Viva la France! Road-trip Foolishness Pt. 1: Paris

This past month was my third time in France, in the beautiful city of Paris. The first time I went was with family, and I had just taken my first color photography course and was a huge newbie. The second time I went was on a weekend from my study abroad program, and I forgot my camera battery and I ran out of camera film. This time, I was prepared!

My friends and I all met up in Paris for the start of what would be a long road-trip through France. We spent three full days in Paris, checking out the usual sites like the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, the Eiffel Tower, and the Champs Elysees. We walked around Montemarte, got lost a few times, ate breakfast from a cafe and were just a couple of tourists.

And I took excellent photos, at last.

 

For this trip to France I brought 4 cameras (which may seem excessive to some, but hear me out, and mind you, when I studied in England back in 2014, I brought like 9 cameras so this was light!) I brought my Canon Powershot (more on that later,) my Fuji Natura Classica (whose beautiful film has been discontinued UGH,) my iPhone, and a Fuji Instax.

The Powershot was okay. It was compact and light, and I brought it with me on my adventure to Asia in 2017, but as a professional photographer I was dying inside. Home girl really needs to invest in a full frame DSLR. Between the Powershot and my iPhone, I took a TON of photos of mediocre quality but awesome content.

 

One of the many magical things about Paris is, no matter how many times I have been, it is always exciting and new. This time when I went to the Louvre, I was able to see it in a new way– the last two times I had visited, I was focused on the arts and antiquities (I mean, as I should,) but this time I was able to focus on the architecture and the sheer madness that is the Mona Lisa gallery. (When my friends were hesitant on whether or not to dive into the fray, I was like YOLO FUCK IT LETS ROLL and man I regretted it but then again I got that fun shot of being totally crushed in the crowd so whatever haha am I right?)

There is something magical about wandering around Paris with good friends. I know Paris isn’t for everyone; some feel it is too dirty, too touristy, too busy. But that’s what I love about it. I got to see street artists making knock-off Disney princesses in the street, and I went into the Centre du Pompidou without knowing it was a library, of all things. I was a total creeper and photographed people unapologetically for probably the first time in my life (and my one friend, Sean, kept saying “oh my God ur such a crEEP”)

Most importantly, when visiting my absolute favorite place in the entire world, Notre Dame de Paris, the bell tower was open! It had not been open the last two times I visited, and I 100% cried.

 

So, I love Paris, with all of it’s tourism and charm. We did a lot of walking because honestly, that’s how you see the quirkiness of the city. We got lost looking for the Metra, found a playground in excellent golden hour light, and by our hostel there were the remnants of a carnival that looked straight-up terrifying and therefore photogenic af. If it weren’t for dragging my less-than-willing friends around the city, I wonder if I would have enjoyed Paris the third time around.

Nah, who am I kidding? I would have loved it regardless. It is the City of Love, after all.

 

I’ve noticed that the more I travel, the more my style as a travel photographer is realized. I’ve noticed I’m keen on patterns of light and shadow and people looking involved in whatever it is they are doing (was that a long way of saying I enjoy candids of strangers? Yes.) I sometimes worry if my work is becoming formulaic, but maybe that’s a silly thing to worry about when traveling around the world making photos. Honestly, just take the damn picture if you want to.

Happy Shooting and Safe Travels!

 

Paris Throwback

I kept forgetting about a roll of film from my trip abroad that hadn’t been developed. I’ve been procrastinating on getting it done because I’d have to mail it to Lomography in NYC, which is a bit expensive, and I’d have to wait about a month. But, when I was getting things together for NYC, I noticed it, and packed it, figuring I could deliver it to the store myself and get it developed over the weekend. My plan succeeded, so, here’s a throwback to Paris, Lomochrome Purple XR panoramic style:

I used my Horizon Perfekt and determined the exposures without a light meter. It’s good I can do this regularly now, considering I’ve kinda been doing this photography thing for a while… even so, I’m thrilled they came out so nicely.

I think my favorite is the Eiffel Tower one, but they each look so nice it’s hard to commit to that comment.

There are two things I want to do with my life: travel and take photographs.

Happy Shooting!

Angst and Art and Photography and Dangit

You know when you have an idea that has a lot of potential but it just doesn’t work out as perfectly as you hoped? Well, it sucks. But whatever, I got four images out of it and four is my lucky number so take that universe.

I wanted to double exposure all of the landmarks in Paris with famous works of art housed in Paris museums. But, the sky was overcast all weekend, which is NOT good for trying to make a double exposure. I should have stopped down more.

Well, I know for next time. C’est la vie.

I’m totally getting a kick out of the Mona Lisa/Liberty Leading the People one. Liberty is trying to lead all the tourists away so I can have a private viewing! I really lucked out with the Eiffel Tower at night with Starry Night Over the Rhone– it doesn’t get any better than that, my friends.

Well, that’s it. Pretty odd, having these shorter posts after having weeks of long rants. I feel like I need to write more and fill up space- is it working? Am I doing this right? Have I taken up enough space now for this to look like an acceptable post?

Happy Shooting.

 

Paris in a Single Post

I’m back in London now, and I’m pretty sure I left my feet in Paris.

Saturday was quite the memorable day. We went to the Musée d’Orsay, where I gave a kind of crash-course in art history to my friends. They probably knew a lot of what I was rambling about, but hey, that’s what friends are for, right? Last time I was in Paris I missed out on going to this wonderful museum, and I’m ecstatic I was able to go this time- I saw so many works of art that I had only read about or see in textbooks. I saw Van Gogh, Degas, Seurat, Monet, Manet, Gauguin… I actually teared up when I was staring at Van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone.

This may be a photography blog, but hey, I’m still an art student.

After we finished being completely overwhelmed at the Musée d’Orsay, we went to Musée Rodin to see Le Penseur. We frolicked in the gardens for about twenty minutes before embarking on our next journey to the Champs-Élysées. I forgot how deceptively long of a street that was.

So, if you’re wondering why I haven’t broken this post up with a ton of pictures yet… See, here’s the thing: I kind of forgot I had a digital camera. Yes, that’s right- forgot. Instead I took a lot of pictures with my Minolta and other various cameras… So, I mean, there will be pictures of these adventures, just not yet.

ANYWAY. We saw the Arc de Triomphe up close and personal, and then off to the Eiffel Tower we went. Which was also a deceptively long walk.

Our feet were hurting pretty badly, probably due to the massive amount of walking we did the day before at Versailles and how we literally traversed the city that day. We learned that things on the map aren’t as close as they seem- which is the opposite case in London.

So, that day ended when my friend’s feet started bleeding through her socks. We all figured our feet had had enough and went back to the hostel for the night. And, we saw a rat on the way- awesome!

The next day we took it slow and easy. We went to the Eiffel Tower in the morning and then went to church at the American Church in the afternoon, which was nice because everything was in English. The church was beautiful and the people friendly and the worship great. It was a nice vacation from Paris- we were kind of mad at it, honestly, after the pain we went through the day before.

We went back to the Louvre so we could go see the Mona Lisa, and I gave a rushed art history tour for my friend, since the museum was closing in like 45 minutes. We went through the Italian Renaissance Galleries, the Greek and Roman Galleries, and the Ancient Egypt Galleries. I had a field day.

The evening was the most memorable one of my trip so far. My friends and I sat under the Eiffel Tower and shared a small bottle of wine. I ate a beignet chocolat (I could live off of those things,) and enjoyed the Paris night. That was why it was so great- I really felt that I was in Paris. The evening ended with a crêpe au fromage and a hike back to our hostel- I saw two rats that time- double awesome!

Dat slow shutter speed- if you’re tired of taking ordinary pictures of landmarks, I highly suggest you give this a shot (hahaha pun.) You can also try zooming in and out with your lens for other effects!

This post is getting pretty long, but I must continue with what happened today. We went to the Sacre-Coeur, Montmartre, and the Moulin Rouge. After eating lunch at the cafe that was in the film Amélie, we went to Notre Dame- my absolute favorite place in this entire world. We hiked to the top and enjoyed the best view in Paris, then went inside.

I love Notre Dame. There isn’t a place in this world that fills me with so much joy and solace and contemplation all at once.

So, yeah, that was my weekend in Paris. If you read all of that- great! Awesome! You’re the best!

Here, have a planet:

Happy Shooting!