Friday, 1 June 2012

Paris, France

My wife and I recently spent a couple of weeks backpacking across much of Western Europe.  One of my recent posts, the one on Bardonecchia, was from that backpacking trip.  This post will also be from that trip.  In fact, many of my posts will be from that trip.  Many places were visited and many photos were taken.  This is just one city from that trek across much of Western Europe...Paris.

The main thing I was excited to see when we first set foot in that lively French city was the Eiffel Tower.  My wife, on the other hand, wasn't nearly as interested.  For myself, I felt that it was a good chunk of what I knew of Paris.  My wife, again, on the other hand, knew a decent amount about the city and knew that there were tons of other wonderful things to see.  When we finally made our way to it, we were both awestruck.  It really was an impressive piece of architecture, symbolism, and art.  I spent a good amount of time photographing it and with the exception of one other area right by the tower, the entirety of my Paris tilt-shifting took place on it.

A little bit of France Romance

a towering wide-angle perspective

a tilt-shifted series of pieces of the tower

a tilt-shifted silhouette shot

the classic miniature effect one can get from the tilt-shift lenses (also the background on this site)

And last of the Eiffel Tower shots...a photo of the tower framed by the pillars of the Peace Memorial.

The Peace Memorial is the only other thing I shot with my tilt-shift lens.  Here it is.  The memorial is made up of 32 of these columns covered with the word for "peace" in 32 different languages.

We went to the Louvre on our first evening in Paris.  It itself is a beautiful thing, but of course the things that can be found within are just as beautiful, if not more so...

Can't go wrong with a sphinx...

Can't miss the "Venus de Milo" ...

...and best of all, a painting of Bill Murray as Steve Zissou from The Life Aquatic (middle, back).  I guess that's Wes Anderson in the front? 

No trip to The Louvre is complete without checking out the Mona Lisa.  We visited her and got to feel extremely privileged to see such a famous and incredible painting, but trying to get a decent photo of her with the insane crowds pushing in on all sides was impossible.  So I resolved myself to actually look at the thing in front of me for opposed to just seeing it through a viewfinder.

Next on the list was Notre Dame.'s difficult to decide which is more impressive, the inside or the outside.

We then roamed around the city, stopping whenever we happened upon something interesting.  Shakespeare and Co. was on our list of things to see.  There was no way we were going to miss it.  Again, the crowds that can be found at any famous location tried to thwart our entry and attempts at browsing.  They did not succeed.

The Bouquinistes and their bookstalls along the Seine were much less crowded, making browsing much easier.  These have been functioning since the 16th century, giving the Seine the reputation as "the only river in the world that runs between two bookshelves."

Look closely.  This guy doesn't think one cigarette is enough.

Not too far from the homeless man and his extra cigarette is the "love bridge/lock bridge/love padlocks."  Here couples will inscribe their initials on a lock, fasten the lock to the bridge, and toss the key in the Seine.  Random people make a fortune by purchasing wholesale lots of locks for next to nothing and then standing next to the bridge with them...selling each for 5 euro.

Close to the bridge you can find some nice romantic graffiti.  A scene from "Pierrot Le Fou" has been immortalized in black paint on a long as no one goes at it with some white paint.

 I like the negative space on this one.

And last but not least...
We weren't the only ones coming to Paris for some good old fashioned sight-seeing.

...and that is the Eiffel Tower tilt-shifted.  Plus some regular photos of Paris.

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