Google's doodle for the kissing photographer

Robert Doisneau, who shot the iconic street photographs that have adorned the walls of so many student dorm rooms, gets a Google doodle to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The uplifting thing about Google's doodlers is that, unlike many of their engineer colleagues, they don't often resort to the obvious.

How lovely, therefore, to awaken this morning and see a doodle commemorating the 100th birthday (had he still been alive) of Robert Doisneau.

Doisneau was the Frenchman who wandered around Paris and photographed people in natural, compromising positions. You know, like kissing.

I only mention the kissing because that particular photograph -- of two people loving each other up in the middle of the street in 1950 -- has surely been seen on more college dorm room walls than have beer stains.

It is perhaps both sweet and sad that Doisneau is often described as the pioneer of photojournalism, a tradition that is today most strongly upheld by those nice men at TMZ.

Indeed, in a survey from CareerCast, photojournalist came in at 166th in its rankings of best jobs in America. Yes, six places below garbage collector.

We are all vulnerable to romance. The "Kiss by L'Hotel de Ville" was no more real than paparazzi shots of stars shopping along Robertson Boulelvard in LA.

For Doisneau staged it with a couple of aspiring actors. Indeed, the lady in the shot, Francoise Bornet, sued Doisneau in 1993 in order to get a share of the royalties. She lost.

She did, however, sell her original print of the shot in 2005 for more than $200,000.

Oh, perhaps we do romanticize too much. Google, though, might think of romanticizing life a little more sometimes.

 

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