Musings of a Weary Traveller

I took a Fuji Instax Wide camera with me to London with two projects in mind: the project with the photos within photos (which I’m still editing- I seriously have like 20 left,) and the one I’m about to show you.

I found this travel photo diary at a thrift store, and the gears clicked into place. Before this discovery, I was anticipating just using the instant photos for the above mentioned project and then put them in a box somewhere. But, the album inspired this series instead.

I was initially going to say that the dialogue comes from an anonymous character I made up, but really I just sat around, brooding over something deep to say. Some of these things I thought while I was experiencing the scene. Others, I just tried to remember what it was like and what kinds of thoughts could be spurred from it. Each image and phrase across from it is connected- in some, the parallel is apparent, while in others… not so much.

I still have a ridiculous amount handful of photos to edit from the trip, and I still have to mail some film off, so I’m not done yet! The semester has officially started, I have my first photography project, and I’m in the process of applying for grad schools and jobs. Here’s to a good rest of the year! It’s bound to be productive.

and, of course, Happy Shooting.

Every Photographer Needs Patient Friends

Gotta love that post-travel blues. Here are some more photos, this roll was shot at Versailles- the main reason why I brought my Natura on this trip with me. The rooms aren’t lit the best, so I figured a super light sensitive camera would do the trick. And I was right.

I also got some nice shots at the Musée d’Orsay and a few random places around Paris. And I think that statue with the “Hey! Look at this guy!” vibe goin’ on is from the Louvre. But I can’t remember but hey, lookin’ good dude!

Let me tell you how I have some really great friends right quick.

So we’re in Versailles, right? This is my second time there, and a couple of my friends are a little behind us, so we decide to set up a place to meet (the exit) in case we separated. I was anticipating being one of the first people done wandering, since I’ve been there before, so I kind of set up this plan thinking I was the responsible adult type and I would wait for the kids at the end should they get distracted by the pretty gilded ceilings and floral tapestries.

Ha.

They were waiting for me for a good 20 minutes at the end. That’s right- me. So, shout out to my friends who sat patiently while I stood in the Hall of Mirrors for fifteen minutes. Every photographer needs friends like these.

Happy Shooting!

Une journée à Versailles

Today is a good day. I got my prints and negatives from the shoot I did in the gardens at Versailles:

The first image was an accident. Whoops. The other two, not so much. My Voigtlander Brillant v6 did exactly what I wanted it to do, which was create a foggy, dreamlike effect. I think I found a good use for this camera.

Some unfortunate things did happen. I had two potentially AWESOME photographs, but… I somehow accidentally double exposed them? I have NO IDEA how I accomplished this on my ancient camera, but whatever. That’s why I shot in digital, too.

I tried emulating the dream-like effect that my medium format camera wielded, but I didn’t get close at all. I do like what I ended up with though- the feeling I wanted is still there.

Originally, this shoot was going to have at least six or seven girls in it, but plans got all mixed up and our group all didn’t end up going to Versailles on the same day. It was for the best though, because it was difficult enough arranging three girls in an unknown place- I can’t imagine trying to do that with six or seven girls! Though, hopefully one day I can get a chance.

So, yeah, another international shoot under my belt. I have one more set of photos I’m waiting on that features a model, so keep an eye out. Until then, you know what to do: 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!

Voyage à Paris

Well, I’m here again! It’s nice to be back in Paris- even if today was a bit of a successful cluster of a day.

We started out this morning at 6AM. We hopped on our train to France, where I fell asleep with my mouth hanging open and I drooled a little bit but hey I shouldn’t see any of those people on the train ever again. I really hope I never run into the conductor, because I tripped her on accident and if looks could kill I would not be typing this right now.

When we got into Paris we bought Metro passes and fought our way to our hostel. I mean, no punches were thrown but if the Metro system was a person, I don’t think I would hold back. I’m just spoiled by the tube, I guess, so even though the Metro is relatively easy to use, getting down to the trains is a nightmare. But yeah, we made it, the hostel is lovely, and we went to Versailles.

I was well prepared for Versailles this time. I brought my Natura Classica with me to help me out in the dimly lit apartments. I obviously don’t have those images quite yet (if only I had a pop-up developing tent like in the good ol’ days,) so the suspense that must be killing you right now will have to be endured. Also, my friends are great because they ended up waiting for me for about 20 minutes at the exit while I took my dandy little photography-driven time through the place. That’s love.

BUT THE BEST PART ABOUT TODay was the gardens.

Now, remember the last time I was in Paris, it was cold and it was the first week of April. There were no flowers. No fountains. It was pretty and all, but it wasn’t screaming HELLO YES WE ARE THE FAMOUS GARDENS OF VERSAILLES YOO HOO LOOK AT HOW PRETTY AND FLAMBOYANT WE ARE HOW ABOUT YOU GO FOR A STROLL AND MAYBE START A REVOLUTION OR SOMETHING?

All of that happened this time. Except the revolution.

My friends and I did a photo shoot in the gardens on my Voigtlander Brillant v6. So, once again, I have nothing to show you because I have to get those developed before I can show you. I’m pretty excited about them though, and if they turn out anything like my last batch from that camera, it’ll be revolutionary (see what I did there? do you see it?)

After toiling through the gardens for a few hours (my camera bag was back-breaking and it was hot and man those gardens don’t look so big from the Palace but when you’re suddenly at the end of the Grand Canal you may have some regrets I’m jussayin’,) we went back into Paris and decided to try getting to the Louvre before it closed. Well, that was a fail on 4 of 5 of our parts (kudos to Sarah for practically running across Central Paris in the name of art!) so instead we strolled along until we got to the Pyramids and soaked our feet in the fountains.

It was a lovely, busy day, and I’m looking forward to more adventures tomorrow. It’s wonderful to be back in the City of Light- let’s see what being around all this artistic inspiration does for my work!

À bientôt, and Happy Shooting!