Freezing time

 

Place de L'étoile - Arc de Triomphe

 

Today’s challenge is “time“. But time can be stopped. Well, maybe it can. At least I tried. One of these warm June days I took my kit with me and crossed town. I went all around the Arc de Triomphe with my camera on a tripod. Here are a few shots which aimed at freezing time around one of the looniest of roundabouts on planet Earth.


Place de L'étoile - Arc de Triomphe
Here a couple was walking along. One can see them on the right hand side.

Place de L'étoile - Arc de Triomphe

A little later.

Vibrant challenge

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Tonight’s challenge is “vibrant”. I chose pictures with vivid colours. Number one is a picture of a building taken through a work of Art made of recycled red plastic.

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The artist had recycled blue plastic bottles too. Not too sure about the work of art but I found the view one had through the plastic eerie and interesting. For those of you who would be interested, these sculptures are made of recycled red Badoit and blue Perrier plastic bottles.

Sunflower

There’s probably no vibrant picture I like better than that of this sunflower taken in the outskirts of Toulouse last year, on our way back home. This picture was taken in the wee hours of the morning, and one can see the morning dew in the morning sun.

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Lastly, vibrant are the colours of the flag of our favourite Paris rugby team, Stade Français, the winner of our Top 14 championship in 2015. Come on Paris!

Optimistic Photo Challenge

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Last night’s challenge was “optimistic” and Krista urged us to post something which showed our mood was bright. So I posted my photos from last weekend, when we went to Le Comptoir Général, a place so hip it hurts. Tucked away in a corner of the 10th district, a stone’s throw from Place de La République, the place where World TVs camped for weeks after last November events, the very place which made you despair from the human race. But no, Le Comptoir is well and truly alive and packed with real people, the kind which is open to all cultures and to the world, and make you feel optimistic and wish none of the other crap had ever happened. 

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People of all ages were gathered as we entered the room at the end of the red carpeted corridor. From young kids to elderly ladies, all came to enjoy the music.

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For there they were, filling the room with delightful noise from sunny Africa on this dreary Winter day up North. 

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It took me a while to figure out who they were but I managed eventually with the help of the Comptoir’s manager and my wife (strangely enough no one seemed to know who they were on location). The man on the left is named Groove Masta and the singer on the right hand side is Boubacar Kafando. Boubacar’s singing was mesmerising and he proved a real maestro too. His African harp was incredible. He seemed to hardly move his hands and was producing incredibly beautiful and elaborate sounds. His bio on his Facebook page states that he was born in Burkina Faso, in Ouagadougou, the very place where more havoc was wreaked last week. But we are optimistic hence we won’t utter a word about that. We’ll grow a stiff upper lip instead if you allow us to. Boubacar Kafango is dedicated to traditional music. He is from the Mossi ethnic group and speaks the Moré language. He has been in France since 2003. You can contact him at zaama (dot) nooma (@) yahoo (dot) fr.

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Boy, these two made my day. Groove Masta was so good at percussions that the two of them sounded like they were a band of 10.

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 Groove Masta is from Dakar, Senegal.

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Fortunately, there are videos of these two musicians available from YouTube. In the video recording below this text, Boubakar Kafango explains that people make fun of African musicians when they resort to modern instruments and that’s why he decided to get hold of the traditional ones like the harp he plays. Honestly, if people laugh at these guys, it means they are real phonies. Such music and rhythms are enough to put a grin on your face for a week. And keep you optimistic. As one should always be.

Boubabar Kafando (R) & Groove Masta (L)

Alphabet

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Today’s challenge was “alphabet” and we were allowed to choose from interesting typography examples. No.1 is the garish Euro Coaster sign at the Hyde Park funfair last December.

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No.2. A lot more elegant is the typography celebrating the four evangelists at the Paris Protestant church in Grenelle. A handsome 17th century building, beautifully restored to its original splendour.

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Next is the “Great Court” of the British Museum. I loved the building and the typography on top of the “reading room”.

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Then the 1935 Dervaux Metro signs at ND de Lorette. Amongst my favourites. I love the 1930s

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Next, writings on a wall in Montmartre. This picture was taken at the very beginning of December, a few weeks after you know what.

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Lastly, the Rivoli 59 “after squat” building and its motto.

Weird Night Light In Hyde Park

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You know how it is. You walk somewhere and in the middle of your stroll you spot something, and you feel the urge of taking a picture. Here I was with the Wife in the middle of Hyde Park on that late rainy Sunday evening in December and we were even surprised the Park wasn’t closed and we walked on and on until we reached the end of Park Lane and before that we ended there. The light was weird and I didn’t have my tripod with me and I couldn’t reasonably take that picture could I? So I turned the ISO knob until it screamed and I pressed the button anyway holding my breath. And that’s what I got. And I thought I would throw that picture away and I didn’t. I couldn’t. I love its weird colour and light and I remember that moment which brought me back a few years in that place when it used to be called Home.