Focus On Focus

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Depth of field and bokeh are my favourite subjects. When I saw David’s challenge yesterday I went back to my archive, and found this Nov 2012 album, all shot with a 50mm f:1.4 lens all around my place in Paris, mostly around the Luxembourg gardens. First, a very sharp shot of the Explorers’ fountain in Port Royal. So much water the scene is blurred by the million of droplets frozen by the high speed of my camera.

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Cherubs looking towards the Pantheon in the background.

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A bunch of flowers works wonders.

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Autumn leaves.

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One of them had got stuck in the fence of the park’s tennis courts.

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Traffic cones. No, we’re not in England. Mostly used to prevent cars from parking on a film shooting scene as there are so many in the area.

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19th century building rue du Faubourg St Jacques.

Musings About Heritage, Wars and Buildings

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Heritage

“Features belonging to the culture of a particular society, such as traditions, languages, or buildings, that were created in the past and still have historical importance” 

Cambridge Dictionary

Raoul NOrdling

Traditions and languages are rather hard to picture, but buildings are easier and I indulge a lot in that activity I must admit. We’re a bit spoilt for choice in Paris, what with a great number of listed buildings from the 17th century onwards. Most mediaeval buildings were destroyed in the 19th century when Paris was overhauled by Haussmann, but a lot of the 17th and 18th century ones are still there. As above in the district of Notre Dame.

The City survived WWI (despite some bombings which reached the Capital and traces of which can still be seen here and there and namely at the back of La Madeleine). And it survived WWII too but that was a close shave. Von Choltitz was meant to press the red button and Hitler was raving mad: “Brennt Paris?” he barked. Is Paris burning? No it wasn’t, thanks to Franco-Swedish diplomat Raoul Nordling (Orson Welles in the film), the Man who saved Paris.  “Tack Mr. Nordling!”  

Continue reading “Musings About Heritage, Wars and Buildings”

Dense Crowds in the Chinese Quarter

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The Paris Chinese Year pageant takes place every year. This year, the Chinese New Year was on February 5. Instead of focusing on the pageant itself I zoomed in on the dense crowd this time and I found that the best part of the show was there, behind the barrier tape. One of the onlookers didn’t like me that much and she cast me a very stern look.

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Among the dense crowds one could also find moments of tenderness. The only difficulty was to zoom in through the throng.

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A tiltshift of the crowd taken at arms’ length.

Meet Sergio Pomodoro

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Meet Sergio Pomodoro (not his real name), an Italian chap I met at a meet up yesterday afternoon. We were sitting on the ground, trying to catch our breaths after an exhausting tour of artists’ workshop in Paris 6th district and he spotted my camera. So he asked whether I could take a mugshot of him for his Meet up and Facebook pages. It was very sunny yesterday and he was quite taken aback when I asked him to pose in the shade in front of a nondescript wall. Of course, shooting portraits in full sunshine will result in ugly shadows, that’s the reason why. Oh by the way, he is into hard rock concerts, but I believe you have guessed as much.

A Bit Of Greenery

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Today’s challenge is “green”. That’s an easy subject in a country where it rains so much, even though today, the sun is shining bright. Above the Auteuil greenhouses. This palm tree doesn’t need much water though.  

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Gerberoy, West of the Paris region, on the fringe of Normandy, water is plentiful. How could the grass be greener?

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Gerberoy again. Ivy everywhere. 

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There’s nothing like complementary colours like these. Geberoy again.