I spent a good part of yesterday destroying my ear drums while being pushed along by mobs of techno enthusiasts who were bouncing their way through the Latin Quarter and on to Place de la Bastille. This was not a demonstration, but a "techno Parade," but if you ask me, ça revient au même—it's pretty much the same thing. Hordes of people, a mob mentality for better (solidarity) and for worse (violence), a mixture of exuberance and danger. Basically, one of my favorite things to see. If there is a demonstration, I'm there. If there's a riot, I shouldn't be there, but I am anyway.
I don't know how I filled up a 15 gig memory card so quickly, but maybe it had something to do with this month's "points of view" focus. Let's use a bus stop as an example:
I love the defiant use of urban structures during an event like this. I don't mean burning cars or smashing shop windows (and none of that was happening), but simply people using public space in ways that break with their intended design. Normally, I might have snapped the above photo and continued on with the crowd. With the way the guys were starting to jump on the structure, I knew it wouldn't be long before security intervened.
I cut through the crowd and worked my way to the bus stop. I love how the guy in the middle is trying to make a call on his cell phone. Good luck with that.
Once I was this close, I thought I may as well try a new perspective and go under the glass (which started to draw more photographers—an irritating side effect).
They loved the attention, probably hoping the photo would make it into the mainstream press.
This guy motioned for me to photograph him hitting a B-Boy pose and showing off his tongue piercing.
Finally, I moved to the back of the bus stop where one of the kids tried to get in one more chance to be seen. I guess he got his wish.
As in my last post, my point here is that thinking more about points of view can multiply your chances of getting photos you like. You have to move a little more—and often rather quickly—but it pays off.