RENCONTRES ARLES - daily blog

DAY 6 – Saturday July 7, 2007

 

  See the slideshows of the whole festival

It's the final day (most people leave Sunday morning, but there are still several events on the official calendar) and the last couple of exhibitions are still to be visited. The first is Tuomo Manninen's show at the Bourse du Travail. At the intersection of documentary photography and theatrical staging, this Finnish photographer creates group portraits, which when placed end to end, form a cross-sample of work and urban life.

 
Tuomo Manninen. © Neil Atherton

The presence of corporate sponsors at the festival is inevitable and SFR, the French telecom company, even organizes an exhibit of the winning photographs from their Young Talent contest. For an amateur show, the pictures are of a high standard and their are even some cool-looking chairs with photos printed on the fabric.

 
'Picture chairs' at the SFR exhibit. © Neil Atherton

Speaking of which, the market for home printing has exploded these last couple of years and HP, formerly known as Hewlett-Packard, have installed a Print Center in the Jules Caesar chapel. It's a beautiful backdrop as the printers whirr away, printing out pictures as big as 2-meters wide for photographers who have brought along their own files on a USB key, CD, etc. It's a free service and there's usually a long line, but it's worth the wait if you want to check out the latest print technologies.

 
Staff at the HP Print Center. © Neil Atherton

In the same space, Photo Service, the high street chain of photo labs, also offers a complimentary portfolio which are a great way for budding photographers to present their work to prospective clients at the HP Portfolio Readings, which for the last two festivals have proven a success, even if the fee is as high as 250 euros per person.

 
The HP Print Center. © Neil Atherton

As well as meeting industry professionals who will give advice and possibly offer work to participants, the major perk of doing the Portfolio Readings is that a couple of your pictures could be exhibited in the Photo Folio Gallery in the Cloître Saint-Trophime.

 
Photo Folio gallery. © Neil Atherton

Other portfolio reviews are organized during opening week, the longest running of which is done by the Voies Off team. Gallery and festival representatives, agents and curators welcome the next generation of photographers who sit through a 20-minute long critque of their work. These sessions are free for all participants.

 
Voies Off's portfolio reviews. © Neil Atherton

Another free portfolio reveiw was set up this year by, among others, Pierre Gassin of the Centre Iris in Paris. Located in a café, the idea here is a little different to the classic one-on-one interview-style meeting. Instead, a small group of half a dozen photographers sit around a table with one professional and share their thoughts about one another's work. A productive way for learning about other's work as well as your own.

 

The last of the official partners is Sony, who are pushing the release of their first digital SLR, apporpriately named Alpha. The demonstrations take place inside a converted Greyhound bus, but it's so warm inside that we don't hang around long enough to test the camera's revolutionary image-stabilizing technology.

 
The Sony Alpha bus. © Neil Atherton


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See the slideshows of the whole festival

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