Patrick Durand's Photographs
July 4, 2003 4:34 AM   Subscribe

The Vertically Inclined Photographer: Shooting Paris, Rome, the French Riviera and the Loire Valley from a low-flying plane is Patrick Durand's photographic obsession. It's an interesting flat alternative to Horst Hamann's [click on "Gallery" and go to "New Verticals"] tall vertical New York. There's something very exciting about looking at familiar sights from an unfamiliar point of view. [Both sites very, perhaps too Flash.]
posted by MiguelCardoso (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
[this is fab] - great post.
posted by plep at 5:21 AM on July 4, 2003

Hamann's work is available as a book as well. I myself have a copy of the largest format, a stunning 19.25" by 8.95". Well worth the price, I think, for such fantastic photographs.
posted by The Michael The at 5:37 AM on July 4, 2003

I just sat and clicked through Patrick Durand's website for over a half hour -- what a great site! The vertical pictures are amazing. He has spent 20 years as a photojournalist, so there are quite a few other pictures on there that are worth browsing.
posted by j at 6:31 AM on July 4, 2003

On display in Montreal last summer were Yann Arthus-Bertrand's "Earth From Above" photographs. Enormous, mounted prints lined one of the major streets downtown, sharing some absolutely amazing visions of the planet's geography, geology and society. Not only was the art impressive - the presentation such that everyone from little kids to dazed tourists was tantalized, and every time I went by there would be a buzzing crowd of admirers around each photo.

Arthus-Bertrand's website has a number photographs from the collection, in a less-Flash-and-more-Javascript interface, but they lose a lot of their majesty when shrunk down. I imagine the same is true of Durand's work (and certainly of Hamann's - the small & narrow images on his site are rather underwhelming).

Not only is there a thrill, in all of these works, at seeing the familiar in an unfamiliar way - I'm also fascinated by the way that the work reveals patterns that are invisible to us, day-to-day. Honeycombed gatherings of tents; the symmetrical outlines of buildings and roads; the streamlined flow of people...
posted by Marquis at 6:45 AM on July 4, 2003

Sweet! Thanks Miguel.
posted by romakimmy at 6:46 AM on July 4, 2003

Excellent. Thanks!
posted by dobbs at 6:51 AM on July 4, 2003

The thing about truly beautiful cities is that it's not simply an action in distance like the Durand pictures show; it's a pervasive feeling you get no matter if you're watching Paris from a balloon or if closely inspecting a piece of pietra serena in Florence. The ones from the Riviera are less interesting I'd say, but Rome and Paris look as gorgeous as ever. Excellent post Miguel, perfect for a friday.
posted by 111 at 7:38 AM on July 4, 2003

Another brilliant aerial photographer is William Garnett.
posted by twsf at 7:56 AM on July 4, 2003

Oh Miguel! Thanks. He's covered my favorite places in the world, and some locations I thought I knew like the back of my hand. How interesting to see a new angle.

The Eiffel Tower shot is the most amazing.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:35 AM on July 4, 2003

And there's Yann Arthus Bertrand.
posted by rory at 8:36 AM on July 4, 2003

Sorry, here's a working link: Yann Arthus Bertrand
posted by rory at 8:37 AM on July 4, 2003

that's cool, i live in the Loire Valley and have seen all those castles a TRILLION times in real life, but these pics make them eve, more fantastic!
posted by Sijeka at 10:03 AM on July 4, 2003

Nice interface, too.
posted by signal at 12:54 PM on July 4, 2003

Terrific! Faboo. Even though they're from unusual points of view these pictures really evoke memories. (They also make everything look really clean.)
posted by furiousthought at 1:43 PM on July 5, 2003

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