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!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Flyby Fancies

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

Curiosity Walks:  Event Walks:  Bastille Day Walk

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

Here are a couple of shots I took on a pretty miserable Bastille Day here in Paris yesterday.

I'd arrived late, as usual (why I can never get out of bed in time I'll never know) and was heading somewhat despondently home having sat on a bench on the Champs Elysées for about half an hour watching people's backs and hearing an American dad trying to convince his tearful family that really, if they had got there early enough to see the parade from the front they'd all be whinging about when it was going to start and be hungry and desperate to go to the toilet and other such unpleasantries to little avail.

Click photo to see the final result on the Paris Photo Walks blog!

But as I was heading back to the Invalides RER station I thought I'd just go on along to the Pont de la Concorde, in between Place de la Concorde, where all the action was happening, and the Assemblée Nationale, just in case there was anything to see. And sure enough, this was the place where all the fancy troops left the show and ambled home, but most of them at least managed to march across the bridge before breaking for their buses and trucks waiting for them. And there was hardly anyone there - amazing!

Well, I waited there for a while, and eventually the official start of the show I wasn't going to see started with various planes flying over, beginning with the very impressive nice planes trailing patriotic smoke trails behind them, as smoking is still allowed outside even if it has been banned in enclosed public spaces...

Click to see the final result on the Paris Photo Walks blog!

The light was pretty bad and getting worse all the time, so I thought that even if I got one vaguely ok shot I'd be lucky. So I snapped away like crazy as the planes went over, hoping for the best and feeling the first speck of rain through my flimsy t-shirt which was all I had due to the heat wave that had been dumped on France for the last couple of days.

Anyway, the heavens opened shortly afterwards and had us all either unfurling umbrellas faster than you can say 'Liberté, Egalité, Vos Papiers' or, for those of us without, trying to huddle under our new best friends' ones. I found myself not close enough to share the person next to me's umbrella but just close enough to be directly under the run-off, so scarpered for the nearest bus shelter and forgot about the 14th July parade for another year.

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

Friday, July 09, 2010

Welcome to the new site!

Hi, and a BIG welcome to the new site, totally dedicated to... Paris and photography. I hope you like it!

I wanted there to be a way for us to interact here actually on the site as opposed to on an external blog, but I couldn't find a good system, sooo... I've incorporated this blog into the site for chatty stuff, just between us, you know?

I'll be starting a new, proper photo blog to go with this site but that'll be in the style of my existing photo blogs, Paris Set Me Free and Paris and I. This one really is just for Paris Photo chit-chat, and I'm looking forward to it!

So do feel free to let me know what you think in the comments section and in particular any new walks or photos you'd be interested in. I'll be doing my best to post new pics here as well as elsewhere so we can chat about them together. Read you soon!

All the best in Paris photography,