in rural Paris, Iowa, and Wordpress


Hotel Frances

Guadalajara, 21 February 2011

I would like to show you some quite unrelated photos that I never thought that I would show to anyone, although they are photos that I like a great deal for various reasons.*

The picture above was taken in one of the latterly added bank of rooms on the roof of the venerable Hotel Frances. My own fondness for the photo, I know, derives in great part from my love of that old hotel and that room in particular–jacuzzi in the bath and a hot tub on the roof. I recently, and for the first time, felt that I received permission to show it to others by virtue of reading Geoff Dyer’s great survey of photography titled The Ongoing Moment. In that book he introduced me to the great Hungarian photographer André Kortész. Kortész loved shooting this subject matter. When looking at his pictures, it was as if he assured me that it is acceptable to enjoy this sort of photo as long as stairs going up are involved in some way.


 Paris, November 2007

Likewise, Eugéne Atget gave me permission to show this photograph, slightly cross processed and all. I feel okay putting it up now.

The main point is this. If I were in the business of recommending things to others–which I most assuredly am not—I would recommend Geoff Dyer’s fascinating book to you. I would also recommend the Hotel Frances in Guadalajara for that matter. As it is, I never recommend anything to anyone.

People Eating Junk

 San Miguel de Allende, 16 January 2011

Last, I have been getting a little nudge now and again in the form of a suggestion that I get back to putting up more photos of people. So there is a people picture. So much to criticize about that photo in terms of composition and all, but it never fails to makes me grin. George Carlin’s observations aside, North Americans do not have a corner on vulnerability to junk food. They simply can afford more of it.

*I am well aware of the dictum that good photographers say nothing about their own photographs. They let the photographs speak for themselves. I, however, have never—not even once—claimed to be a good photographer. And anyway, these are only snapshots.

6 Responses to “Potpourri”

    • StephenBrassawe

      The problem is my failing, Michel. I take it personally when someone does not respond the same way I do. Par conséquent, tout le monde doit trouver son propre hôtel.

  1. mlhe

    If photographers are supposed to “say nothing” about their photographs, why is a picture worth 1,000 words?

    • StephenBrassawe

      To tell you the truth, Mary, I do not know whether photographers are supposed to say nothing or not. That was only a feint to make myself appear wiser than I am. A ploy. A gambit. Whatever.


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