By Josh Saunders
A concert violinist has captured incredible ‘Tears of Paris’ showing iconic monuments through water droplets and show how you can do it too.
Bertrand Kulik, 37, from Paris, France, shot the vibrant colourful landmarks through small circles of water to highlight their impressiveness and show otherworldly twists on familiar sights.
It can take over an hour and up to 100 images for the perfect addition to his ‘Tears of Paris’ series – where he has captured the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame and many more.
To take the photographs, Bertrand uses specialist macro-lens without a focus ring, which means he needs ‘Zen-like’ calmness while shooting as any vibrations will ruin the image.
To achieve the desired distortions, he uses raindrops on a window or a glass filter with a water spray as the prism for the images.
Bertrand, a concert violinist, said: “I like the abstract side, colours, shapes and matter, every person has seen these monuments but never with an angle like this.
“I like when we can recognise the monument easily, which is why I like the Eiffel tower and Notre Dame.
“I like too when colours are strong, that’s why one of my favourite ones is the Arc de Triomphe, behind droplets we can see the French flag and the colours are really shiny.
“I like this set up because it creates some very contemporary pictures, maybe it’s a bit more abstract.
“Usually I use flowers and make drops with a water spray for catching flowers reflections inside drops, but for my new series I use a glass filter to have more droplets.
“After flowers, I thought it could be nice to have French monuments inside droplets.
“For my monuments drops, I had to make some drops with a water spray before finding the perfect angle.
“That’s great because when it’s a sunny day, it’s easier to find contrast.
“The most important thing is to be very calm and to find the good angle, with my lens, I try not to breathe because of the vibrations – I try to be extremely zen.
“It’s very hard to get a good focus, to be sure sometimes I can take 100 pictures
“Sometimes the images take just few minutes but because when I have an idea, I want to be sure to have ‘the picture’ it can take a long time.
“For example, for the last one, I was waiting the good light and I stayed there for over an hour.
“For the focusing it’s necessary to be very, very close to the subject and when I use it, shaking is absolutely forbidden.”
Bertrand’s photography attracts a lot of attention when at popular tourist hotspots, with visitor quizzing him on what he is doing and putting himself in unusual situations.
He said: “I like the Notre Dame shot because it was the last one, when I was taking pictures, some tourists gathered around because they didn’t understand what I was doing.
“It’s always funny when people come to ask questions when I am taking photos.
“For Arc de Triomphe, I had some difficulty because for catching the good angle I had to be on the middle of the road.
“It was a bit dangerous, so I had to be fast but actually I forgot the danger and stayed there around 30 minutes.”
Bertrand first had inspiration for the images on May 1st 2015, during the La Fête du Travail, France’s National Labour Day – where it is tradition to buy ‘Lilies from the Valley’.
He said: “I like the reflections of the iconic Eiffel tower because I took it on May 1st, in France this is La Fête du Travail – National Labour Day.
“The tradition of this day is to buy lilies of the valley, I bought one and the lilies of the valley were in plastic paper with water drops.
“I saw reflections inside and I decided to try to catch them.
“In the very beginning, I used flowers but a few months ago I found that it works with a photo filter with water drops on.
“Just the same as with music, I am fascinated by matter, shapes and colours. “
The images for his ‘Tears of Paris’ will be exhibited on November 4th – 5th at Espace Culturel Le Fil d’Eau, in La Wantzenau, France.
To capture his photographs Bertrand uses a special lens on his Cannon MP-E 65mm specifically built for close-ups.
He said: “Macro pictures are the better way to capture some abstracts of the universe.
“I use a very special lens for my Canon MP-E 65mm, this lens is only for taking macro photography and has no focus ring.
“This lens is unique, only Canon made a lens capable of having an approach so strong without any accessories and it’s very difficult to master.
“It’s like sport archery because this lens has no focus ring.”