Tag Archives: Paris
My last post of Paris pictures were of mundane, everyday details of a city. Those are the kind of shots that I take wherever I go. I can’t not snap away at those little details that probably mean something only to me. But I did take several photos of the big sights of Paris. Even though we had been before, we still took the time to gape at Notre Dame, the Seine, and of course the Eiffel Tower.
We actually were in the vicinity of the Eiffel tower two times. The first day it was cloudy and the second it was less so with bright blue skies. I much prefer the photographs from the cloudy day. The clouds themselves are so full and swollen looking. I think the dim light from the cloudy day also gives those pictures a vintage feel. All these pictures were taken on Kodak Portra 400 film.
Kate woke us up early on Saturday to visit the Sacre Coeur (her account is pretty damn funny). Unfortunately, the sky was a flat, steel grey. We took some pictures of Sacre Coeur and marveled at the Paris skyline from that vantage point. By the time we left Montmarte and got to the 16th Arrondissement just across the river from the Eiffel Tower, the clouds had formed an impressive backdrop.
These two square pictures were obviously taken with the Hasselblad, which was also loaded with Portra 400 film.
We went back to the vicinity of the Eiffel Tower on Sunday, this time in the 7th Arrondissement for the open air market between Dupleix and Motte Picquet metro stops. The sky was a perfect blue just barely dotted with wispy cirrus clouds. We walked right by the tower from other angles to get to the market. While I think the first set of pictures are more arresting, the blue sky does make a good backdrop.
For a while it seemed like it was following us around. It peeked out between buildings at multiple intersections. And like an obedient tourist, I stopped to take more pictures…
I feel like you can tell more about a city by capturing the small things, the mundane details that we pass by every day. While in Paris I took dozens of touristy things photos, but the majority of photographs, the ones that will mean the most to me, are of ordinary things. It’s similar to my view of New York. New York is much more than its monuments and buildings. It’s only when you look at cities at the street level that you really start to understand and appreciate them. We only had a few days to wander the streets of Paris, but I saw and appreciated much more this time than our earlier trip.
I’ll post touristy pics later this week, but I’ve selected roughly a dozen photographs of what I classify as mundane details for this post. All pictures were taken with the Nikon FM2n and on Kodak Portra film.
This courtyard at the end of a short alley caught my eye as I walked past it. This was one of the many times I almost passed by something but instead stopped to drag out one of my cameras. We were in no hurry.
This magazine cover, more than any other, was the one that screamed “Paris” to me every time I walked by a news stand. I wanted to buy it at the airport on the way home, but sadly I couldn’t find it.
We never ate inside a restaurant on this trip. The weather was beautiful and the sidewalk cafes provided all the food and (usually) drink we needed. We didn’t stop at this one, but I was still struck by the simplicity of its two tables and five chairs.
We were in Montmarte very early on Saturday morning to visit the Sacre Couer and I noticed this tiny place with an Agfa Film sign out front.
Walking back to our hotel on the Boulevard Saint Germaine I noticed this statue that had served as a prop in the previous night’s partying.
Since we don’t own a car or hardly ever travel in one, I look at cars as stationary things of interest. This one, paired with an identical white Vespa, caught my eye. I wondered if they belonged to the same person.
Signs, corners, and intersections are always fascinating to me.
I took several photos of and around Notre Dame, but this one of flowers in its garden is my favorite.
I couldn’t not take a picture of this art on a sidewalk condom machine.
And of course I’m always on the lookout for street art (whole separate post upcoming).
And lastly, the flowers on the windows of our hotel…
When I started thinking about what film to take for our trip, I immediately thought about my standard B&W film – Kodak Tri-X 400. I knew exactly what it would look like at night and I wanted those strong, ink-black images. Maybe I was looking at too much Brassai or something.
The weird thing is that I shot mostly color on this trip. We were blessed with perfect weather all four days and Paris really seemed better in color. I used Portra 160 NC or Portra 400 depending on the brightness and time of day. On two nights though, I loaded B&W film into the Nikon FM2n and took several pictures. Then I’d wake up the next morning with a bright sky and a yearning to shoot color. And of course there was still B&W Tri-X 400 rated at 1600 ISO in my camera. I probably should have taken a second Nikon body, but I didn’t want to drag around three cameras. What I ended up doing was quickly firing off some random shots on the way to our destination to use up the rest of the B&W and then popped in a color roll. I don’t normally do this, but we only had a long weekend.
That’s one of the limitations of film, you’re stuck with shooting what you have in your camera at the time. Digital does makes it so much easier, but then again digital will never look like this.
A Dark Corner, Paris
Series of Arched Doorways, Paris
A Waiter Smoking on Place Saint-Germain-des-Pres
I was really more interested in the corner of the building in the light than the waiter, but he wouldn’t leave.
Saint-Germain-des-Pres Metro Sign at Night, Paris
The Seine River at Night, Paris
Paris Street at Dusk
Busy Sidewalk and Paris Metro Sign at Night
I took a lot of pictures of Metro signs. I mean a lot. What the hell was I thinking?
All images were developed at home in Kodak Xtol Developer for 9.5 minutes.
Kate and I took an extended weekend trip to Paris last Thursday. We hopped on a plane in JFK late Thursday night, fell asleep, and woke up the next day at 11am Paris time. We spent three and a half amazing days wandering around the streets of our second favorite city and I have this bag of exposed film to show for it. I took my Nikon FM2n and Hasselblad 501cm with me and Kate handled the digital duties flawlessly with the Nikon D90. I shot seven rolls (six color and one B&W) of 120 film in the Hasselblad and would have happily shot more if I had brought more. I shot eight and a half rolls of 35mm film and had two rolls of B&W film left at the end of the trip.
Exposed film from Paris Trip
I had the most pleasant experience at JFK with my bag of film. Everything was either 100, 160, or 400 ISO speed, so I didn’t plan on asking for a hand check of my film. I tossed the ziploc bag of film into a bin with my wallet and watch, prepared to see it work its way through the X-ray machine. I wasn’t worried too much since anything under 800 ISO is generally considered safe to pass through carry on X-ray machines (NOT checked luggage X-ray machines). But then a TSA screener walked over and asked me, “Would you like me to hand check your film?” After all the horror stories I’ve heard about screeners refusing to hand check film, this was a nice surprise. So my film only went through the X-ray in Paris at Charles De Gaulle. The screeners there were not amused by my request for a hand check.
Last night I developed my one roll of 120 film (Kodak Tri-X 400) from Paris in Kodak Xtol developer for 6.5 minutes. This is all twelve shots from the roll taken in the beautiful Montparnasse Cemetery.
Gravestone and Sign in Montparnasse Cemetery, Paris, France
Carved Child Mourning on Gravestone
Angel on Gravestone in Montparnasse
Baudelaire Cenotaph in Montparnasse
Bearded Head on Gravestone in Montparnasse
Books and Man on Gravestone in Montparnasse
Hands on Gravestone in Montparnasse
Jesus on Gravestone in Montparnasse
Serge Gainsbourg Grave in Montparnasse
Standing Woman on Gravestone in Montparnasse
Woman Resting on Gravestone in Montparnasse
Angel Holding Woman on Gravestone in Montparnasse