Saturday, June 30, 2007

Tunnel Vision


Blue and yellow are beautifully complementary so I was immediately attracted to this image just on that level before anything else.

In fact, and did you guess (?), this was taken from the very front of the first driverless train line in Paris, the line 14 from St. Lazare to Biblioteque Nationale, and, on the day I took this shot, a new station opened, called 'Olympiades' (I think) going past the national library towards Place d'Italie.

It's quite a strange thing to be at the front and see the track and stations zooming towards you. Photographically, it's marvellous, because quite apart from the amazing images of tracks and arches you can achieve, you also have strong reflections which merge with reality giving fascinating results.

When I saw the results of this shoot I was disappointed at first because my brain told me that there was one glaring omission - a train coming in the other direction. But after a while I saw things differently, and now, with the amazing perspectives, the great reflections and the sinister black hole we are rushing into, I like the void, which is probably as symbolic as a train zipping by.
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Self - Recluse


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Reach for the Skies


The Jardin de Luxembourg is well-known for it's wonderful temporary open-air sculpture exhibitions, and you can be more or less guaranteed to see something interesting and new every few weeks which is a dream for photographers.

This was a weird, ok, a 'normal' (i.e. weird) Jardin de Luxembourg sculpture with these funny spindly little armey-type things snaking up and out into the sky. On the left you have the Senate and on the right... a tree! Turned a spooky pinky purple by me who didn't have anything better to do... sometimes an image is so unique you have to try something way out and not worry about it if it doesn't work - at least you gave it a go and expanded your creative horizons!
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Escalator Idol


Stations are a strange kind of hinterland, neither here nor there, transitionary places...

The lighting is normally very clear, but to a camera's eye, it often turns artificial lighting weird colours such as this deep orangey overtone. As I took the shot it seemed like a normal, even rather cold, white light. Fluorescent lighting can turn slots an eerie shade of green, to take another example.

If you realise this you can use it to your advantage by compensating for it or indeed accentuating the effect. I like my subterranean shots to have this warm cocooned atmosphere so I don't normally tell the camera to compensate, but for an inside portrait where you do want natural skin tones, for example, you would probably change the colour 'warmth' on the camera.

Stations are often very mechanical, dehumanised places, with industrial structures, lots of straight lines and not much to make you feel cosy and warm. So when you do see something that, logically, just shouldn't be there, it's an interesting sensation and hats off to those who allowed me to imagine this shot!
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Time Passages


Written Comments

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!

Video Commentary

(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)
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Friday, June 29, 2007

Narrow Apertures


This is one of those things that catches your eye as you wend your way around the city: spooky passages from yesteryear!

One of the things to remember is that the camera doesn't necessarily see what your naked eye sees. And secondly you can play around with it afterwards to accentuate the effect you had in mind. Here, everything's tall and narrow, so it is a pretty logical step to make the photo itself the same shape. Unless you make a creative decision not to do so...

Another couple of points. The shady drain with the gleaming bits are essential to the photo; not only does it fill in what would be un aesthetically unpleasant empty foreground, but the lines also lead you into the shot in parallel with the kerb with does the same thing. The extremely gloomy (but not empty, if you look carefully) top third is also important to balance the photo and reinforce the tall thin effect. There's a couple in the distance, in case you hadn't noticed(!) and a flag of some sort which also adds interest. The buildings lean into the shot (which I had to rotate slightly because the original was slightly awry) and kind of cocoon the scene if you use your imagination. And so on!
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Self - Running Man

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bite the Sand


I rescued this shot from a crummy effort, I won't even tell you all the other crap there was, and sometimes you have to do that. Zoom in on where the action is and not just look at a pic and think, oh that's useless, and hit the delete button without thinking.

The flying legs are nice there, the expression on the guy's face is quite good, and of course you can see what he's looking at - the spinning ball up in the top left. There's a nice invisible line between his eyes and the ball which strengthens the shot, and the flailing limbs tell the rest of the story. It's one of the steps on the World Volley Tournament or something like that - imagine, playing volleyball on sand on the Champs de Mars, under the auspices of Lady Eiffel - how cool must that be!
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Rusty Too


And two! And really good night this time. Hasta manana, and let me know what you think!
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Rusty One


It's late, so I won't say much about this and the next photo. It's quite nice just to let people contemplate images sometimes and not blah-blah all over them, so that's what I'm going to do here. Good night!
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Across the Lines


There's always something strange about the people on the other side of the line. It's like they're so close and yet so far. Just a briefcase's throw away and yet no question that you would actually make contact with them in any way apart from the odd furtive glance and swiftly avoided eye-contact. Typical Parisian life. Separate lives.

Great station this, by the way, if you don't know it already. Cluny la Sorbonne, as you can see, with the ceiling plastered (well, mosaiqued) with the pseudo-signatures of all the famous people who have lived in the area. Astounding. What a job that must have been!
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Self - Line Up

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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Arch Rivals

A temporary sculpture exhibit caught my lens on the 'parvis de la Defense' this lunchtime. Big white polestyrine statures were swaying dangerously in the strong wind and a couple had already lost an appendage or two I noticed.

There was a pleasing poetry between the stark white statues full of roughly hewn curves and chunks, and the also stark white but this time perfectly geometrical lines of La Grande Arche de La Defense. Even the clouds chimed in to the symphony shapes and shade to give an interesting result.
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Self - Cheshire Cheese


Cynics don't come much bigger than me, and advertising is an easy target for those of us that take a somewhat sardonic view of what companies are trying to make believe every day about their usually utterly banal offerings.

I can't even remember what this stupid couple of Cheshire cats were trying to communicate to me apart from the size of their modeling cheque or their dentists' bills, so I guess it didn't work again.

Actually, I often ask myself to what extent ads do influence us, and the scary thing is that they do work, but in ways we're not even aware of, and that's worrying.

It's all an illusion, just like the fading Cheshire cat's smile...

Be aware. Be VERY aware...
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Death of a Pigeon


If you've ever wondered where pigeons come from, or indeed where they go to, I may have half an answer.

This one looks like it's been hit by a car, with its wings all over the place, and seems to be slowly sinking into the metal grill, merging and melding with it never to be seen again, swallowed up by the purveyor of pigeons to the city, taking back what is rightfully his... that must be what all those sinister grey grids are for... scavenger swallowing...
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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New Self 3 - Towering Possibilities

See 'New Self 1 - Mega Chip'
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Horsing Around


This is a good example of linking a hoary old monument (albeit the ultimate symbol of Paris!) with something unusual to breath life into a tired subject.

In fact, you'll notice that the tower doesn't impose at all, and seems something of an after thought. Dare I say that some people may even say, oh, what a nice picture of a horse, vaguely realising that his (or her) head is framed by a round thing, whilst not realising it's the Eiffel Tower. Or, giving people much more credit, they will realise that it's the Eiffel Tower but will see it as a picture of a horse first and think it's interesting that a horse should be next to it in the middle of Paris.

In any case, I'm talking about using classic monuments as props for your photos of something else, to give that unmistakable feeling of Paris without it being one of those awfully unoriginal 'yet another' pics of what we've all seen a million times before. It's always a wonderful challenge to try and be original, and that's one of the methods I use.
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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New Self 2 - Over My Shoulder


See 'New Self 1 - Mega Chip'
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Bottoms Up !


The Iron Lady has witnessed plenty over the last century, for sure, and here's just one more curiosity for her photo album. One can only assume that these acolytes believe that standing on your head with your bottom stuck up in the air for a precisely timed period accomplishes some esoteric but ultimately beneficial, or possibly spiritual result... you're guess is as good as mine. Nikki enjoyed the view tho'.
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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New Self 1 - Mega Chip


I don't normally comment my self-portraits, but the next three need a little explanation. After my latest debacle, including a mugging and another camera grabbed, this is the very first pic taken on my new beast, a Nikon D200 with a... wait for it... Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6 G ED VR... lens! Doncha just luurrrvvv jargon?! Suffice it to say it's rather tasty and I promise I won't mention it again... you all already know I believe the picture is made in the eye and not the camera, don't you..?

Well anyway, I thought it would be funny to take my first pic (my first three in fact) for my 'Self' series with my favourite First Lady of Paris looking over me, never mind the camera settings. So I literally didn't do anything, didn't read anything, turned the camera on, put it on the 'P' setting, pointed it the lens to the sky (you can tell, can't you!) and snapped. This shot and two to follow are the result. Much much more coming from my and Nikki over the next few months and hopefully years!
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Park Fuzz


This is me trying to pass off a blurred photo for a creatively altered one - he he ! I had sharp, or sharper, versions of it but unfortunately almost sharp photos of streets can look totally crap, so I went to extremes.

It's far from perfect, but at least the fuzzy shapes are quite pleasant to look at, there are typical Parisian features still discernable such as the lamppost, the square trees and the Jardin de Luxembourg (probably) railings. And you've got the couple of course, and the wall on the left leading towards them and, well, it's ok. But I wouldn't ever have published the other nearly sharp one.
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Another Day in Paradise


Another perfect day in certral Paris folks, just across from the Louvre, this is the new-look square in between the museum and the Palais Royal, and a jolly good job they've done of it too! They had to actually erase the poor old Palace, of course, but it was getting pretty run down anyway. It was a nightmare getting those mountains in - you should have seen the size of the trucks - but worth all the upheaval in the end, as they say.

What? You don't believe me that this is the little square in between the Louvre and the Palais Royal in central Paris...? Oh, ye of little faith. Click on the photo above and then click on it again, and then on the little picture to see that I speak the truth... and may ye never question the verity of my parole again..!
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Crazy Horses


It's the water that makes this shot of course, otherwise it could easily be just another boring shot of some horse statues. The water introduces the unpredictable element of nature, the drama, the thunderstorm and... gives the animals a reason to be so agitated - after all, no-one likes getting pissed on all the time, isn't that right? They must have had their fill, I reckon.

The trick, or at least what I almost always try to do, is add something to the most obvious shot you could take. It doesn't matter what it is - could be a little boy standing looking at the main subject, or an unusual frame or some other concoction, but if you don't make an effort to do something to what you see in front of you, the shot will often enough be quite simply without interest. There has to be a story and there has to be a connection between the different elements of the picture.
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Baguette Biker


Is that a baguette in your basket, or are you just pleased to see me..? But that joke doesn't work because it's a girl and I've probably just ruined one of my most ethereal images of the year... never mind.

This is probably extremely close to the sort of shot I want to be remembered for when I go! Although I hope it's not for tomorrow!

What could be more evocative, and in my poet's soul more poignant, than a young girl cycling through the city of dreams, elusive and untouchable, beautiful and fleeting, turning the background to a blur and causing turbulence in young men's minds..? This is why I'm in Paris.
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Urban Decay


Not all cityscapes are dreamscapes. This is just near where I live, in the close south suburbs, just on the other side of the railway line where there are looming sinister monsters of cheap housing and areas you just shouldn't go late at night if you don't want to lose your beautiful camera and get beaten up, which was my fate two weeks ago.

It's funny, during the day it's just depressing, but in the evening little groups form or possees roam the streets in certain quarters looking for business opportunities...

All this just on the other side of the tracks, it's weird.

This photo was dull and bland, but I liked the potential of the subject and the environment. The guy is in a dynamic pose, and nicely placed in the clear area of the pic between the darker door and corrugated iron. I didn't crop the image at all, in fact it just slipped my mind, but never mind, I'm getting a bit tired of slavishly following the 'rule of thirds', you know, where you are supposed to put the subject off-centre at all costs. Made to be broken, and all that. Poor camera. It served me well during it's short life with me.
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Life's a Drag


This is a funny kinda shot. It's got the lamp slap-bang in the middle with the right side packed and the left side empty. It's maybe not an ideal composition but for one thing I didn't have much choice after the fact, and also I kind of like it.

There is the long shadow zooming out the the bottom left corner echoing the girl's right crossed-over leg pointing out to the right.

I also like the unposed, 'reportage' feel to the shot, with the guy taking a drag and the girl looking down.

And of course there is that classic, stunning view behind them, which is a bit strange, because they are facing away from it!
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Monday, June 18, 2007

All Downhill From Here


Isn't it funny what happens when you just tilt your camera a bit?! All of a sudden you get all these lovely dynamic angles, buildings toppling over, lampposts poking into the picture, street signs indicating imaginary inclines... and they're all speaking to each other.

No, it's true - I'm sure of it!

All of this supposedly inanimate street furniture actually leads a double life, duping us into thinking that they are innocent immobile hunks of metal and mortar, whereas, in fact...

... they're watching us! But I'm watching them too... so watch out!

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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Round Square


The image is abstract - based on a rectangle and an ovale, the treatment is graphic accentuating the forms, and... I love it!

It's a Parisian rooftop, of course, but it's also a pleasingly unusual combination of shapes which makes for an interesting composition which would look great blown up really big on a wall I reckon.

The colours are kinda washed out, the blue-grey slates contrasting wonderfully with the tired orangy-red brick of the rooftiles, the oval and rectangle of the windows are both cut by the tilted picture frame, altogether giving a rather special result.
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Paris Through the Looking Glass


I firmly believe that the photographer should ADD something to the image, I mean the naked-eye-right-what's-in front-of-you image, and not just take a literal point-and-shoot mess. Creative photographers, that is. Otherwise, what is the point of having a nice camera, or even a not-nice one, if you don't try and do something original with it?

Photography used to be criticised or poo-pooed by real 'artists' as a sort of second class creative citizen, but now I think the tables have been turned and it is the painters who are running scared! In any case, for goodness' sake, don't be satisfied with what you see first when a scene strikes you as interesting. Stop and think about how you could make it more interesting and add your personal stamp to your work! You'll be glad you did.

Reflections are one of the street photographer's most powerful allies. You can find them often enough, and if you're lucky you can produce some arresting and unexpected images.

This shot was taken on my Latin Quarter Photo Tour, quite early on a Sunday morning (hey, anything before 11 a.m is early on a Sunday, isn't it?) with one of my 'tourees' acting as the passing interest (the girl walking by)!

Hey, you can even see me in the pic if you look closely enough! But the shot wasn't a self-portrait as such so it didn't make into that section on the Paris Set Me Free site.
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Wall Flower


I'm a bit disappointed with this one, not for the composition but because the bright wall went all muggy and made the shot underexpose. You win some, you lose some, and you've just got to be aware of the conditions (such as a big white wall in your shot) and how your camera is going to react to them (i.e. say 'Wow - loadsa light, I'm gonna shut down here and low and behold, your lovely bright wall comes out looking like porridge)!

You often get nice triangular shapes up on walls, with a street name or number, a window of some sort, and another architectural element or curiosity which you can combine and play with creatively. Here the triangle's the number, the face and the window box, but the shot isn't very 'clean' with the window itself a bit too strong and the funny little thing at the bottom getting in the way, I see now in retrospect.

But in any case, the opportunities are always there - it's amazing what some people will put on the walls of their houses and apartments, so look up and learn!
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Flaked Out


This is generally known as a high-key image, and although there are some darks due to my playing with the contrast, the general feeling is of light and lightness, often producing a beautiful, ethereal effect.

The white which has totally whited out is actually a building with light walls, as you can see from the window arch which frames the subject. The angle's optional of course, but you know what I think about them, so there it is again!

The placing of the subject is slightly off to the right, as it should be, but leads back to the centre (and down) because of the angle, and what would be a rather empty left-third has the hint of what is the statue's shoulder, which balances and echoes somewhat the other compositional element, the arch, which is more to the right, much bigger but paler, so I think it works.

For me, a large part of photography is creating links between the elements in the shot to try and create some sort of story. A small dark arch is the equivalent of a large pale one, for example, and creates a kind of harmony and balance. I try to make static elements look as though they are somehow interacting with the people who pass them by, for example.
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2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Self


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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hounding the Streets


This is one of those just slightly too bizarre to be missed images that pop up pretty often if you keep your eyes open. People living their lives, I mean, to be pushing a jauntily blue-capped pensioner around in a wheel chair with five dogs hanging off at all angles is probably totally routine for this... family. But not for us, so here it is, my offering of the day, nothing more to say, you just... had to be there (and equipped to take advantage of it)!
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Hot Houses


I've never really been one for horizontal and vertical lines, because the edges of the picture (i.e. where the paper ends!) generally provide those admirally, as I've said before. So whenever I see obviously up 'n' down, left t' right lines I tend to tilt the camera.

Here you can see one of the fruits of my labour which illustrate this point. I defy you to find a horizontal or vertical line - there ain't a damn one in sight! But the play of the angled roof with the tilted arches and stark but fuzzy railings enchants the eye and gives you plenty to look at.

I've also used the special effect I'm obsessed with this week again - don't worry, it'll be something else next week! There was no cropping done here by the way. I shot it as I wanted it, and it worked, which is something I always try to do in principle, only occasionally leaving a bit more around the edges to play with if I think it's necessary. Happy snapping :-)
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Crazy Car


Now that's got personality, that one. Great for my 'Rainbows' series and it's been a long time since I really added to that section so maybe this will inspire me.

Discovered an amazing technique - not sure if I want to share it coz it did something amasing to this photo, but you can find it in Paint Shop Pro if you click around enough!

Well, it's late and I just can't seem to get my daily photo up any other time other than really late at night, so bye for now, happy snapping and see you again tomorrow for my latest offering.
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

If you like this blog, you might appreciate this..!
Paris Set Me Free - The Ultimate Paris Photography Website

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

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Against The Wall


Poppies are great subjects for their purety and simplicity, not to mention their frailty which can be used as a metaphor in many circumstances. Here, against the stark white wall they stand out brightly with the touch of green to attach them to the ground and to their roots.

You find them in the city but particularly along the railway lines on the steep slopes with nothing better to do than let wild seeds flourish. A joy to come across them, but they are so vulnerable - it sometimes makes me shiver.
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

If you like this blog, you might appreciate this..!
Paris Set Me Free - The Ultimate Paris Photography Website

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

Drained


My latest adventure involves something so stupid, so imbecilic, that I'm not even going to go into it. Suffice it to say that my life had better change soon or I won't be around for long, and this photo is a pretty good metaphor for that: fragile beauty (that's me, folks!) teetering dangerously close the gaping chasm of oblivion...

Don't mean to scare you, but I speak through my photos you see, so I don't want to hold anything back in explaining them to you. As for the composition and all that stuff, I'll leave it to you to see if you think I got anything right. Another similar shot coming just above this one...
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

If you like this blog, you might appreciate this..!
Paris Set Me Free - The Ultimate Paris Photography Website

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

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Self

This is a rather worrying picture, because if you look at me in the top left, you can imagine that my head is upside down and that the wrinkles on my brow are actually some sort of mean little mouth, in a kind of catty face...

Another interesting aspect of the shot is that you can see exactly how I took it, because I'm reflected in the car window. It's funny to compare the more distant shot with the in-your-face catty face in the top left. Where am I coming from? Your guess is as good as mine...
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

If you like this blog, you might appreciate this..!
Paris Set Me Free - The Ultimate Paris Photography Website

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

Air Kiss Baby

A kiss on the brow
An air-kiss, baby
Do like the French do
Do-bee-do
An air-kiss, baby
Touch, not touching
Pass, just passing
Air-kiss, baby
See you some time
Legs entwining
Hands enlace
Evaginating
Air-kiss, baby
Air-kiss, baby
Kiss on the brow
For now
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

If you like this blog, you might appreciate this..!
Paris Set Me Free - The Ultimate Paris Photography Website

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

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Paris Story

Hey, Dude, you don't have to tell me to explore Paris, buddy! I do it every day!!

And as for my Paris Story... well! Maybe it shouldn't be told quite yet...
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

If you like this blog, you might appreciate this..!
Paris Set Me Free - The Ultimate Paris Photography Website

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

Moon Man Madness

Ha ha..! I'm not going to tell you how I took this one. Let's call it a professional secret, but suffice it to say anyone could take this sort of shot if they keep their eyes open when walking around a highly shopulated area... ;-)
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

If you like this blog, you might appreciate this..!
Paris Set Me Free - The Ultimate Paris Photography Website

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

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Shuttered Up

From St-Germain des Prés, a picture of, well, some bright red flowery window boxes and bright white slatted shutters, which is rather nice to stumble across on a sunny Sunday morning in central Paris.

In fact, this isn't so unusual, but it is a bit different from the classic Parisian appartment building with those typical black iron railings on the balconies, but then St-Germain des Prés is a special area. It's a bit of a paradox really, because on the one had it's generally swarming with tourists and cafés overflowing but on the other hand there are some parts which are genuinely timeless with little windey streets and hidden squares and evocative shop signs.

This shot is also a gentle reminder to just look up from time to time (or all the time if you like). By raising your eyes above street level you not only see some of the most amazing things which you'd miss if you just take the horizontal gaze approach, but by tilting your lens up (or down - same principle) you also create some really interesting angles as seen here.
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

If you like this blog, you might appreciate this..!
Paris Set Me Free - The Ultimate Paris Photography Website

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

Monday, June 04, 2007

Greasy Palms

A great piece of art from one of my favourite Parisian galleries, called 'Piece Unique'. Older viewers might remember the giraffe from a long time back.

The pic is taken through a window and I've exaggerated the reflection so that it starts to merge with the sculpture to create an interesting effect. This was taken on my Latin Quarter photo tour and you can see two of the people in the reflection - it was a great Sunday morning, lovely weather and great coffee and croissants of course!

Barrel of oil is sitting on a massive pile of money, which in turn is on loads and loads of newspapers with Iraqi headlines on them. Great stuff.
______________________________
© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

If you like this blog, you might appreciate this..!
Paris Set Me Free - The Ultimate Paris Photography Website

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

Clock Face


This was taken on one of my Paris photo tours and, believe it or not, is actually inside the Louvre, but taken from one of those big windows where you can see inside without actually paying.
This shot is pretty cool in its own right, as the subject is so interesting, but the thing that makes this shot is the girl echoing the statues of course, without which...
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free


Friday, June 01, 2007

Run Rabbit, Run

This is a funny pic, because it sums up life in the capital, any capital in fact, we all know why they're running, and yet, and this was a creative choice, we can't actually see the reason, i.e. the train.

The removal of the reason for an action from the frame produces a rather intriguing and slightly surreal image: this strange group behavour of three people all running in the same direction, almost like scared animals trying to outrun a preditor, and the only reason we know that's not the case is the context of the train station and we recognise a familiar but often forgotten feature of modern city life: we run!

As a curious aside, there's also an excellent optical effect in this picture, especially if you click on the image above to see the larger version. Can you see it? The picture seems to get bigger from left to right! This is due to the converging lines within the thin horizontal frame, and it's quite impressive and almost impossible to get rid of the impression as you look at the pic with the white outline on the black background, however much you tell yourself that the picture has perfectly square corners!
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