Friday, July 27, 2007

Stairway to the Sky

Paris has several pedestrian only (give or take the odd rollerblader/cyclist/highflyer or two...) um, where was I... oh yes... bridges! And this is one of them. A really nice one as it happens. It's got a marvellous kind of split-middle which allows you to either head down to the river bank or carry right on to the road level, which is cool. It's also got lots of slatty floorboards which can make some rather nice shadows if you're there at the right time of day.

And playing with all those angles zooming off all over the place is amazing mind's eye-fodder if you get your creative cap on. Well I more or less just snapped this one as I strolled by but I must go back and do something more serious with it, but to be honest I don't often work that way.
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Seinsations

Having my camera with me as often as logically and non-nerdily possible seems to be paying off, even if it is a pain sometimes, and I really recommend you try it for a week or so. You'll be pleasantly surprised how often you're whipping it out thinking, hey, I'm glad I had it with me, and your photo collection will grow significantly too.

So there I was, strolling back over one of the city's pedestrian bridges not too far from the... did you guess... Grand Palais, and there it was, a splendid sky over a magnificent piece of Parisian architecture.

There are imperfections in this shot, to be sure, but as it's so long since I did traditional stuff I'm just going to enjoy it and try to do more in the future.
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Squatters

Feeding on the famous off-white steps of La Grande Arche of La Defense - you see the pecking pigeons every day cowering under the starkly cubic... cube they call La Grande Arche! Look at the big one top left - he's a whopper!
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Red Shoe Shuffle

Should images of movement use blur to prove it, and how much unintentional blur you can pass off as 'intentional to show the movement' before someone rumbles you is one of my preoccupations...

One of the tell-tale signs that it's unintentional is that both the moving subject and the stationery background are fuzzy. Another is when it looks like it's been artificially sharpened to hell on the computer later.

Well, this shot suffers from a little bit of both of those syndromes, but I like the composition enough to let it pass. Namely, the placement of the feet is great, the shoes are striking against the grey, the little stone slabs lead you wonderfully into the shot, in the direction she's going too, and there's nothing else to distract you like other people's feet or cigarette butts to get in the way - oops, having said that I can see some now (!) but they kinda meld in and possibly add to the, umm, how can I say... promiscuity which bright red shoes sometimes suggest...
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Rhythm Guy


Religion may have touched him, but the music is definitely making him move... rhythmin' to ya!
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Stitching Time


Stitches in time... I remember when I first arrived in Paris... and I saw this statue and was amazed... for the first time...

I think I even wrote a poem inspired by it... wait, I'll try and find it...

Oh yes, I've found it...

http://www.parissetmefree.com/poetry/1998/time.htm

Not very beautifully presented as I've just put it on the site, and not really a poem as such, but there you go...

And I called it, oh-so prophetically, ... 'Time'!
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Reflections


Wondering if things could have been better... Wondering if maybe the person in the mirror isn't the one you thought they were... Wondering if maybe that little cottage by the sea couldn't have been yours... (it could have... the choices are yours...)

This rather evocative pic was taken just outside Saint Lazare train station in central Paris. Almost everything is grey except the 'Quick' sign on the top right and the guy's arm - a typically drab and dreary cityscape, punctuated by this splinter of hope, or of regret...

Photographically, note the twin mirrors jutting out on both sides to harmonise and balance the composition... Also notice, because I focused on the image in the mirror, and not the mirror itself (how do you focus on a mirror..?!) that even the edge of the mirror is out of focus, which adds a nice touch to the image. Choose a large aperture for this effect, and make sure you know how your spot focusing control works!
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Red Bag Guy


For some reason I can't think of too much to say about this shot. Sometimes you just have to let the image speak and I think that's one of those times. I've talked about perspective and composition and loneliness so many times you must be sick of it by now! So this is the Red Bag Guy... and I took a picture of Him.
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Arch Rivals


A couple of arches for ya. One ancient, one modern. Don't reckon we're going to get rid of them from our lives any time soon. And let's hope not! There's nothing like a graceful arch to frame a subject and give it some context and foreground interest - and depth and feeling of being the one looking through it!

Here the reflective qualities of the nearest arch allowed me to include in interesting reflection in it too, so in fact we're looking at two arches with two scenes in them at the same time. Different!
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Last Train

The metro breathes, and sometimes it ain't too pretty what it smells like... it's a living and lonely place at many hours of the day and night, however many people are around, and the reminders of humanity in all its guises are always there.
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ladies Crossing


I followed these lively ladies, all chic in their own way, for some distance, and was rewarded with what strikes me as a nice image - lots of pairs of legs all leading their owners wherever it is they are eager to get to.

The bars of the vertical metal street signs echo the ladies' pins and the white horizontal lines of the crossing are nicely contrasted by the curvy vertical ones on the lady's tunic on the right. Fun.
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Streets are Sprouting


I don't know if you've noticed, and don't spread this around, but... the streets are sprouting! Yep. All over the city these weird curved structures are popping out of the concrete in menacing little lines of 10 or 20.

Does anyone have further information that could enlighten and yes, reassure those of us who are feeling increasing uneasy with every additional outbreak of these riveted ranks?

Please get in touch with this blog if you can help. I don't feel secure on the streets of the capital any more...
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Two Abreast


The quiet philosophical contemplation from a sleepy café terrace of a Sunday afternoon, there's nothing quite like it, is there?
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Metrograffix

I was intrigued by the interplay of lines here in this strange, dehumanised metro passage. I wanted to purify the image and stumbled upon the effect you see here, much more by chance than by design, but that's part of the fun.

The fascinating thing is that despite its clinical, unnatural appearance it is, of course, 100% man-made. How could we have imagined such an unholy beast?! We're like laboratory rats running round these damn tunnels and tubes every day, trying to find a way out...

I wonder how many people resent this aspect of modern city living, and if any actually revel in it through their secret thoughts and fantasies as they get squeezed through these endless person-pipes like pulp from a toothpaste tube.
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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In The Bag


Well bag me, would you look at that! People trogging home on the new 'T2' tramway, as they call it.

You can see the circular bit on the floor that swivels disconcertingly sometimes when it goes round corners. Make sure you position your feet with care or you could be left in a rather compromising spread legs situation to the amusement of fellow travellers.

Here we are after a hard day's bargain hunting, trophies proudly on show but limply held as the victorious veer homeward.
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Rainbow Girl


Plenty more coming from Gay Pride 2007 Paris folks. There were sights to see, as you'll see...
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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

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Sense of Looming

It's a grey, grey world, when you're stuck in the passenger seat of your girlfriend's new car...

Not much more to do but snap snap snap... and accept the painful situation until I can take over the controls and become once again the man I was born to be... until then it's

'Be Careful!' - 'Watch Out!' - 'Don't Get Too Close!' - 'Not Now !!!'

Guess I've gotta get over it...
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Stripe Me Down, Brother!


A graphic image, it's not black and white (look closely!) but almost...

Shot from a moving car, a drive-by shooting you might say, from a brand new car which I have the right to drive, although the French driving on the WRONG side of the road and cutting in on the WRONG side doesn't help my confidence...

I'm still trying to work out Nikki's weirder characteristics, and the focusing-and-setting-the-exposure-from-moving-vehicles module still hasn't sunk in... ;-)

This was the only one I took of this image, and I'm still flabberghasted by how it turned out. All those stripes!!! Couldn't have been better. Taken (as a passenger) from our new car, which will open up countless photo opportunities, no doubt.

Wherever you are, whatever time it is, there is ALWAYS a photo op! Don't forget it, and... (TIP OF THE CENTURY) have your camera with you AT ALL TIMES (it really helps!).

More later!
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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

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Sky Diving


Sometimes, don't you, when you look way way up high, doncha just wonder, what keeps those darn things up there, and aren't they hanging by a thread, and aren't they all worried to death in their skins?

Of course, it's all science, the air passing more slowly over the longer, curved surface of the upper wing creates a vacuum thereby dragging the plane upwards and almost making the engines redundant...

But it's still so weird to look up up, way up high, and to think that there's a bunch of people, sitting in seats, all that way up in the air, not, probably, where God intended us to by (or s/he'd have given us wings...)

Think about it...
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Wedding In Hell...


As part of the Gay Parade this happy couple thrust themselves my way. They look strangely familiar, but I can't quite place them...
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Rest In Potter... (RIP)


He'll be everywhere for the next few months, if not years, so we might as well get used to it. The only thing that gives me comfort is the claim that the books have got 'darker' over the years. They've certainly got longer!

Here's Harry trying to take over the Paris Metro, in the station 'D'Enfer' no less (From HELL... my friends.....), the station you get off at to visit the Catacombs, the final resting place for millions of Paris bones...

Rest In Potter...
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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Paris Set Me Free - The Ultimate Paris Photography Website

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Self - Fish Face Surfaces

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© 2007 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free

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Legging It


When I first saw this shot (and I recommend you review your shots as if you are seeing them for the first time, not as the person that took them...) I thought, hmmm, where do I go with this...

In fact, there were several versions, as I sneakily snuck after this girl through a few trials and turnulations to try and get a reasonable shot (for you, my friends, always for you...)

Anyway, I settled on this one, despite the fact that her foot was cut off - I didn't want to lose the impressive and typical snakey length of the metro so I couldn't chop on that side - and in the end it adds a sense of urgency... un urgency to follow those legs!
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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

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Metro Mix


This is a nice mix of metro and megapub... station signs and warning warblers mooching and mingling with fire hydrants and high fives, metaphorically speaking that is...

Taken from a metro, this was a stolen shot, but you can semi-plan them if you're on the ball (like by having your camera out of its case and switched on, for example... ;-)
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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

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