Thursday, May 31, 2007

She Nose Nothing


What's this all about then, eh?! Well, two things really.

One is the contrast of blatant modern consumerist values slammed up against a classic building from another era who would probably have thought someone wearing shades like those was from another planet...

And the second thing that makes this shot fun is the total disrespect someone has had for the poster, and by implication the girl, in their careful positioning of the sticker on her face.

There's a Parisian movement which 'strikes' metro stations and other ad-infested places without warning and covers them in their own graffiti, which of course looks even more horrible, but they do make you think about all the subliminal buying signals and shit we are constantly being bombarded with. There are times when I respect disrespect.
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Monday, May 28, 2007

Can You Dig It?

Just a slightly weird night-scene, with a weirder angle to make it look as though the light is specifically shining down on the little guy doing the digging. In fact this is my local train station and they're about to dig up my road for the next few months so this is a foretaste of what's to come, including more photos of the same ilk probably.

The rays of light shooting out are pure happenstance, not artifice, I'm afraid, but you get these happy occurences often enough if you take enough pics, so I'm not too surprised, just pleased. It looks a bit like the sun I think, only the dark night sky and the crazy angle belying the impression.
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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Coming On Strong


Don't ignore apparently anodyne situations... the chance for a great pic is always there. Having said that, I don't claim that this is a great pic... but it's better than 95% of the other pics I took that evening, so I have a certain level of experience... ;-) Ha ha ha ! The truth is in the telling...
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Spanning The Century

My grandmother died today. The last of a generation. Over a hundred. Telegramme from the Queen and all...

I wrote this poem coming on for ten years ago, but it's still pretty valid I reckon. In the picture you see four generations, from grandmother to daughter. She died peacefully. It's the young'un's turn now... to keep things going... what goes around comes around... the stories she could tell...

Her name was Jeannie... my daughter's name is Angelina Misty...


Spanning The Century


Misty eyes remember moments weeping
Shaking hands with strength no longer there
Circles close and centuries lie bare
Fingers touching, span the years' still creeping
Cross a yellowed photo in a chair
Tired eyes just scan the fears now sleeping
Young gaze wonders what they're doing there
Old mouth quivers in a silent prayer
Fragile genies, sowing seeds and reaping

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Walking on the Train Gang


There's a bunch of people, and I don't know if they are the same ones who seem to know all those secret entrances to the Catacombes, but they somehow manage to get to all the good places and I don't know how. Or probably more realistically I don't know 'who'.

Walking through the south of the city near Alésia I came across one of those strange bridges that crosses the rather spooky old disused railway that was called the 'Petit Ceinture' or the 'little belt' which circled the town. And there, sure enough, were a couple of chaps happily strolling along like any other Sunday strollers, except that this walk is not normally open to the public (and it was Saturday, but that's not the point)!

The shot was snapped on the spur of the moment and leaves a lot to be desired with terrible light but you still get the sense of a nice leafy walk but you'd never guess that it was just round the corner from Montparnasse in one of the world's most popular city destinations.

Although I'm dying to do this walk, it must be a bit eerie going through those abandoned tunnels where trains used to chug in days of yesteryear, deep down in the cutting surrounded by ominous high walls and towering buildings. But you'll be the first to know when I do it.
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Friday, May 18, 2007

The Bark Men


Another strange stumbling-over, not far from the Orange Girl, with the same complementary colours of green and orange, but completely different dynamic of shapes and lines.

I couldn't get close enough, due to a fence, to use a wide angle lens to get those orange poles really zooming off to some distant vanishing point, but never mind, the wacky Leaf Men fill that top third slot of sky nicely with their funny positions. I tried my best to get them all separated from each other but as you can see only managed to get three of them totally surrounded by sky, unfortunately.

As to what it all means, well, your guess is as good as mine... come to think of it, I'm not actually sure if they are Leaf Men or Bark Men, but in either case, we could imagine that it's some sort of metaphor for things fallen rising again.

More probably some guy just had the sudden inspired idea of creating some crazy little dudes with tall orange poles up their backsides not surprisingly throwing some rather weird shapes. And why not.
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The Orange Girl


The girls you meet in the Jardin de Luxembourg, I tell you! One of the marvellous things about Paris, and this famous garden in particular, is that they are always surprising you with some weird and wonderful exhibition or other.

Not much to say about this pic technically speaking. The bright sky behind and the dark statue caused typical problems with the inevitable trade off between detail in the sky and detail in the face. You have to go for more detail in the face in this case, because although a silhouette would be intriguing you would lose more than gain (in my opinion), not least the gorgeous orange coloured... oranges, which complement the green of the trees and the statue perfectly.
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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Welcome to Paris


This sinister, brutal wall encloses La Santé, or more fully la Maison d'arrêt de la Santé, the notorious Parisian prison nestling ominously in the 14th district of Paris. Apparently there are both VIP and high-security sections behind this towering enclosure. What a shame they couldn't accommodate the other Paris of the hotel heiress variety, in either of the aforementioned areas, on a more or less permanent basis... wishful thinking, I guess.

The composition of this shot should speak for itself: harsh lighting treatment, getting in real close to emphasis the towering walls, careful placing of the two compositional elements to give an impressive final result. Better out than in
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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Frenchman's Watering Can Is His Château


This slightly bizarre image is from right in front of the Paris Town Hall, where to be honest they're always doing weird things like installing giant igloos and beach volley ball tournaments.

The Paris mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, is of course well known for being the highest ranking openly homosexual official in France, famous for bringing a bit of seaside gaiety to the capital every summer in the guise of Paris Plage (Paris Beach), although until he erects an enormous rainbow coloured tent in front of the Hotel de Ville, which would certainly be rather camp, there's no evidence that his sexuality has affected his flamboyant initiatives so far.

Anyway... what this is all about, as you may have already guessed, is... gardening. Oh yes, farmy folks, greenness comes to the capital bigtime this summer, in the form of a temporary of a 2600 square metre garden consisting of more than 110000 plants, herbs and bushes, borrowed from the city's greenhouses.

They say rain is good for the garden, and I hope so, coz it was peeing it down when I took this, as evidenced by the chap taking shelter inside his big red watering can, with Notre Dame in the background.

Watch this space for more wackiness from your favourite European capital...
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Skylines


Absolutely no cropping whatsoever, followed by some serious messing around with the contrast and saturation etc. to make it look just a little weird. I love the lines in this shot - the funny little pokey post in the bottom left and the thinner longer one in the top right balancing it, and the gorgeous curve of the lamppost sweeping into the middle of the shot and cradling (well, inverse-cradling) the birds sitting on the aerials.

Actually, it was funny, because on the TV aerial on the right there were three or four birds sitting in a perfect row with their bottoms stuck out all crapping simultaneously onto the roof below, but that's another picture for another day.

Pied Piper of Paris


One of those wonderfully excentric street performers you come across on any given Paris bridge - although I can't remember, this one looks like the one between Ile de la Cité and Ile Saint Louis, the two central Paris islands. He comes across of a sort of cross between Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson and an oversized pixie. As for the 'poésie', unfortunately I wasn't privy to any but I'm sure it would have been remarkable.

The kid makes the picture, of course, although I had better shots of the chappy himself playing his flute. The use of someone else (the laughing kid) to show you the sort of reaction he produced is a great example of 'manipulating' the way the viewer perceives the shot (in the nicest possible way).
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Joy Riders


I know this used to be a car, because not too many hunks of scrap metal have number plates attached. However, without that you might be hard-pressed to identify it. The charred remains of someone's 'baby' lying abandoned in a city street just round the corner from chez moi. It's one of those occasions that makes you think... and shudder, one of hundreds of innocent voters' unfortunate vehicles that happened to be in the wrong place at the right time for those venting their wrath in the only way they chose to know how.

For me, this image required a harsh, high contrast treatment (I know, I know, I'm doing that all the time at the moment, but I like it!) to echo the brutality of the emotions and violence it represents. The composition's reasonable with a pretty classic example of puting the main subject close up and some nice sharp angles made by the burnt metal and stark green band next to the railway. Sobering.
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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Bright Copper Kettles


Well not, actually, but plenty of spick and span shiny copper pans by the looks of things, although what they are doing in such numbers, all higgledy-piggledy stuck half way up a wall is anyone's guess.

In fact they are a colourful way of attracting attention to a central Paris brasserie at St. Michel, and I've seen this thing in several places around the capital although I don't think the establishments are connected in any way.

It shows you can get complacent because I was doing a photo tour in the Latin Quarter and hardly gave this 'sculpture' a second look when one of my Australian ladies saw it and exclaimed how wonderful it was. Cue a good 20 minutes of photo-taking and some interesting results. The typical Parisian street sign always adds a sense of place to any photo and can often be incorporated in many street scenes.

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Hazy Days In...


... Northern Paris. Not some sleepy little hamlet lost in deepest Dordoyenne (never could spell that word - you know, the place the English have taken back...) but up in the 18th arrondissement just round the corner, literally, from the tourist-trap of Place du Tertre. Admittedly it's private property, but could easily be some sun-dappled country lane in some sleepy backwood somewhere.

I've added a sort of brightening up effect to give a highkey hazy kind of feeling which suits the dreamy character of the peaceful scene. We used to do that with a star filter or haze-adding device like smearing vaseline over the lens (or a piece of glass fitted over it, preferably). Imagine doing that these days!
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Here, Bunny Bunny...


I'm sure there's some deep psychological message here somewhere, but unfortunately my limited cultural references don't allow me to appreciate it at the time of writing.

All I can say is that it's a delightful image to come across on an average wall in Paris, although the dripping pistol and rather manic expression on the (killer?) bunny's face, not to mention the child's cuddly toy do make you slightly nervous.

Graffiti is almost always two dimensional, and this gives you great opportunities to play with perspective. If you go up close to the picture and shoot it from tight in on one side you can make the elements nearest you appear much bigger in comparison to those further away than they really are.

I took this one pretty much straight on but there are creative options even which someone else's artwork, and indeed I believe you should add something personal to the shot or you might as well just give the name of the artist as you're simply stealing their work!
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Walls Have Ears (heads, torsos, the odd hand..)


A Montmartre curiosity which I've shot before, so this time I took a different approach.

The positioning of the elements (hands and head) in the frame are essential and I took a skewed angle to bring some nice diagonals into the shot in the form of the lines of bricks running across the picture.

Finally, I went for my favourite hue, a rich orangy/brown. and as usual I've bumped up the contrast to give it a bit of punch. Constructive comments or criticism always welcome people!

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Here, Birdy Birdy...


I think these fearsome things are supposed to be on the side of the 'good' guys, but I certainly wouldn't want them on my team - some of the expressions and faces are really extremely gruesome!

I like the way this shot has turned out with the angles of the gargoyle and the church tower converging and complementing each other nicely. The sharp angles of the aforementioned elements are softened slightly by the sweeping curves of part of the church roof (Sacré Coeur, in case you hadn't guessed).

The biggest problems, apart from getting the composition right, was camera shake and exposure.

I tried to reduce shake to the maximum by propping myself up against a lamppost. Exposure was equally tricky - when you point your lens at the sky, or a lot of it, the camera generally says 'Whoah - loads of light - let's shut this down a bit!' and you get a very underexposed dark and nasty picture with only silhouettes on show. You have to anticipate this and increase the exposure one or two stops and check, if you have a digital camera, to see which setting gives you the best compromise of detail in the statue and burning out of the sky. You can't have detail in the sky and the statue in this case so you just have to do your best.

Luckily the contrast wasn't too extreme here so I still managed to get a nice blue sky and detail in that friendly old gargoyle up there. Sweet dreams boys and girls!
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Friday, May 11, 2007

Bags of Time


From the Madness song 'One Better Day' I was reminded of these lyrics when I took this picture:
"Further down, a photo booth, a million plastic bags
And an old woman filling out a million baggage tags
But when she gets thrown out, three bags at a time
She spies the old chap in the road to share her bags with
She has bags of time..."

Unfortunately, Paris is really this picture as much as the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysees. There are lots of people on the streets and this example is as poignant as any. Although I've severely cropped it to concentrate on the hands giving and receiving, this woman is literally floating on a veritable sea of plastic bags. What you see here is just the beginning and you can only imagine what they all might contain or represent.
A friend recently explained to me that the concept of 'ownership' is fundamental, and vital to our sense of being a 'being', and that all those plastic bags filled with god-only-knows what were an essential part of this person's hanging together...
What reduces people to this point is a question we can ask ourselves every time we witness such scenes. There are so many hands extended, so many scraps of paper placed on complacent knees in metros proclaiming extended families to support and war wounds to suffer, we, poor average commuting citizens hardly know where to turn.
We give when we can, cultivate studied indifference when we can't but underneath it all we do hurt when we see such poverty in such a rich capital, and some of us know we're not so far from those million plastic bags, give or take the odd slip or false step...

Self

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Window Wonders


As I'm on the theme of shop windows here's one from my 'Trapped' series, formerly known as 'Behind Bars' but that kind of encroached on one of my other themes so I changed the name.

This is actually cheating big time, because about 75% of the beauty in this shot comes from the sculpture itself although I do credit myself, you'll notice, with the other quarter, having framed it through the typical Parisian safety grid and added a nice little tail-light reflection here and there...
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Mini Dramas


Playing out in a warmly lit shop window in down-town Paris, mini-dramas to make your heart swell... the valiant moustachioed sword-wielding bandit descends the rope to rescue or perhaps take advantage of the amply curved and not-so-modest lady vaunting her generous charms...

Shop windows present marvellous photo opportunities but also offer challenges ranging from technical to aesthetic. Technically, there's not enough darn light to take a sharp picture without flash, and as we all know, flash is a dangerous beast! If I'd used flash on this shot I'd have killed all those lovely modelling effects on the big lady's curves as well as the cheeky chappy's face. Sooo, it's very simple - you put the camera on macro (if you can), you zoom in as much as possible whilst respecting the composition you're after, and you... place the end of the lens or your hand or something against the window. This is a great technique because it steadies your camera so much you gain several stops - that is to say your pictures are much sharper for the same price - magic!

That's the technical comment, but you also have to make your picture interesting - a whole messy window full of stuff with no particular point of interest doesn't do anything. Throwing the background out of focus is still essential but you should also try to create some sort of relationship between a couple of elements in your photo. Here I thought it was funny that the little guy was storming in to be greeted by the big girl dancing away and your imagination can fill in the rest of the story!
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Revolting Students


The students are unhappy. Ségolène was their champion(ne) and she didn't make it, so, in true French tradition, they're going on strike. To be fair not all of them are going on strike, just some of the more extremely left ones, but blocking access to courses affects everyone of course.

Some of the unions are saying 'wait until we actually have a government and looming unpleasant policies in front of us and then act' but others are pushing for a big demonstration the day of the changeover of power. Time will tell how it pans out.

Photographically speaking, this pic tries to be strong by virtue of repetition of the Ségolène image rather than focusing exclusively on one poster. Both techniques are valid. Here I wanted to show the effect of having the same image repeated almost overpoweringly and perhaps menacingly, despite the beautiful smile, to hammer a message home.
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Signs of Life


Paris is so full of signs of one sort or another that sometimes they cancel each other out and we just ignore them completely. But sometimes, like other forms of urban architecture, a certain combination strikes me and I 'notice' the notices again, but more for a pleasing composition than for what they say.

'Vive la France' says one of these signs, and I can't tell you how often we have heard this phrase over the last few weeks as the election fever reached it's apogee.

I suppose that France will in fact continue to live, so all these exhortations seem a little bit strange, but I do realise that the sentiments behind the expression 'Vive la France' goes deeper than that.

In any case, both candidates seem to feel they have the rights to utter these three words, and indeed it's become de rigueur to finish the most flamboyant of speeches with them.

Vive la France !

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

A 'Chez-Vous' in Central Paris

It IS possible! Charming two-room residence in building of good standing. Near to RER Luxembourg, buses and shops. View over park. Very bright and airy. Ideal for 'adventurous' spirits. Some furnishings included if required. Good neighbourhood. Available immediately. Viewing a must. References not required. €0/month.
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Self

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Sarko Dans Les Rues

In a students' quarter, where they aren't always kind to the future president (to say the least) I find this image rather sweet, and not particularly offensive. I don't really take sides so any image which is photo-worthy is worth publishing I reckon, without judging, which is probably the worst crime is the eyes of a free-thinker. Maybe.

Beauty in Banality


A cyclist passes, a car speeds quietly by, a light spikes out into the gathering dusk and a photographer thinks a puddle of dirty water in the gutter is worthy of his attention...

Capturing movement in a still image is somewhat of a paradox, isn't it? How many clues tell us that things were moving at the time this shot was taken? The blurred bicycle and car of course. But also the darkening sky tells us of the passing of the day, and the puddle reflects echoes of an earlier shower. And the very fact that the millisecond after I pressed the shutter release this picture was history. The past. Gone. Never to be repeated. That moment, like all others, an infinitesimally small slice of life, a person, a bike, a car, a puddle, a light, a photographer, an idea and a click.
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Monday, May 07, 2007

Shiny Happy People


This was the moment the crowd had been waiting for - Nicolas Sarkozy mounting the stage at Place de la Concorde, surrounded by his family, associates and the numerous musicians and singers (almost entirely of Arabic/African origin) to the welcome of thunderous cheering.

It was his moment to savour, and for the first time in many months he seemed to 'let his hair down' and, apart from his short speech to the masses, simply soak up the adulation, clapping along to the singers who slightly embarrassingly came and sang at him to the smiles of the benevolent onlookers.

Now, at last, France can get on with things again. I won't be sorry to see the back of those endless television debates where the names of 'Ségo and Sarko, Sarko and 'Ségo' were practically all we heard for months on end.
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Royal in Defeat


Somehow she managed to smile, but at times it seemed somewhat fixed, and to be honest it is hard to see how she could be smiling at all. But she did, and in so doing demonstrated once again her impressive strength of character right to the end, into and past defeat. Both the candidates have displayed extraordinary energy and stamina, and we can only admire them both and hope that in the next five years to come we can draw on their example and put as much effort and enthusiasm into our own projects as they put into theirs.

But How Did They Know?!


L'Express, which was miraculously on sale at Place de la Concorde two hours after the results with a beefy special on the in-coming president had a funny editorial, which roughly translated started as follows:

"How did the L'Express journalists manage to write, you may be asking yourselves, over Sunday night, 50 pages on the winner of the presidential election? Did they know the results before everyone else? No, in fact we didn't write our 50 page dossier between 8 pm (when the results were anounced) and 9 pm when we had to go to press."

In fact, what they did was write two beefy specials, one for each presidential candidate, one of which they unceremoniously ditched as soon as the result was known! How about that?!
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Party Party


And in this image we have a lot of extremely happy Parisians, looking at... a screen of extremely happy Parisians, looking at... etc. (Do you ever get the feeling of things repeating themselves over and over again..? ;-)

I Think She Loves Him...


...but I wanna know for sure! Check back in five years for the answer...

Big-Up The Belgians


Funnily enough, the biggest flag of all, an enormous thing, looked at first like they had got the colours wrong! With yellow in the middle I thought it must be a trick of the light. But as I got closer I saw that some Belgian supporters had come to the party, and they replace the 'blanc' of the bleu-blanc-rouge with 'jaune' (yellow) and the slogan in the middle left no doubt as to their allegiances. They weren't eating chips though, as far as I could see, which is what all the French associate them with!

Reel-Around-the-Fountain


When your candidate wins the general election in France some believe it worthy of a reel-around-the-fountain in your boxers... much to the amusement of on-lookers. What would Napoleon have thought, never mind Morrissey? (M. Sarkozy is on the far left in the blue and white stripes, by the way... ;-)

Self-Portrait - Paris By Moonlight


Plenty of interesting sights and sounds around this election night. These gentlemen celebrated by standing on the edge of a fountain in Place de la Concorde and showing several thousand people their bottoms. Well, it takes all sorts...

When Sarko Goes To Town


You can tell when there's a new president around, what?! About twenty five motorcycles with camera men hanging off the back... sirens wailing... a convoy of about fifteen cars... and not one of them on fire yet! Pretty impressive...

An Intimate Portrait of Our New President


And here is President Sarkozy's car passing your intrepid reporter, and as you can see I've managed to get exceptionally close to him, all in the name of bringing you as close to the action as possible folks, hell, you can almost see the colour of underpants he's wearing... now THAT'S what I call dedication...

(honestly, it IS Sarko's car... would I lie to you..?)

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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Sometimes You Can... Sometimes You're Canned


Outside the RER station as I wound my weary way home, faithful camera heavy in my hand, was a poignant metaphor of the evening's events which spoke more than words, which is probably why I'm a photographer and not a writer and should shut up right now.

Ermm, She Lost...

Well folks, I've just received a news flash direct from Place de la Concorde in Paris, France... and on the face of it, if I may be a little cheeky, the word is that... She Lost. More exclusive pics coming right up from your roving reporter - stay tuned for more cheek!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

How Does She Feel ?


Our Lady of Paris has seen a few things in her time, including the recent controversial renaming of her 'Parvis de Notre-Dame' (Notre-Dame place) into 'Place Jean-Paul II'.

But whether it shall one day be re-renamed Square Ségolène or Clos Sarko remains to be seen, as she presides regally over the French presidential elections for 2007 as I type.

The shot was taken a week ago with a lovely big fat moon creeping round the corner as we sat on one of the stone benches from which you can admire the newly sparkling edifice.

The funny thing about the moon is that it appears much larger when it is near the horizon than when it is high in the sky where it resembles a pinprick! But this is an optical illusion. And often when you try to take a nice shot of a skyscape with that big fat lovely moon in it, with a wide-angle lense of course to capture the full magesty of the moment, the moon does indeed appear on the shot as a little speck of dust (or maybe a pixel or two!) that you probably try to scratch off with a fingernail!

The trick is to use your zoom lens at maximum zoom, and put the moon next to some earthly feature such as a tree or a building which is also quite a long way away from you. In this way you reduce the size difference between the two elements (worldly and extraterrestrial), thereby rendering the satelite relatively bigger and more impressive. Same goes for sunsets actually.

Try it out and let me know if it works!
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

If you like this blog, you might appreciate these..!
Paris Set Me Free - The Ultimate Paris Photography Website
Paris Set Me Free Tours - Wonderful Photo Tours of this Incredible City

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Self


Mwahh!


Ahh, zoze Frrhhhrreennchh ahrre so sexy wiz zeire beeg rhed leeps et tout!

One of the weirdest fountains you're likely to see, this one is just next to the Pompidou Centre and has some great scupltures to marvel as. And to make it even funnier, there's a beautifully classical church just behind it. The thing here is to decide what the subject's going to be and make sure it really is the subject - in this case it's the lips (did you guess?). A camera waved and snapped in the general direction of 'those funny things' will produce a 'snap', not an image.

It was night and the lighting was not optimal, so I played around with it to get away from that, in particular reddening the lips to further accentuate them. The hint of classical architecture in the background is enough, and I see now I could have straightened the 'horizon' up a bit (water and churches don't normally slop downward, but then again since when did enormous red lips hover above fountains...) but it's ok.

Shadows of Death


Cemetaries are never sinister places for me, but rather places of reflection and peace. And from a photographic point of view they offer numerous possibilities for creativity. Paris is particularly well endowed in this respect, because not only have lots of people bitten the dust here, but their families have chosen to immortalise this fact in a variety of intriguing ways.

The most famous cemetary in Paris is, of course, Pére Lachaise (Peter The Chair, go figure, as the Americans say...). But this is not there. This is in the Montparnasse cemetary which although far less amazing than the other, is nontheless interesting for the lively eye.

This image particularly struck me, with the cross back-dropped by the tree shadow on the stark wall with the seemingly bricked up windows, suggesting, to me at least, that all life eventually returns whence it came, to the dust, to the dead elements, to a place from which there is no return. I love being morbidly profound, or is that profoundly morbid, from time to time. I'm a happy soul really!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Spot The GIANT Mistake


OK folks, quiz time. Who can see the terrible mistake in this picture..? Think about it for a moment... Did you get it? Yes, of course, there's a bollard in front of the kid in the red shirt which really spoils the composition...

NOOO! The mistake is that there's a friggin' great flipping GIANT sitting half-way up an otherwise perfectly anonymous Parisian building, that's what the mistake is!!!

Do you think anyone else has noticed? Do you think they will politely ask him approximately how long he'll be staying? We'll get Sarko onto it - he'll know what to do...

In fact, the statue, made of polystyrene, is in the curiously named rue de la Tombe-Issoire, and is apparently the Giant Isoré. He is said to have attacked pilgrims and prevented them from making it to St. Jacques de Compostelle. He was eventually killed by William of Orange, but his body was never found, and the road leading to the church was named after him. But now he's back!
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

If you like this blog, you might appreciate these..!
Paris Set Me Free - The Ultimate Paris Photography Website
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Hotch Potch English - The Unique English Language Site for French Speakers

Move Your Mind


You've heard the stories of miles and miles of hidden tunnels worming through the bowels of the city harbouring strange remains and secret societies, the exact location and extent of which is known only to select and shady few..? The sinisterly named 'Catacombes'..?

Well it's true.

And this architectural anomaly sitting fearlessly on a weird hillock right next to an averagely horrible government health building is rumoured to be one of the entrances. I won't call it an exit because you have to go in to get out, and they say that not too many people get out of the Catacombes...

I sneaked a peek inside through the locked iron door under the sparce spring sun and was sure I felt a sudden chill caressing my shoulders... all I could see was steps going down, down, finishing in a profoundly dark circle. And as I was turning to leave, having had un unusual difficulty in getting the shot I wanted - the camera just wouldn't seem to behave - I could have sworn I heard a low, gravelly voice calling from somewhere deep down in the earth... 'Sabbbbb... Sabbbbbb... Mooovvveeeee Yoouuurrrrrr Miiinnnddddddd... Sabbbbbb... Mooovvveeeee Yoouuurrrrrr Miiinnnddddddd...

It took me about three seconds to get out of that place...

(Then I tripped over a bone and woke with a start, and realised I'd been watching TV and listening to a Swedish car advert... I'm never going to eat cheese sandwiches and pickle again just before bedtime... ;-)
______________________________
© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

If you like this blog, you might appreciate these..!
Paris Set Me Free - The Ultimate Paris Photography Website
Paris Set Me Free Tours - Wonderful Photo Tours of this Incredible City

And I also look after...
Hotch Potch English - The Unique English Language Site for French Speakers

Self


Pin-Pon, Pin-Pon...


Q: What do you get when you try to drive one of Paris' widest, most cumbersome vehicles down one of the city's narrowest, most tourist-infested streets?

A: About 300 people squashed up against the walls, kebabs and crêpes shoved into their faces, children almost crushed under creeping tyres and general chaos abounding...
I've got no idea why a big red froggie fire engine should have decided on this particularly silly manoeuvre, as there was no fire to be seen, outside of the Greek restaurants that is, and a distinct lack of cats stuck up square French trees despite Paris' second narrowest street, rue du Chat Qui Pêche (Fishing Cat Street) leading off rue de la Huchette where the fire engine is.
Strewth! Wonders never cease...
Note: 'pin-pon' is the sound French fire engines make when they're excited, by the way...

Who Cares?

She was fiery, pugnacious and hazy...


He was timid, precise and trying not to be influenced by the fact that she was a woman...



...according to some of the after-show debates in any case. Because oh yes, folks! When the debate is over, the debate has only just begun - the analysis of the debate that is, even if it is nearly midnight!

And a very interesting debate it was too. Which will be the subject of every single newspaper tomorrow of course, and then we will see what happens in the end, come Sunday 6th May... in three days' time. Exciting! Do you care...?
______________________________
© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

If you like this blog, you might appreciate these..!
Paris Set Me Free - The Ultimate Paris Photography Website
Paris Set Me Free Tours - Wonderful Photo Tours of this Incredible City

And I also look after...
Hotch Potch English - The Unique English Language Site for French Speakers

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