Sunday, October 02, 2005

You Can't Beat Paris

Sorry, Maire de Paris, but I wasn't too impressed with your 'nuit blanche' as I said earlier.

In fact, as usual, on the long walk home from Les Halles to the 15th arrondissement, I got four pics which I'm happier with than any of the organised stuff. Although to be honest I was probably far too late to see the best stuff.

Walking down the rue de Rivoli I come to the square between the Louvre and the Palais Royale, and what do I see..? A multifaceted sea of broken ice! What on earth? Well I suppose some hotel or restaurant must have thrown it out at the end of the day, but what a photo opportunity - all it needed was some lights to reflect in it... ah hah - a handy, brightly-lit Parisian arcade beckoned, I lined up the shot, squatting down low to get plenty of the ice in the pic (because that's what makes it interesting) and 'click'! Lovely.

Sorry for the high compression on all these pics, but what can you do? I'll be putting much better ones up on http://www.parissetmefree.com sometime.

And just round the corner is the sublime 'Kiosk des Noctambules' or something like that. It's a dream straight out of Alice in Wonderland, and is always a delight to come across. It's only the entrance to the metro but wow, what an entrance.

Ahh! Just round another corner and here's another ideal new entry for my 'Paris Behind Bars' series on the Paris Set Me Free site.

I cropped this one particularly carefully - see if you can see what I tried to do. I also treated it moderately on the computer to give it a smoothed out, punchy feeling, which is an effect which I love and probably overdo, but I can't do anything about it!

All of these pics were taken handheld, i.e. no tripod, which gives me much more freedom and shows you what you can do with a relatively simple little digital camera if you apply good technique and a sharp eye plus steady hands! Plus a pinch of sharpness afterwards most of the time, I admit. It's a tool. It's there. Use it if necessary, but not too much.

And to finish things off, passing the musee d'Orsay, this rather stunning bateau bleu. There were some major cropping decisions to be made here, as the reflections actually took up much more of the shot than the boat. The problem was, a boat floating around at the top of the pic didn't look particularly cool, so I went for another solution - echo the shape of the main subject with the crop, and make it long and not very high, showing just enough of the beautiful reflections but still grounding the boat where it normally would be - nearer the bottom. Comments?

A bientot, Sab

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