While poking around in our little branch of the municipal library the other day, I came across a copy of Willy Ronis' Ce jour-là and decided that I needed to know something about the man. I had only known Ronis from a few well-known photographs, such as "Le Nu Provençal," so I was glad to get the chance to learn of his broader work.
This is a charming book of images and reminiscences from a man whose photographic career spanned some 75 years. Through the little text and photo vignettes, the reader begins to assemble a mental picture of the man himself: his affection for Paris and its people, the impact of the Liberation on French society, and his love for his wife. Although the French text is an easy read, it isn't the kind of book you'll want to race through. Instead, Ronis invites us story by story to slow down and contemplate the flow of life around us, to love what we see, and to have the patience to wait for the elements of a lasting image to come together.
It's a book I'm glad to have spent time with. Sadly, the print quality of the edition I borrowed from the library was quite poor and not appropriate for a life and story built on images.