Pedestrians

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Being a pedestrian here in Europe isn’t anything worth writing a long story about. It’s quite normal in fact, we are keen on using our legs and walking here. Mainly in a big City. Before I became gluten intolerant, I used to roam the streets in search of fresh bread (not a long quest in Paris) but obviously, nowadays it’s a lot less exciting in that respect. The photo above was shot in Versailles on a rainy Sunday morning.

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Sometimes, pedestrians are Smombies in search of a collision.

La Goutte d'Or

Amazing how some pedestrians manage to feel completely relaxed in the midst of urban chaos.

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Here there’s a pedestrian crossing but precious few pedestrians. Who would want to walk there, honestly.

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Pedestrians in a station (Gare de Lyon in this instance).

Turning a Corner

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This is one of my oldest photos, one I took in May 2008 in Versailles, in a corner of the Park behind the Chateau. We’d just joined a handful of friends for a picnic and suddenly, it started raining quite hard. We left hurriedly and I took my camera with me and waited for a little while under cover. And then I spotted that light, which made the scene surreal and beautiful. It’s a reflex shot I took in haste for fear my brand new DSLR camera got wet. Not the most beautiful shot from a technical point of view, but the composition works nicely and would make up a nice sketch for a watercolour. Don’t you think so?

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”

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”

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”

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