Ooh, Shiny Sunflowers!

Sunflower

When I read Andrea’s challenge piece today entitled “Ooh, Shiny!” I thought “Ooh, No!” because I wasn’t sure I would be able to find anything to show for today. Then I realised that there is something that always keeps me distracted all Summers and it’s sunflowers 🌻. When I created my first Website 22 years ago, I chose a sunflower as the emblem. Then I turned the emblem into a logo. And 4 years ago I turned the Website into a full-fledged business. And sunflowers are always on my mind. Each year when we arrive in the Pyrenees and I spot sunflowers I stop the car in weird places and draw out my camera and start shooting like mad until my wife screams that she is getting terminally bored and we need to get going. This year however we have had a heatwave all June and July and when we arrived the sunflower fields didn’t look too good. So I’m dishing out those from 2 years ago (shot in the vicinity of Toulouse in the South West). There are more pictures of sunflowers which I took in July in Burgundy. They will have to be developed before you can see them. Patience is of the essence. 

Sunflower

By the way, it’s said that sunflowers turn towards the Sun, yet this isn’t true. They turn their back on the Sun and I can tell you, from a photographical point of view, that it does make a difference, what with the increased difficulty caused by the backlighting. 

Sunflower

Those pictures were taken early in the morning Sun and this is why the colours are so vivid and so nice.

Sunflower

Well, I think so, now you tell me what you think through your comments.

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Getting Satisfaction

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Today’s challenge is satisfaction. This past 3 1/2 years I have been developing my business. And let’s face the music, during that period, I’ve had precious little time to do anything else. So when I can grab one of my cameras — or even several of them when I cover a concert event — then, I really get time for myself and it’s a bit like coming up for air. Over lunch today, I met with a friend’s friend and we laid out a plan for a theme-based photo exhibition next Spring. I don’t know what the theme will be as yet, as I asked him to make his decision about it and I’ll adapt to it. In the meantime, it’s time for me to shut down this computer and get back on my bike and head South where we have a house in the Pyrenees. Great place for photography by the way. If only I could spot one of these sheep-eating bears who are roaming the area, I’d be pretty lucky I believe. 

Bouquinistes – Booksellers

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Paris, June 2017. The bouquinistes are street booksellers along the Seine. There were declared a Unesco World Heritage. The term appeared in the French dictionary in 1789 but the norms about the sizes of the boxes and the rules of conduct are fare more recent. In the past, the locals used to shop for used books over there, now it’s mainly tourists.  Continue reading “Bouquinistes – Booksellers”

Collage

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Today’s challenge is “collage”. I have selected 3 pictures for this. The one above in St Girons, in the Pyrenees, with the old Zavatta circus. 

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On general election years, many posters are plastered on walls like here in 2012 with this picture of left-wing leader Melanchon (the large Mercedes behind was a somewhat feeble attempt at tongue-in-cheek pictorial humour)

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More of the same this year with, sometimes weird, posters from various activists groups. And in case you wanted to know what public loos looked like half a century or so ago, here is one of the only 2 left in Paris. 

Find the Lock

Paris Bridges under the Sun

Pont Neuf. Paris. July 2017. We digitalised this photo and vectorised it through AI a few days ago, and it looked quite good. Maybe you want to try this?!

Pont Neuf

Paris Bridges under the Sun

Pont Neuf, July 2017. Pont Neuf is a misleading name as it is the oldest bridge in Paris. Nonetheless, it was entirely rebuilt a few years back.

The 37 Bridges of Paris

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Today’s challenge is “bridge”. A nice one indeed. There are 37 bridges in Paris. Bridges always make for nice pictures but they tend to be very difficult to capture. This is why I often opt for a Dutch Angle as in the above picture of the Pont Royal, a Regal bridge for sure, built by the inevitable Louis XIV, yet rebuilt many times (1850 for its current state). In fact, when visiting the bridges with a lecturer the other day, I was shocked to learn that almost all the bridges over the river Seine had been rebuilt, including Pont des Arts and Pont Neuf. The latter isn’t only the oldest Paris bridge, it’s in fact the newest. I cross this bridge very often as it’s on the way of Bus 68 which goes from my place in Denfert to my office in Trinité.

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At first I thought I’d have plenty of pictures to show but it took me a while to figure out which ones to choose. Here’s Pont au Change at night. As shown by the “N” insignia, the current version of this bridge was built by Napoleon III in the 1860s. There were quite a few versions of that bridge. It derived its name from the bureau de change which had set up shop on the old bridge (the bridge with the perfume shop in Süskind’s The Perfume” which collapsed in the river in 1616 and burnt to the ground in 1621).

Continue reading “The 37 Bridges of Paris”

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