Michel Bayard - Pinhole Cameras

During my recent trip to New York I had a Sunday free to wander around this great city that I was visiting for the first time in almost 15 years. One location that I'd read about and had wanted to see was the Highline, a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side, but more on that in another blog.

Suffice it to say, I found myself in the park and I was thoroughly enjoying the unique perspective it offers of New York city. About a third of the way into the park I came to an area called the "Chelsea Market Passage", it was here that I came across Michel's stall and his amazing photographs. There was quite a collection of photographs on display and an introduction into his photographic process.

 

About Michel's photographic proceess

I loved the idea of shooting via the film canister and I introduced myself to Michel, who was sitting behind his stall half hidden by the photographs. We talked about his work, I showed him some of the panoramas I'd shot in the Russian Far East and we discussed the range of photographic options we used, from analog to digital.

I really wanted a piece shot via the canister and Michel pointed out to me the photos that were shot that way. Michel tries to capture the work of the old masters of photography and his work show it. His photos of the Flatiron Building, The Brooklyn Bridge, a Times Square sign, or a ferris wheel in a schoolyard, to me, are representative of New York and the photograph of the Flatiron Building was just what I was looking for. 

I always like to know the story behind the little things I bring back from my travels, be it a carved drum from New Guinea or a bone container from Africa. So I bought the Flatiron building photo and asked Michel if he would pose for a picture holding the photograph. 

Michel Bayard with the Flatiron Building

Before continuing on I asked Michel if he would be here tomorrow but he said he was heading back to Boston. I have read that he can be found in different places and I know that he has been spotted selling his photos on Saturdays and some weekdays in Union Square Park. But I think it's pretty much the luck of the draw if you find him. If you do more luck to you.

An enlargement of the Flatiron Building photograph

Tony Redhead

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