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Saturday, I participated in a photo marathon called Clic-Clac that took place in Offenburg, Germany and Strasbourg, France.

Rain. It wasn’t a promising way to start out a day meant for wandering the two cities and taking photos…Around the time we began our first photography challenge, little by little the sky lightened up and by the time lunch was served (at the Kunstschule in Offenburg) the sky was gorgeous and the sun was shining.

The premise of the photo marathon was that we were given 2 themes/challenges to illustrate with one photograph per theme with approximately 2 and a half hours to find a subject and photograph it. The first theme was given in the morning in Offenburg and the second in Strasbourg. The two themes were:

1: double je – in English it is understood as ‘double I’, but it’s a word play. ‘je’ means ‘I’ but sounds the same as the word for game (jeu) in French.

2: je t’ai vu – translated means ‘I saw you’.

The possibilities were endless. Nonetheless, avoiding clichés was not easy.

My submissions:

I happened on my photo by pure chance. I didn’t know how to go about illustrating this playful theme. Walking towards downtown Offenburg, I was mostly watching people. I was keen on capturing individual people on my virtual film. By chance, I saw an elderly woman with perfect posture pushing an old empty stroller with her shopping hanging from the handles just across the street from where I was. It caused my mind to start thinking about youth and age and the return to innocence and dependence. She was the perfect incarnation of this theme so I took her photo.

Theme 1:

LP and I thought maybe we could get a shot or two on the water. We are lucky enough to have friends with an amazing apartment on the canal in Petite France with a kayak. We took it out for about a half hour. It was just what I needed for a gorgeous shot of a couple – a woman embracing a man and the man not reciprocating. The lines. The colors. The knowing look she was casting over his shoulder.

Theme 2:

Jim’s submissions:

LP (Jim/life partner) and I set off with no ideas and sleep in our eyes. double je I kept thinking…The Kunstschule (or art school in English), where our instructions were delivered, was right next to the city library. LP was keen on seeing what the library had inside and perhaps find some inspiration. He did. It involved the front page of Die Zeit newspaper featuring a monkey and me.

Theme 1:

It was already late by the time we had docked the boat. Jim was worried about not finding a subject. Cycling along the quai back to the library we happened on a neighborhood block party at Place Saint Louis. Just on the corner was a guy who had set up a photo booth and was taking photos of people with a four-shot Polaroid camera. That was it for LP! He had his shot and we had 1 hour to submit our photos back at the library.Theme 2:

After all the photos were submitted, the whole group headed over to place d’Austerlitz for an apéro-mix at La Chambre. We were able to exchange contact information with our new friends and finally….and most importantly…see all the photos that had been submitted by all the participants.

We also got to see a news report that France 3 did on the event. Our gorgeous faces were featured more than once during the 3 minute report. You can see it here.

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