From the Carlton Pontoon to the Palais des Festivals

Since last summer, I have been concentrating on specific projects in a few cities on the French Riviera. Cannes, Antibes, Nice and Monaco, 4 cities I barely know and for some, I had never visited!

I was the new photographer in town and barely knew anybody in the south-east. We are now late October and although the situation has evolved, things move slowly… very slowly… I am still the new kid here trying to build projects! Finding fundings for my creations, getting new clients takes a lot of work and a lot of time but I am now getting used to it.

I try hard to keep myself in a creative flow, yes I’ve got to keep the juice flowing! There are hundreds of amazing locations in the south of France so after spending weeks listing the places that inspire me, I am now trying to convince them to somehow work with me.

Cannes is kind of special and a lot of people know the city because of its movie festival and glamorous luxury hôtels that attracts celebrities and their fans. So wasn’t it logical for me to start there?

My story with Gillian Started last summer when we first met for an outdoor session. I called her back for a personal project I wanted to develop inside the EilenRoc Villa (Antibes – France) and she did a fantastic Job! On each of my photoshoots, I always try my best to get along as much as possible with the people I work with but sometimes it doesn’t work. Gillian is one of the rare people on the French Riviera with whom it worked right away.

For the 3 pictures I wanted to take on the Carlton Pontoon, I was happy to have her again by my side. We had to work fast has my idea was to get the shots before the sun was too high in the sky. The Carlton also gave us a very short window to work with, we had to leave the Pontoon at 9am!

Below is a few more infos on my favourite shot of the 3!

At first, I wanted Gillian to throw the fabric herself (Watch the BTS video) but it didn’t work as I couldn’t get a clear shot of the Carlton Hôtel behind and the random shape of the fabric didn’t please me.

Sowe decided to separate the 2 and have Gillian strike the pose and asked my 2 awesome assistants of the day to throw graciously the fabric.

5d mark III + a single Broncolor strobe camera right (Bare Bulb)
24 – 70mm F2.8 L mark II

24mm – ISO 640 – F5,0 – 1/800sec

Of course, the Broncolor Siros L was in High-speed mode, I slightly bumped up the ISO that allowed me to choose a wider depth of field.

Do you remember Lyria? No? It was 2 years ago at the Institut du Monde Arabe! And here we meet again, far from Paris, further south and inside the legendary Palais des Festivals de Cannes. This beautiful white modern building was a must for my series so when I was granted the access I was thrilled.

The Staff of the Palais kindly helped us throughout the day and even lent us a fog machine!


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I brought with me for both shoots 2 800ws SirosL and captured all the pictures you see were shot with the Canon 5d mark III. I would like to thank the amazing people at Canon France, that let me borrow the “Ginormous” 11 – 24 f4 L USM lens. Just like Gillian here is a few details on camera placement and settings of one of my favourite image of Lyria:

5D mark III + Canon 11 – 24 f4 L USM
18mm – ISO 500 – F10 – 1/1000sec

The Goal was to mix Architecture and dance.

The 2 Broncolor strobes are placed on the left and right side of Lyria. I chose a high Fstop and a fast shutter speed to have everything in the scene in focus and to avoid any motion blur. This was possible by setting the 2 flashes in  High-Speed mode.

Backstage pic by G. Boiroux

I will end this post with the usual list of thank yous and there are a lot of people behind these pictures! Thank you, Cannes is Yours and the Palais des festivals for your help and support, especially Dany, and Nina. Thanks for the awesome fog machine, Ivan, you kind of saved my life (not really but it was really cool!).

Thank you Laura, Carla and the entire staff of the Carlton Cannes Hôtel! What is our next move together? Hope this is only the beginning.

Thank you team Canon for that fantastic lens, I will make another blog post to talk about that beast!

Shoutouts to the people at Broncolor for supporting me for 3 years straight now!

A few words on the OKKO hôtel, for all you creatives out there on the road… The place is fantastic if you are in town for a quick business trip. Friendly, with everything you need to chill and work, definitely worth considering if you travel for business (or not) and look for a place to stay!

From the Carlton Pontoon to the Palais des Festivalshazekware

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