When we think of Paris and photography, we often think of the black and white street photography of Doisneau, Cartier-Bresson, and even Erwitt. These photographers found quirky subjects, yet managed to express the quotidian elements of life in a big city.
Mark Steinmetz’s 2013 monograph Paris in My Time offers the feel of those older street photographs of Paris, yet is much more recent. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) Shot between 1985 and 2011, many of the 43 photos in this oversized book look as though they could have been taken in any post-war decade. With a wonderful sense of humor, and the ability to capture quirky moments, Steinmetz’s collection (nearly out of print) shows a Paris that is both timeless and alive. From photos of people at play, to the many photos showing birds, cats, or dogs, this book is a very coherent look at this lively city. I must say, I have an affinity with work like this, having lived in Paris for many years, and having frequented many of the locations shot in this book: the parks, gardens, quays, and other parts of the city.
In a large format – 30 x 36 cm – and with photos beautifully printed with a light sepia tint on matte paper, this book has the feel of an heirloom. It is a wonderful collection of street photos, with the true feeling of the great masters of the art.
Here are a few double-page spreads from the publisher’s website: