Mini Instagram Projects from France

I got back from France today, where I spent 10 days traveling between Lyon, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence. You can see some of my journey captured on my Instagram feed. As usual, next to my iPhone camera, I took hundreds more pictures with my Sony RX100 III, which will need further work on... categorising, editing, publishing/archiving. Taking pictures is a real joy and I realise more and more how much I love Instagram and how much it allows me to do, such as mini projects I come up with on the spot. 

Two "mini" Instagram projects I want to share with you now are #TypographAix and #lesMursdAvignon, which you can see pictures of below. 

While in Aix-en-Provence, I got inspired by the typography of the various businesses, old and new, some still working, some long gone, as well as some writings appearing in places where you wouldn't expect it. So I captured a few and tagged all such photos as #TypographAix. And in Avignon, I looked at the walls, which were covered by posters of the Avignon OFF (Fringe festival) throughout the city, which can be really overwhelming. There are few of those shots under #lesMursdAvignon.

I find this process really useful in my research of how languages and text is depicted in public space, while Instagram allows immediate sharing, I keep a more detailed catalogue of this ongoing research of mine through capturing it with the SONY camera. And while the first approach is about immediacy, the second one needs more work and reflection, so you'll have to wait a bit to see more of that. But for now, I hope you'll enjoy these few shots.

Residency Gear

I wrote earlier I was finally looking into the material I collected from my residency in Copenhagen. While doing this, I found some photos of me in action, and this made me want to share some information about the practical side of my process.

So, what does one need when hunting for languages in a city?

Apart from good energy and motivation to walk and walk and walk (endless walking), and impermeable clothing (yes, even in the rain and in the cold you keep walking, because time is limited on a residency, and in Copenhagen, even in May it can be chilly), you need a good camera, a sound recorder, something to take notes (digital and/or analog, that's up to you, I do both) and an internet connection (3 or 4G if no Wi-Fi) for social sharing and on the spot research. You can have all these incorporated in one device: my iPhone 6 truly is perfect and I used it a lot for sharing photos on Instagram. I also recorded some sound but I think I will mostly use it for research purposes, but again, I am still looking into the material I collected so I may change my mind. The iPhone 6 is also great for filming, I have fewer films and I have no idea for now what I will do with it.

Next to my iPhone 6 I have my SONY RX III for everything that needs better quality images as well as further thinking and exploration. Here again, because I have no planned outcomes I rather have very good quality images on hand. Another important point is that photographing with the SONY requires different skills and another approach. I don't photograph the same way with my iPhone and working with the SONY pushes me to look at my environment differently. It also allows me to zoom, which I will get to in a later post. 

Clothes. It may sound frivolous to talk fashion, but it is no luxury to be prepared. I live in the North of Europe so I know Spring is not always sunny and dry. But Copenhagen is even further North than Amsterdam, so I had to be prepared. If you go on a residency to Copenhagen, bring a raincoat, a scarf (don't be afraid to have one with wool mixed in), comfy shoes (my Clarks were great for rainy days, my Converse for the sunnier ones) and a big messenger bag to collect flyers, brochures and more on the go.  

Also, keep it cool when you meet a giant bull in the heart of Copenhagen.

Below are a few pictures of me taken by Erinç Salor who accompanied me during some of my explorations, here in Superkilen and in centre Copenhagen near the university.