This shot is... what? A clue - think about peckish feline friends. It's... la rue du Chat-Qui-Pêche (fishing cat street!), reputedly the narrowest, or second narrowest 'street' in Paris. I don't know the exact definition of 'street' here, but you ain't gonna drive a voiture down it, that's for sure...
Due to the fact that I've played around with the colour and overall appearance combined with the fact that half the wall's fallen off on the left, this shot has a great 'period feel', marred only slightly by the shiny new 'tourist information panel' which the Paris council has helpfully put up next to every notable edifice and curiosity all over the city, effectively ruining any attempt to take old-seeming photos for evermore. Thanks guys.
Not being a 'photoshopper' as someone recently accused me of (in the sense of 'getting rid' of undesirable elements, not in the sense of playing with the contrast and so on), I leave this sort of thing in. In fact, I shoot reality, even if I try to manipulate it to my own ends before I take the shot, so the cheesy tourist panel stays!
Having said all that, if there is a blatant rubbish bin in the middle of some gorgeous scene I just might be tempted... but I do my best not to.
I'm pretty pleased with this shot actually. As you might know, this was taken from the middle of one of the busiest little tourist thoroughfares in the Latin Quarter, stuffed with about a million Greek restaurants and kebab shops and pizza places and Indian and traditional French and more.
However, for some reason my agent has decided we should offer a Latin Quarter tour starting at 9 o'clock on a Sunday morning, and at that ungodly hour, I have to tell you, even on the normally bustling rue de la Huchette, il n'y a pas un chat, which means there isn't a soul, or cat (fishing or otherwise), in the street.
So there we were, me and my two delightful Aussie clients, and we passed this passage, and I stopped to point out the delightful row of lamps receding into the narrow slit of sky. A few hints and tips later, and suddenly this couple, hopelessly hand-in-hand, started walking down the alley. Perfect. This is where I went into overdrive, taking about 70 pics, using the professional technique of percentages (!!!) hoping that just one of them will come out with the couple in a nice position. That's not just a cop-out. I'm looking for the couple to be nicely silhouetted in the slit of light, distance between them but with the arms touching, not too big and not too small, and this is the best one. I also chopped the street sign in half in a lot of them, and I wanted to include it rather than not for that extra Paris symbol...
I put the light section slap-bang in the middle of the shot for reasons I won't go into here! That's enough!
(Right-click the image above and open in a new window to have a bigger, good quality version right next to the video commtary as we discuss the photo...)
=> (View Flickr Slide Show - December 2007)
© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free
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