Street Photography II: Paris


In my previous post I shared a few shots from my visit to Paris. As I stated I loved being in Paris.

This week I was going over some shots I made and I suddenly realised why Paris makes such a fascinating place for photography. Obviously you can make shoot the Eifel Tower until it is grey. Do they same of the Notre Dame, Centre Pompidou, La Defense and many other iconic landmarks. Nothing wrong with shooting those, I do it too but Paris has so much and many interesting features.

What I realised this week is that Paris really works for me as it is provides a photography opportunity mix (yeah I made that up myself) of people in a certain setting.

I’ll give you an example and will provide a litte narrative

Shot with Lumix DC-FZ82 (the megazoom canon that one!) and edited in LightRoom (colours enhanced mainly)

The above picture nearly got away. When I shot it I remember thinking: Corny! When I laid my eyes 10 minutes ago loved the picture. The reason is that the lady on the left hand bottom side squints her eyes and is oblivious to the camera, whilst in the centre piece a “BigBus Paris” captures the attention. It is the first thing that you notice. Once you take a closer look things become more interesting. You notice sequence “BNP Paris Bas”, the clock and the sign “Berlitz”. You can even tell the time. On the other hand you can split the still into two parts. The lower part: full movement (buses, cars, people, street signs etc) and the upper part: more serene, architecture, grandious with a vanishing point.

The second picture with a story is where the entire setting struck me as odd

The ol’pavement petrol station.

You are probably thinking; Cool two fuel stations?! WTF. You probably have a point, but there is a story to tell here. Again the setting: Paris, around rush hour in the 10th Arrondissement, a 4 lane road fully packed with cars, mopeds, cyclists. On the pavement I suddenly noticed a mini petrol station! It took me back 30 years in time. This used to be a pretty common sight throughout France. I remember it well from my youth when travelling the route nationale on camping holidays. Much to my surprise I walked into one of those things in the middle of Paris and I noticed it. That is often the thing with photography. You need to notice, see it and shoot it.

Gare Du Nord: Bustling with people

The above picture is also one which I didn’t think much of at the time of shooting, but after a short review I suddenly found this still pretty good. Same as the “BigBus Paris” Shot early. The shot can be split into two parts: Uppper part; architecture and clear vanishing point and the lower half of the still where it is pure people. Yes something funny I noticed in this particular picture.. If you split the people part in two parts: foreground and background. You’ll notice that all the people in the foreground are in pairs.I count 4! How many do you?

Gare Du Nord turned out the excellent stumping ground for my biggest passion in shooting: people. Every photographer is a voyeur to a certain extend I my view

The next still I like a lot is set below

The red accent being dominant in this scene

A lady crossing the road with a mobile phone, big deal right. Ah look carefully. Purposly I didn’t crop the picture as I love the fact that she is carrying a red bag, red scarf, white sneakers with red laces and a hat with a red print it seems. In the backgrond you see smaller and bigger red accents. That is why I like this picture. Probably not obvious.

Cosmopolitain cities like Paris, Paris and Paris have one other thing I love; diversity and a certain non conformist way about them.

I love the coat and sneakers combo

I snapped this young lady at Gare Du Nord. What I caught me immediately was that somehow she stood out. You would notice her anywhere. Very strong presence. Like this shot of a young person doing her own thing in her own way.

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