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terre mer ciel

a portrait of San Francisco

photography by thomas clavel

Text and Photographs copyright Š 2008 by Thomas Clavel All rights reser ved. No par t of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission by the copyright owner except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical ar ticles and reviews. Photographs are available for exhibition, purchase and licensing from Thomas Clavel at Pictin Photography. • Printed and bound in Berkeley, California, by EditionOneStudios First Edition, June 2008 First Print, June 2008 ISBN 978-0-615-21020-9 Librar y of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data has been applied for.

foreword My fascination for San Francisco started ever since I first stepped foot here. With this series of photographs I attempted to draw the personality traits of the city, placing the pieces together like one would with a flesh-and-bone character. Like with a real person the city has strength, mystery, and lots of personality. Through the fog and in the cold streets, through the clear summer nights and in the reflections in the water I discovered a city that resembled me. I eventually became convinced that those photographs were not really about San Francisco but that the city – its buildings, its bridges and its towers – was really talking about who I am. The portrait I drew of the city turned out to be also a portrait of myself. Every photo of terre mer ciel is constructed with clear guidelines. My material of choice for this collection was a Canon digital SLR equipped with an 85mm Canon L lens. With digital photography I get results that go far beyond the reach of traditional film photography, while remaining true to my subjects. The photographs were cropped at 5x6 and transferred to infrared-simulated monochromes with a sepia tone to accentuate the timeless atmosphere. You might notice that I did not include individuals in these photographs. I wanted to keep the bond between the viewer and the city pure and undistracted. Each photograph – with one exception – features one architectural and one moody element drawn from the environment, such as the landscape, the weather or even another architecture. This second element is there to accompany and reinforce the moods and feelings that inhabit the buildings of San Francisco.



the photographer Since the age of 15 when I started with a 35mm Praktica camera in the streets of Paris, my fascination for images has perpetually grown. In a multicultural world, I do my best to leverage my French heritage and show the world through the emotions that inhabit each one of us, driven by the desire to convey those emotions with my pictures. From Europe to the Americas, my photography spans many regions of the world. As I now reside in San Jose, California, my work has gotten more local, more intimate with the San Francisco area.

cover design and photographs by thomas clavel •

Terre Mer Ciel  
Terre Mer Ciel  

A portrait of San Francisco With this series of photographs I attempted to draw the personality traits of the city, placing the pieces toge...