Paris Day 1: SEAL at Le Grand RexJuly 11, 2011
Our trip to Paris was short but unforgettable. It seems funny that not even 72 hours ago I was lying on the couch contemplating what to do during the weekend: “Go into town, take a few pictures” I concluded. But, as you already know, luck had other plans for me and my fiancée. Long story short, a blink of an eye later, we were in Paris heading to Seal’s concert at Le Grand Rex.
In one hand, I was holding my Leica M9 mounted with the 50mm Summilux and on the other, I had my fingers crossed we would be sitting close enough for me to be able to take a few good shots. Coming out of the metro, we encountered a massive queue of people waiting to get in Le Grand Rex for the concert. The show was fully booked. Fortunately for us, after some asking/”moving our hands erratically” around, good news(!), we were told that we could go straight in as we were considered invitees. Then, even better news! We were given VIP access cards and the best seats in the house. I almost shed a tear from happiness.
The concert was phenomenal! Seal really knows how to bring the roof down. Period.
Below are 11 pictures I took during the concert; I found it really difficult to cut these down to so few as Seal is ridiculously photogenic. Seriously, you have to try hard to get a picture of Seal that doesn’t look good. If you would like to see more, I will be posting a few more on my Flickr account in the coming days as I go through them. (Click on pictures to enlarge)
All pictures shot with 50mm Summilux ASPH at f/1.4 mounted on a Leica M9.
It was just like the perfect storm: Stunning music, great atmosphere and amazing photo opportunities. What more could one want? On my way to the front of the stage I also bumped into Steve Huff, a photographer who’s work I’m a big fan of. I was very pleased to see him as we arranged to meet before the concert but that didn’t materialise due to a combination of things not going according to plan. I introduced myself, we said a quick “hello”, and then split to take pictures.
After the concert, we went back-stage to meet Seal where we also got the chance to meet many interesting people and catch up with Steve. Seal was even more of a character than what I expected him to be. Not only he’s fun to be around and talk to, his passion and knowledge in photography is indescribable. We could have gone on for hours with no end talking about photography and Leicas.
Speaking of photography, there were many interesting Leica gear moving around the room. Couple of f/0.95 Noctiluxes, a few M9s, but the ones which stole the show were Steve’s black M9-P and, off course, Seal’s rare f/1.2 Noctilux ASPH mounted on his chrome M9-P. I had a quick play with the latter while talking to Seal; the f/1.2 Noctilux is a stunning little lens and surprisingly light for what it is.
That was day one of our short dash-over to Paris. Stay tuned for day two! Before I leave you, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at Leica Camera and Seal/Seal’s crew for organising #72hours. It really was a super fun and a rewarding experience for both me and my fiancée. It was also my first ever attempt of documenting a concert and what an amazing first experience it has been! Finally, Helen/Wilf/Ric, really appreciate all your help, Seal/Steve/Ernie/Helene/everyone else, it was really nice meeting you, I hope our paths cross again.
If you are still reading this, a big “thank you” to you too :-) Please drop me a comment of your thoughts for the pictures.