This small click for the blogging world but enormous upload for Paris Set Me Free sees my 50th message being sent out into the blogosphere.
And it occured to me that you might like to see how Paris has been celebrating this not insignificant event for the French capital...
We can see the 'Primtemps' (Springtime) shopping galleries all dressed up nicely in pretty pink.
And of course the store windows are magical, with lots of displays with myriad little characters moving all over the place (it's all done with wires, you know...) in delightful and imaginative creations.
Some sights are very strange, such as this one with the incredible outfit with feathers next to row after row of multicoloured, errr, things.
The shot of the Lafayette Galleries with the Metro sign is totally over-exposed and is actually more along the lines of stained glass windows as seen from inside a church, but who cares?! It gives you an idea of the lengths they go to to attract the late night shoppers.
A discussion has been going on between some of my fellow bloggers about the annual 'orgy of consumerism' and if we photographers and others should actually be celebrating this allegedly unethical excess of spending and over-doing-it when others have nothing.
I often find myself to be a really pathetic fence-sitter, not able to come down with any certitude on one side or the other of any given argument.
My approach, in fact, is to try to stimulate discussion, through my images or words, which can then help me to see where I stand and what I really believe.
It's a tricky question, because in many ways, consumerism and commerce makes the world go round, and wild idealism aside, that ain't gonna change any time soon, so we may as well get on with it. That's not to say that I think we should not try to 'change the world' in our own small ways; I think we should. But people who get desperately upset like happened recently because a fellow photographer-blogger put up an image of an obviously very well-fed black baby crowned with Christmas balls from a Benetton ad may be seeing more to things than are actually there.
We try to capture Paris, in all its many guises, and Christmas is one of the periods where we can see the good, and the bad, the haves and the havenots, of this society most starkly. It is our duty to record these images, and probably not to comment would be the best thing, to allow others to judge for themselves. Irony or pathos is one of my driving forces when out shooting, and I only hope to pass on something of what I see and feel here.
I've cheated, by the way. All these pics came from last Christmas, and I'm glad to have finally used them and injected a bit of season's spirit into the Paris Set Me Free Journal without even leaving my cozy little flat for once! Happy Orgy...
© Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free 2005