Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Mistral: The Legendary Wind of Provence

It's been years since I've last been to Provence but glancing through the pages of this exquisitely done tome I feel immediately transported back in time. Not only because of what the photos show but also because I know (for I see only what I know) that they were taken in Southern France where I had spent some time in my younger years.

How does one photograph the wind? Photographer Rachel Cobb, writes Bill Buford in his excellent introduction, „wasn't actually photographing the wind as such, but its effects. She was looking for images so aerodynamically impacted that we, like onlookers sheltered nearby, could feel the invisible force, just as her subjects felt it. She wanted us to shiver and sink our heads into our necks and hold ourselves in our own arms.“

I could indeed feel „the invisible force, just as her subjects felt it“. And, I was once again awe-struck that photographs can make visible what can't be seen. Also, I could clearly sense that I'm not a wind-lover – there is way too much foehn where I live.

I especially loved how Buford describes Cobb's failed attempt to capture the moment when a hat was leaving the head of a man or how she, „the photographer of discomfort“ (what a brilliant way to put it!), missed the mistral ruining a wedding.

For the full review, go here

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