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James Chance September 15, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in France.
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A Chance Encounter. Paris 2008

James Chance (b. 1976, England) is a British photographer currently based in Denver, Colorado. Since earning his Master’s Degree in Photojournalism at Ohio University in 2005, Chance has been working as a freelance photographer in the U.S. and abroad. He is also partners in a multimedia company, Chance Multimedia, that produces photos and videos for NGOs. James is the current recipient of the POYi Emerging Vision Incentive. The award will enable James to continue with his project Living With The Dead: Manila’s North Cemetery, which documents a community living in Manila’s Catholic cemetery. Early images from this project have also been recognized by the Grand Prix CARE du Reportage Humanitaire, the Anthropographia Award for Human Rights Photography and the Every Human Has Rights Media Awards.

About the Photograph:

“We often talk about serendipity in photography—multiple elements falling into place at the perfect time to form a compelling scene for us to capture. These elements can assemble themselves around us, but sometimes we make our own “luck.” I often spend long periods of time in one situation/location as I know the scene is right: The people, the light, the compositional elements etc. However, this particular photo presented itself to me. I was happily walking on the Trocadero toward the Eiffel Tower on chilly, overcast December morning. This was the first time I had visited Paris at this time of year and had never seen the top of the tower hidden in cloud before. It provided for a rather moody atmosphere as the tourists bustled around taking photographs and viewing the scene. As I walked down from the main square I saw the three dark cloaked figures standing on the viewing gallery. Given the dark and cloudy mood, I couldn’t believe my luck. I quietly approached and composed my shot. I probably took three images in the space of as many seconds and moved on. This isn’t the way I generally work. I am usually deeply involved in the story and subjects I am photographing. But when offered an amazing scene as this, of course I wasn’t going to pass it up. Serendipity? “

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