Saturday, May 27, 2017

People in Paris

Images of people doing things... or having things done to them, in this beautiful town. 

Conversation at a café near the Trocadero (which may explain their clothes and style).

These kids were listening to this man's words as if they were the gospel... and they were inside Notre Dame.  Art professor perhaps? 

Energetic biker on the Rue D'Arcole.  I should add he rides a taxi bike. 

Girl checking her phone in the park Saint Julien Le Pauvre.

This man sits quietly on this bench and works away at temperas or watercolors of Paris.  I've seen him more than once already. 

The man came, ate lunch, and then proceeded to read.

Rue St Julien Le Pauvre... which leads to the Shakespeare & Co. bookstore (full of tourists).  These two were shooting the breeze there... in English.

On the Pont Au Double, there was a small conclave of inline skaters competing that day.  This is one...

This is the second skater, less showy than the first, but a lot more impressive. 

Third skater: showed up on a kind of electric monocycle, a three-piece suit, and seems to fly on the ground.

From the steps of the Basilic of Sacre Coeur one has a privileged position when one has a long lens and intense sun light.  This lady has beautiful, enviable hair. 

The French love their pets, they dote on them, travel with them and vacation with them. 

Macadam Manivelle and her renditions of Edith Piaf's songs had me going straight to iTunes...

In a remote nook of the neighborhood, a street performer had a captive audience by doing this métier in front of a restaurant. 

This lady made a Nutella crepe for me. 

First communion girls at the church of Saint Sulpice.

Students enjoying the Medici fountain at the Luxemburg gardens.

Returning home... Reamur Sebastopol metro station.

I will be back soon!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Montmartre, or the 19th-century Paris theme park

Some time ago I read this sentence about Paris: "If we didn't have Paris, we'd have to invent it."  I first laughed, but then had to stop and think about it because, in the end, it's true.  Paris, as a city, seems to be the model and center of everything that's refined, urbane and sophisticated... even if it is (or perhaps especially when it is) about art and la vie bohéme.  For that, we have the hill of Montmartre in Paris, dominated by the great Sacré Coeur church.

The facade of Sacre Coeur, with a gorgeous sky as background.

From the steps in front of Sacre Coeur, with a lens not too long, one can capture a multitude of human types.  She struck me because of the color of her hair, which shows a lot of attitude in a place that values it..

Must admit this is a cropped shot. She had revised her photographs several times in her camera screen and then she tossed her head and hair with some impatient gesture.

The man has some cool shades...

This man decided to give an impromptu concert on the steps.  He performed several popular songs in English and French, and whenever he didn't know the lyrics or forgot them, he just screamed "blah, blah, blah!" and the crowd roared.  Not something he could do for a paying audience, but then, we were in Paris, on the steps of Sacre Coeur, enjoying a beautiful afternoon. 

Side entrance to Sacre Coeur. 

Crepe maker at a place near the Place du Tertre (I believe).

Tightrope walker near the Place du Theatre.

Tearoom Grenouille in Rue Norvins. 

The girl in glasses was being portrayed as a cartoon by the man in the hat. She heard the shutter of my camera and didn't seem too pleased about being drawn and photographed at the same time. She wasn't alone; lots of people were having their likenesses done by local artists and I admit to having thoughts about it too.

Scene on our way back home, at the Abbesses metro station (the deepest in Paris). 

One parting shot: Macadame Manivelle, a lady in the Place du Theatre performing Edith Piaf songs. 

Thanks for reading this far!  Soon enough I won't have internet access but for as long as I have things worth taking a look at, there'll be something here.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Paris in color

Well, I didn't really plan on doing this when I typed the last paragraph of my previous post, offering more images from Spain. I had already planned on traveling to Paris this summer (it's our 25th anniversary after all), but instead of packing my puny Fuji X-Pro 1 as I had initially considered, I chose the Nikon D700 in the last minute.  This is a city worth the pain of carrying a large rig, just to get the images I want, as opposed to capturing images that will leave me unsatisfied.  So, without further ado, here are some early testimonies of my travels with my Nikon D700 (this time, with the AF-S 24-120 VR f4 beast... just as beastly as the AF-S 24-70 f2.8 I have, but with a bit more reach).

Icon of Paris, the Eiffel Tower, in front of the Trocadero Palace.

Here comes another view, this time including the Pont de Iena.

Upon arriving to the Hotel de Ville...

I spotted this young lady and decided to try my lens at its longest.  See the result:

From the Hotel de Ville en route to Notre Dame I decided to photograph La Conciergerie

Waiting in line to enter Notre Dame... and here are its magnificent bell towers (with 2/3 overexposure).

I admit my shots aren't even postcard quality, but then, I don't pretend to sell them either.  My intention is to capture what I see as quirky, unique and singular in this beautiful city... things like the two ladies below, who were taking each other's photographs in front of the church.

That was a long walk for me (not for the family, their feet are made for walking), but fortunately it wasn't fruitless.  I continued with them to the Quartier Latin (home of the Sorbonne), in which streets and store fronts have a unique look to them.

This is the Rue Galande.

Store in Rue St Julien Le Pauvre.

Man in front of the Shakespeare and Co. bookstore.

That's all, folks, for now!  I promise to return soon with more images.  In the meanwhile, let's add a touch of class... 

Classy Parisian lady walks her bicycle on the Pont Au Double.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Cafe Concert!

While in Toledo, Spain, we visited several spots in the city and found one we became very fond of: the Plaza de San Justo.  

There is a beautiful atmosphere about the place, perhaps because it's right at the foot of San Justo's church.

In this particular spot there's a place called "Café Virtudes", where there's live music (they have a calendar and this website).  Here's an informal view...

In July 2016, while we were still in Toledo, they had a live concert with an Argentine tango singer.  Some view it was... under the beautiful night of Spain (boy, that sounds corny!). 

The stage lights added a touch to the evening.

The nicest thing is that there wasn't a stage, properly speaking, but rather the whole area near the cafe was the stage.

The attentive audience...  good food, good drinks, good music... what else can one ask for?

On our way back home we encountered another event: a rock concert.


It wasn't nearly half as good as the other... but, again, it speaks of the active cultural life in Toledo.  The best part of the evening was walking right under this landmark.

The "Arco de la catedral", which actually joins two different buildings (the Cardinal's palace and the cathedral, I believe), is a landmark and give a great view of the Plaza del Ayuntamiento.  But at nights it can be a very discreet, charming and yet intriguing spot. 

I will return with images of a completely different nature, always from Spain.