Wednesday, 15 May 2013

What I See, Part 3 - A Short Walk Through Paris

Paris Streets 6While I was in Paris for the Paris Auto Show, I spent some time on the street. After all, Paris is the home of street photography and it would be a major photographic sin not to go out and shoot. In fact, The Voices and I got a few chills just thinking about the fact that we were shooting on the same streets that Eugene Atget and Henri Cartier-Bresson worked.

I went for a walk with some friends in the core of the city. The route we took was only 3 km, which normally only takes about 30 minutes to walk. Even for a 30 minute walk, I will take a camera with me. Just in case The Voices get rowdy.

ParisWalkMap


My friends are not photographers and spent most of the walk chatting away with each other, leaving me to shoot in peace. In the style of Henri Cartier-Bresson, I had my little Fuji X10 camera ready to go, should I see something worth capturing.

So what did I see on this short stroll through the City of Light? I will start on Avenue du Maréchal Gallieni...


Standing, sitting, or laying down, the position didn't seem to matter. Almost everywhere I looked I saw the cliché Parisian sight of couples making out.

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A few metres away, and in a whole other mind-space, I saw some guys flying their Ultimate in front of the Air France museum.

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Just down the way from the Ultimate players, I saw a very sensible fellow who decided to pull over before texting.

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While I was shooting the cyclist, I got an itchy feeling in my back. I looked around and I saw a model staring intently at me from Pont Alexandre III.

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Why he was looking at me, I have no idea. Maybe he knew The Voices.

I walked across the bridge and over to Port de la Concorde. On the wall and on the bridge I saw a series of floating heads.

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Paris Streets 31


Walking under Pont de la Concorde, I saw how wonderfully the light reflected off the water and on to the stone of the bridgework.

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On to Quai des Tuileries, where others on the Quai didn't see what I saw. What I saw was how the sun was like a beacon hanging over La Tour Eiffel.

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By this point, I had fallen well behind the group I was with. They were not photographers, so they were not stopping all the time to shoot. I hurried along, catching them at Jardin des Tuileries. There, I saw a young boy being instructed in the ancient Parisian tradition of public tree watering.

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From there it was back to La Seine and Le Pont Solférino (now called Passerelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor), where I saw yet another set of lovers. I have to say, it was a pretty cool spot they had.

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The Passerelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor, besides being a mouthful to say, is a really cool bridge. The Voices love the sweeping lines. There is a ramp from both the quay and the roadway, which you can see in the above photograph. I came back the next morning with my Nikon because I saw a wonderful line abstraction that would make a great background for one of my dance pictures.

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But I get ahead of myself, so back to my walk. I went up the ramp and all along the top of the bridge I saw love locks.

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I'm still undecided if these love locks add or detract from the bridge's beauty.

I was now lagging very far behind my group and I tried to quickly cross the bridge, but on the other side where the two ramps come together, I saw two young girls out smoking, texting, drinking, and talking.

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Bridges allow me to view things from a different perspective. Having the high ground gave me an unusual angle to watch these skateboarders. I saw one break off from the rest to practise his Ollies.

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Maybe the girls on the bridge were waiting for these guys; maybe they would wander down and try their hand, but I couldn't stay to see what would transpire. I hurried to catch up and by then we were back at the apartment. I had time for one more shot and when I saw the angle of the setting sun cast long shadows on the street below, I knew I had my closing photograph.

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Other posts about France are here. Use the "Older Posts" and "Newer Posts" buttons and the bottom to scroll through the list.

Other posts in the "What I See" series are here:
What I See. Part 1 - The Streets of Oslo.
What I See, Part 2 - Snap!
What I See, Part 3 - A Short Walk Through Paris
What I See, Part 4 - The Streets Of Paris Redux


My photographs are for sale as fine art prints and fine art greeting cards on my web gallery.


Read more...

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

What I See, Part 2 - Snap!

Street Sights 7The 17th century Cardinal de Retz, Jean François Paul de Gondi, stated: “There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment.”

Centuries later, Henri-Cartier Bresson applied this concept to photography: "Photography is not like painting. There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera.

That is the moment the photographer is creative.

Oop! The Moment!

Once you miss it, it is gone forever."


One day I was sheltering from the rain under the canopy of a bandstand, I put on my big lens and looked around for a decisive moment. I waited. Looked. Waited. Looked. Waited.

After about an hour, a dog came by...

Snap!

(But all I got was.....poop.*)

Street Sights 4


Anticipation is key, because without it you can miss the moment. To anticipate, you have to draw upon your experience. When I saw a man walking along with his young kids, like I used to do, I had a feeling...

As a Dad, I know that there is a certain moment when the lights go on in your brain as you smell something and you realize...

Snap!

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Near the palace there is a wonderful view down Karl Johans Gate. It is also where many people (and their kids) pose for photographs. I thought the street would make for a good backdrop, if only something interesting would happen. So I waited until I saw these kids, posing stiffly. I got ready.

Suddenly, one of them remembered something she just had to tell the others...

Snap!

Street Sights 8


Near Majorstuen I saw a sign that said a Wayne's Coffee would soon be opening there. I love their hot chocolate. Since it is always handy to know where the closest place for a mug-up is, I went over to see when they would be open.

There was nothing interesting inside - renovations hadn't started yet. However I noticed that light was just right for the glass in the door to act as a mirror. The Voices thought that it would make an excellent frame in a composition, so I took a step back and waited. And waited. And waited. And waited.

Suddenly, I saw a girl on a bike coming down the street. Sure enough she rounded the corner, looked over her shoulder, and...

Snap!

Street Sights 7



Other posts about Norway are here. Use the "Older Posts" and "Newer Posts" buttons and the bottom to scroll through the list.

Other posts in the "What I See" series are here:
What I See. Part 1 - The Streets of Oslo.
What I See, Part 2 - Snap!
What I See, Part 3 - A Short Walk Through Paris
What I See, Part 4 - The Streets Of Paris Redux


My photographs are for sale as fine art prints and fine art greeting cards on my web gallery.


_______
* You have to look very closely at this photograph in order to see that the decisive moment was indeed captured at the moment of...


Read more...