Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Columns & Communions

Today's new photos are for the following sections on the Paris Photo Walks website, in no particular order...

Arrondissement Walks: 1st   ~   Church Walks: Saint Eustache
Curiosity Walks: Column Walk   ~   Historic Walks: de Médicis

Don't forget you can click on any of the pictures below to go to the relevant blog where they appear in all their glory. And don't forget to leave a comment!

This one from the Paris and I photo blog is from the apse of the Saint Eustache church in the Les Halles district in the 1st arrondissement. As with any artistic photo, and particularly so for my iPhone camera phone pics, I try to add something different and personal and above all intriguing to my shots.

So first of all I liked seeing this lone chap just sitting there at the quiet end of this very imposing church just thinking his thoughts and doing his thing. That would have been enough for me, although it would have been a very different shot to the final one.

Then, out of nowhere comes this black-clad, witch-like figure of a woman and I thought to myself: 'That's my photo!'...

All I needed to do then was let my imagination run wild with some words and some post-processing and there you have it! Great fun.

And then, literally just round the corner from there, is this amazing building - the Bourse (the old Paris Stock Exchange) and this history-laden tower, the Colonne de Médicis. It dominates one of the exits from the Les Halles shopping centre, creating a not-Eiffel-Tower-unlike composition with the two converging escalators.

Doing the research on this thing was also great fun, and you can learn more about that somewhere on one of my sites or blogs, because I could swear I've written about it, but can't for the life of me remember where...


Read the Paris Photo Chat blog on Paris Photo Walks, and discover all our wonderful photo walks!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Still Down The Park

Today's new photos are for the following sections on the Paris Photo Walks website, in no particular order...

Park Walks: Cité Universitaire       Quiz Walks: Parc Montsouris
Train Walks: Petite Ceinture       Curiosity Walks: Café Walks

Don't forget you can click on any of the pictures below to go to the relevant blog where they appear in all their glory. And don't forget to leave a comment!

Here we are in the Parc Montsouris, and the lighting conditions for this one were not ideal - very flat and lifeless - so I had to do some serious kicking in the digital teeth to bring it up to scratch for the site!

It's funny, when I analyse something for one of my blogs how I realise that there is so much more to things than at first meets the eye. I wonder how many other people, just like me, wondered past this terribly moving statue without giving it a second thought or glance.

I know I'd run past it many many times, as Parc Montsouris has been my local running track for a few years now, without even realising what it was about. And its story is really worth knowing - it's about the forming of the Paris we know today, and the hardships and tragedies that went into making it...

You'll also find an in-depth discussion of how I transformed it from the rather gloomy shot you see at the top of this page to something I have to say I'm rather pleased with.

Still in the park, this one is part of one of my new quizzes, and I love it. I'm a sucker for anything mysterious, and spooky tunnels like this one in the middle of a nice, safe public area are great fodder for my lens. Then I like to create a nice little story about them too sometimes, which you can read on my 'Paris and I' blog.

I enjoyed playing around with this one, and both improving what was a terribly contrasty shot and also adding a little atmosphere of my own.

As you know, I'm right at the beginning of this Paris Photo Walks adventure, and this won't be the last time I'll ask your forgiveness for the skantiness of what's available on the site at the moment. That is to say: not much, and most of that's crap! Over the next few months and years you should see it grow into one of the most comprehensive collections of cool photos and fascinating Paris walks around - that's my aim in any case. Your hints and tips for me would be greatly appreciated too - just leave a comment below and I'll reply, many thanks.

Finally, I've been poking fun at McDonalds recently, on the Paris and I iPhone blog. At first I posted this one, which is a Stegosaurus (just make that up, honestly) or something outside the Musée de l'Histoire Naturelle but who looks like he's outside McDonalds!

Then I felt really guilty and tried to make up for it by praising and eulogising their cafés and pain au chocolats to the skies. One of them must be right...

I'll be very busy on a non-photo related project for the next two or three weeks, but I hope to find a way to keep these posts coming, as I'm pretty fired up about it and just need your support and comments to let me know I'm going in the right direction.

I've just found what I hope will be a great new opportunity for me to get more photos taken - a Paris walking group which doesn't seem to be photography-driven, which is just what I'm looking for, believe it or not! More later!

Read the Paris Photo Chat blog on Paris Photo Walks, and discover all our wonderful photo walks!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Parking It Up

Today's new photos are for the following sections on the Paris Photo Walks website...

Theme Walks:  Park Walks:  Cité Universitaire
Curiosity Walks:  Quiz Walks:  Parc Montsouris

Don't forget these are the 'before' versions. Click on the photos to discover the transformation and how it was done.

This is the entrance to the Cité Universitaire, in the south of Paris, just opposite the Parc Montsouris.

It sounds like it's actually a university to untrained ears, and I thought for years that it was actually called 'Cité Université', as in 'the City University', but that's not the case. In fact cité is used in French to mean an ensemble of buildings, and universitaire is actually an adjective describing its purpose. Which is to house thousands of foreign students and there are about 40 different 'houses' for different countries.

As you can see, it's a rather impressive, and beautiful complex, with a wide variety of architectural styles, often harking back to the country itself.

If you're wondering why the picture above is looking a bit seasick it's because I was about to get creative, and hot on the heels of that one came this, which I think you'll agree is pretty spaced out and kind of cool!

I was actually working on my soon-to-be-published Parc Montsouris Quiz Walk, and I wanted a picture where it was quite difficult to recognise what it was, so that's one of the reasons it's so whacky.

It was amazing walking all the way round, and I mean ALL the way round - every little nook and cranny and hidden winding path - to discover all the fun stuff to show you. So I'm pretty excited about getting the walks out there. In fact I killed two birds with one stone as it were, shooting most of the shots I needed both for the classic Parc Montsouris Photo Walk as well as the Photo Quiz of the park, which will be different and a real chance for you to test your knowledge of Paris over the next few months. I hope you like them and do let me know what you think!

Read the Paris Photo Chat blog on Paris Photo Walks, and discover all our wonderful photo walks!