while back.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:38 AM on February 5


They're all really nicely composed, but when I scroll through them, there's a bit of monotony to it. I don't know if it's the colors or the empty spaces, or what, but while one shot would draw me in, seeing the collection didn't really strike me.
posted by xingcat at 10:46 AM on February 5


I really like the nightscapes. I agree with the previous commenter that his other stuff does get monotonous. Kind of like a Bruno Mars album. Each picture is fine on its own but as a collection it suffers.
posted by zzazazz at 10:55 AM on February 5


They're all really nicely composed, but when I scroll through them, there's a bit of monotony to it. I don't know if it's the colors or the empty spaces, or what, but while one shot would draw me in, seeing the collection didn't really strike me.

Dead-center composition, shot with a wide-angle lens, of architecture. I used to take a lot of photographs like this when that was a thing I did, because it's basically the easiest way to shoot anything, especially architecture, which is often purpose-built for exactly that effect. And it does look good. But it's a formula -- an easy formula. You can handwave around the laziness by saying things like "New Objectivity!" and "Typology!" and name-dropping the Bechers, but...
posted by Sys Rq at 11:26 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


Doesn't do it for me.
posted by chance at 11:27 AM on February 5


Hey, I was just getting a post together based on his parked cars! Way to go!
posted by klangklangston at 11:29 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


sweet stang
posted by nathancaswell at 11:32 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


I do not see what is interesting about his work, especially the parked cars. Good on him for getting featured in huffpo, though. I wonder what that pays?
posted by BabeTheBlueOX at 11:37 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]


I like these! The libraries are cool.
posted by carter at 11:56 AM on February 5 [2 favorites]


A photographer who does many great parked cars shots, especially rusted pre-80'es, and many in San Francisco is Christopher Hall
posted by growabrain at 12:14 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


Well I liked the samples shown here. I can see how some might find a stultifying sameness, but I find them meditative and reflective.
posted by Mister_A at 1:02 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]


Dude likes him some vistas, amirite?
posted by Mister_A at 1:05 PM on February 5


But it's a formula -- an easy formula.

That's true, so long as we're assuming a fundamental level of competence. These are very well shot and developed. They aren't photos that just anybody could take an hour after buying MyFirstCamera™.

It's a formula a lot of us find compelling, though. My reaction was the opposite of Xingcat's. Individually, these photos wouldn't catch my eye. As a collection, I find it fascinating to pore through and compare little details and overall feels.

I wouldn't be interested in seeing every photographer do this—and you're right, most photographers could. On the other hand, it's definitely something I am interested in seeing the occasional photographer do, in different locales and time periods.
posted by cribcage at 1:15 PM on February 5 [3 favorites]


I think if you saw one of these hanging on the wall, you'd be like, "Damn, that's a cool picture."

I would anyway.
posted by Mister_A at 2:05 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


I think if you saw one of these hanging on the wall, you'd be like, "Damn, that's a cool picture."

I was like "Damn, those are cool pictures" just looking at them on my computer screen. I do wonder how much processing is involved in the color. I also can't quite figure out how he's lighting some of those interiors. I wonder if those are multiple exposures or composites of some kind?
posted by yoink at 2:50 PM on February 5


"I do wonder how much processing is involved in the color."

A ton? I mean if you look at American Nightscape and check out just how many of them are the exact same shades of pale blue and pink, you'll have your answer.
posted by komara at 2:52 PM on February 5


I was wondering about the post-processing on some of the photos to get that washed out color.

The libraries and theaters are great. I don't know about the photographic theory, but the effect of lots of them together is very interesting to me.
posted by immlass at 2:52 PM on February 5


A ton?

Metric or Imperial?
posted by yoink at 3:59 PM on February 5


These might appear simple, but I don't think they're easy to take well. A lot of them are single point perspective, but you still have to figure out the viewpoint to use, from where an image comes together. The framing, composition, point-of-view, etc., are all very good, as well as the range of light/dark tones. The clarity and detail at all ranges of exposure, is (to me) very impressive.

In this Archinect piece, he says that he uses 4x5 film, and digital equipment, although it's not clear which images he uses film for. You can post-process digitally from the neg scan, but still.
posted by carter at 5:22 PM on February 5


"Metric or Imperial?"

First one, then the other.
posted by komara at 8:50 PM on February 5


"These might appear simple, but I don't think they're easy to take well. [...] The framing, composition, point-of-view, etc., are all very good"

I would actually argue against this.

- In this shot in the Louvre the arch at the top is cut off. To me it feels as unnatural as cutting off the top of someone's head, especially when there's all that negative space at the bottom begging to be removed.

- The arch in the swimming pool shot is cut off as well. However, in this case the contrast on the arch isn't as strong and it doesn't stick out as much, and it's also clear that Bohbot meant to center the exit in the frame (something that wasn't happening in the Louvre pic). Still, the exit isn't fully centered. If you're going to make a point of documenting symmetrical architecture, get it right down to the pixel.

- Same argument for the bumper cars photo but even more so. I can't see any reason why that's so close to centered but still off.

I mean it's clear he puts a lot of thought into many of his shots, so why do his center-weighted compositions feel so sloppy?

(I'm saying this as a guy who has a preference for center-weighted compositions and will shoot and re-shoot to get it just right)
posted by komara at 8:57 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]


Aaargh you're right! Although I think some of them might be tripod placement. Eliminating the foreground in the Louvre shot, for example, might be difficult, as you'd have to go up in the vertical plane. Also I'm not bugged by the arches at the top; it looks like if you brought that one into frame, then you'd see another cut-off one in front of it. But the bumper cars one is weird.
posted by carter at 5:01 AM on February 6


I would assume he deliberately cut off the arches, so as not to "contain" the space within the photo. If you keep each topmost arch intact, then compositionally the spaces are going to feel smaller. You don't want that. As for the bumper cars, I agree that I don't see any reason why it isn't perfectly centered—but it's worth noting, given the shot's perspective, it's possible there is a good reason that we wouldn't "see." In other words, maybe there is a "good reason" lurking behind the frame or to the right.

So much about these photos is deliberate, I'd be inclined to give Bohbot the benefit of the doubt where something could be sloppiness but also may not be.
posted by cribcage at 9:05 AM on February 6


Well, I went back and looked and apparently he shot the same pool from the other end and it's far more what I would have expected, composition-wise, in terms of the full arch being included, composition being perfectly centered, etc. I'm just going to hang the blame on Purposeful Grimace for picking bad examples for me.
posted by komara at 9:31 AM on February 6


Depending how Bohbot is setting up his gear, that second pool photo also includes a possible (?) hint about why maybe the first shot is slightly off center.
posted by cribcage at 10:23 AM on February 6


I'm just going to hang the blame on Purposeful Grimace for picking bad examples for me.

'Twas always thus, and always thus will be.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 3:53 PM on February 6


I missed this when it was first posted but saw it linked in a comment. I really like the parked cars series in particular.
posted by Dip Flash at 3:53 PM on February 7


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