Robert Doisneau’s 100th Birthday


If a picture’s worth a 1,000 words, what’re a few more letters? 


In the case of creating a doodle with well-known images, my natural inclination is to re-stage the composition to work in the characters of the Google logo. Today’s inspiring doodle subject, however, anticipated this move many years ago with the following, oft-repeated pearl of wisdom:

“The marvels of daily life are exciting; no [Google doodler] can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street.” – Robert Doisneau

Point taken. So, in lieu of heading to Paris in the Google X time machine, the best I could do to create a doodle homage to Monsieur Doisneau’s oeuvre of incroyable photography was to employ a little digital trickery with the original source material. (Photobombing, essentially.)


My first pass with this approach was taking one of his most iconic photographs, Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville and trying to sneak in the Google logo:

This proved problematic for two reasons: 1) this treasure finder of a photographer had captured too many moments to highlight just one gem 2) I couldn’t bear the thought of re-cropping a masterpiece.

The solution? Mucking up several masterpieces.

Arranging a seemingly casual stack of photographs, I placed 3D models of the letters into four different magical moments that Robert Doisneau captured on film:



And, finally, I used value, shading, texture, and focus to hide them as best I could (click for a higher-res photo):

Here’s the line up of photos featured in the final doodle:

Le remorqueur du champs de Mars, 1943
Trois petits enfants blancs, 1971
Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville, 1950
Un chien à roulettes, 1977

Many thanks to Robert Doisneau’s estate for giving us permission to use these wonderful images!

posted by Ryan Germick

(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)