Hans Mauli interview
This is one of those shots that makes its way around Tumblr without attribution. I’ve seen it a few times with a hundred reblogs here, a few hundred likes there. It’s a classic mid-century Europe photograph, but color is the element that makes it a bit different.
Hans Mauli has been photographing on the street for 50 years, in Europe and the US. He currently lives in San Francisco. Be sure to follow his Facebook page, he updates it regularly with a mix of photos from his archive and more recent work.
How was the photograph made?
It was taken with my first Hasselblad in 1962 (150mm lens), [Kodak] Ektachrome 200 or 400, daylight, no special lighting considerations.
Where was the photograph taken, what were you doing there, what do you remember about shooting it?
It was taken in Paris around 1962, near the Pont St Michel, near the Sorbonne, an area with a lot of students. Just walking around taking pictures, which I do to this day. This photo is called “Travaux Pratiques” (tutorials, lessons, exercises) because that’s the oddly appropriate title of the booklet on the ledge. These are probably students, doing their homework.
Why were you shooting street with relatively slow color film, when black and white was the standard?
I almost always shot in black and white, this was an exception. The only challenge getting this shot was leaning over a ledge shooting down with my arms extended as far as I could reach.