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Post Presidential election in France ( More on page 2 )

Discussion in 'Photojournalism, Candids and Street Photography' started by Julien, May 8, 2007.

  1. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    As some might know France just had its presidential elections this WE and it turns out that Sarkozy ( right wing ) won. Just after this announcement ( made official around 8pm ) people opposed to him started gathering on the round-about of la Bastille, whereas those in favour found their way on the place de la Concorde for a big concert celebration.

    It wasn't too long before things started to heat up in la Bastille and things got a little bit wild ( a fellow photographer got hit on the head by a cobblestone , and made the news in the process ). I wasn't there that night, but things happened yesterday night again and I wasn't going to miss that twice.

    I obviously can't post all of them here, but if you're interested check all of them out here and you'll be able to follow the night chronologically.

    Here are a few of these. They are quite small so should load quite easily :wink:

    It started out by blocking the traffic of the round-about simply by standing in the middle of it.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Then they built some sort of barricades to channel the traffic. Only one car at a time could pass. That is if the people let them.

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    Then out of nowhere this flare lights up and the crowd starts moving down that small road. We know that this many people on such a small street is bad news.

    View attachment 94300

    I was with 2/3 fellow photographers and we stayed behind only to see all the mess left behind. We actually didn't catch up with the crowd until midnight. It was a game of cat and mouse between the protesters and the cops that were all over the streets trying to channel them where they could stop them.

    View attachment 94301

    This scooter was left behind burning. It's amazing how hot it is even from 7-8 feet. This was the occasion to see the police officers in action putting out the fire. You could see they weren't kidding, they were backing each other up in case of an ambush I guess and had another officer with a flashball gun looking at the crowd from another angle. Impressive stuff !

    View attachment 94302

    We then ran with the police to try and catch up the protesters that were by now long gone.

    View attachment 94303

    Around midnight , after walking a fair amount we managed to find them again. They all came back to where it started on the place de la Bastille.

    View attachment 94304

    A bit after the police was given the call to arrest people in order to put an end to this. Things got rough here too.

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    The 3 following shots are from the people in the police buses.

    read : "liberty"

    View attachment 94306

    read : "we are voters ! not vandals this is stupid "

    View attachment 94307

    View attachment 94308

    I found the contrast between the young man's face and the situation very appealing.

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    Here the police had circled the last few protesters ( at least the ones that stayed on the steps of the opera ) and lead them to the buses. This girl didn't stop talking to the cops who remained perfectly still and silent.

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    For some reason this photographer got arrested as well. I really wish I knew who to give this photo because I'm sure it has a certain potential ( it's quite crappy technically-wise but just the fact that they arrested an apparently innoncent photographer is a big event ! ).

    View attachment 94311

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    Thanks for watching. I should have more since it doesn't seem that these events are going to stop soon.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2007
  2. Julien,

    A nice series of images reflective of the mood of the crowd.

    <It would not have been my personal choice to spend the evening though.> You're a tough guy! Place de la Bastille has been, since it was built a long long time ago, the premier location to protest.

    Any excuse to protest will do for certain people. The biggest problem is that many a manifestation gets hi-jacked by the "rabble" that sets things on fire.
  3. Good stuff, Julien. In aggregate these do a great job of telling the story, but #'s 5, 7, and 11, 12, and 13 are quite interesting photos standing on their own. Please be careful as you continue to document the unrest.
  4. Great set, Julien!

    aka beaucamera
  5. GBRandy


    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI
    Very nice set Julien.

    #11 is a great work....very good

    Seems they only arrest Canon photographers....lucky you!
  6. SRA


    Jul 29, 2005
    Orem, Utah
    Thank you Julien. I am going to watch this page for your updates. Take care of yourself and don't get hurt or arrested. :smile:

    BTW, I will be in Paris in about two weeks. Isn't the Bastille near the street with all the camera shops? What a sad event to occur in a beautiful area of the city.


    Apr 30, 2005
    Sore Losers !

    PS... nice set of images.
  8. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    You did a great job of coverage and staying clear of arrest:>))
    NIce work
  9. Great images Julien. Merci.
  10. Totally in your face Julien............. :eek: 

  11. outt3n


    Apr 24, 2007
    Houston, TX
    wow i love #9, just so much in that picture! great job!
  12. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Good work Julien! And you did an excellent job of remaining objective, regardless of your personal politics. And for that I 'officially' thank you.

    Oh, and ps. Randy beat me to it, but obviously they arrested the lady for shooting with a Canon.
  13. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    Lol. I would've if I went outside on the election day, sadly I was too lazy ... a pity I think in retrospective.

    I whole-heartedly agree about the hijacking part ! that's really sad.

    I was kind of afraid at first that night , but then you get the hang if it and I have to admit that there is some sort of exhilaration to it. That's where you have to be careful and still realise that this is potentially dangerous, especially being on the side of the police : your likely to get hit by projectiles ( that actually happened to a friend, who made the news, that got hit in the forehead by a cobblestone. Thankfully he's alright !! )

    Thanks Dave, sure will :wink:

    Thank you Virginia

    :biggrin: That didn't even spring to mind !

    I really wonder why she got caught. It wasn't serious though because she was there the next evening.

    Don't worry Scott I really don't want to get arrested or hurt either :biggrin:

    You're correct about that street. It's called le Boulevard Beaumarchais and starts at this round about, but nothing happened there so the camera shops are safe :wink:

    I really don't think so Robert. It's more complicated than that , but I don't want to get into politics :wink:

    Thanks Gale , I'll try that sure thing !

    De rien Sam !
  14. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    Thanks Graeme. Being right in the middle of it ( with that little 50mm lens ) I really wanted people to feel part of it as well.

    Thank you very much Kyle :wink:

    I'm glad those pictures seemed objective it's a good sign Chris.

    Yeah Randy was fast indeed :Crunk:
  15. Great work Julien, I echo the comments about camera choice as insurance against arrest !!
  16. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    I thought I'd post more heresince I still have a few ( well that's a euphemism ).


    These policemen were putting out the scooter on fire. Impressive teamwork.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


    She was a high school student. She told us that she was part of the people that tried to rally as many people as possible to show up, peacefully though. Here sign reads : " Antisarko honk "

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    Standing behind the police line could make you feel secure, but the glass bottles that flew pas us from time to time reminded us that either side wasn't that secure at all. You had to have eyes everywhere. I even got shoved by a policeman's shield after he told me to stop taking photos. He did that to pro photogs as well ... that didn't stop us from shooting afterwards. But it's not the best feeling when the guys come after you ( granted we weren't a threat and they were "nice" that time ).

    View attachment 94315


    More people arrested inside the buses.

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    I didn't really have time to see what happened here ( and you can tell because it's not that sharp ... ). I can still feel the tension in this one.

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    I can't imagine what this guy felt as he was surrounded by all those policemen. Sorry for the blurry photo :redface:

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    This kid was way too young to get arrested. He must've been in the middle of all the protesters. His expression really got to me.

    View attachment 94319


    Facing the Gendarmes.

    View attachment 94320


    Apparently cops dressed as civilians were also part of the "game". It was weird to see that at first because you weren't quite sure what was happening : are they vandals beating up someone ?

    View attachment 94321

    Sorry for some of the blurry photos but it turned out to be really hard to find the right settings between the low light, the rain and the fact that everything was pretty hectic and sometimes even the AF had some trouble following what was going on ! I can't imagine if I had used the D50 :biggrin:

    For those who want to see more I have around 50 more here.
  17. I just took a look at all the shots on your Flickr page. Really good series. Looking at all of these has given me a stronger sense of what a scary scene it must have been.
  18. SRA


    Jul 29, 2005
    Orem, Utah
    In #22 I think the young man is contemplating what his parents might say after they bail him out of jail. :mad: 
  19. Astounding, I really love your photos, great pictures and report.
  20. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    Great courage. Thanks for the series.

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