During a brief layover in Paris recently I hit the streets with my iPhone and a Sony RX100M6 to see what I might see. Here are a few from a couple of hours on the street.
This year I repeated the exercise – heading back to the City of Light for another superb week of street photography. Valérie is a superb workshop leader – and my photo buddy Doug Kaye was also signed up to go. I couldn’t resist flying back to Paris for a week on the streets in late September!
The weather was ideal – one rainy morning but otherwise spectacular fall days with beautiful light and the lower sun angle that this time of year provides such niche light/shadow contrasts.
I traveled light – shooting with my Fujifilm X100T and the even smaller Fujifilm X70 – both are superb cameras for street photography.
Below are a few of my favorites from the trip – you’ll find even more here in this Flick set. Enjoy!
I was looking back through my Paris 2014 photos last night and came across this image of Tour Saint-Jacques in Paris. Our small group spent about 30 minutes exploring the small park adjacent to the tower – capturing some wonderful people shots.
This 52-metre (171 ft) Flamboyant Gothic tower is all that remains of the former 16th-century Church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie (“Saint James of the butchery”), which was demolished in 1797, during the French Revolution, – like many other churches, leaving only the tower.
I was shooting with my Fujifilm X-T1 with the 18-135 mm zoom – and shot this at about 96 mm (roughly 144 mm in terms of full frame equivalent. I love the white background with just a touch of sky breaking through on the left to add some visual interest. Sort of along the lines of other “white seamless” backgrounds – which work well with this kind of extreme architectural photography.
Last fall, I attended a wonderful street photography workshop in Paris led by Valérie Jardin. On one of our morning walks, there had been a bit of rain overnight which provided a lovely sheen to the streets. By mid-day, it was gone and the day turned sunny and bright. Turned out to be one of the gifts – a morning after the rain with the payment still wet and the skies beginning to clear.
Last night I revisited this image to post-process it again. I’ve recently subscribed to Lynda.com and yesterday watched one of the courses about Photoshop taught by Adobe’s Bryan O’Neil Hughes in which he revisited many old techniques and brought to light new and better ways to do things. As I watched his lessons, I was using this image as my test case. One of the points he stresses is using a non-destructive workflow in Photoshop – something I’ve not been doing but will certainly make much more use of in the future. With this image, I’ve got all of the layers saved in the TIFF file which is now in Lightroom. At some point in the future, I’ll come back to it – and continue a bit more post-processing doing some dodging and burning through luminosity masks.
I’m having fun revisiting Paris as I post-process this particular image. It was a quick “grab shot” at the time I took it – as I had fallen behind our group and was trying to catch up. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky – this was one of those times!
I’ve been having fun going back through some of my images from a year or two ago – including the images I shot in Paris last October.
Here are two examples – of the Paris skyline shot from the Pompidou Center – and processed a bit differently to get to monochrome.
Thanks to Valérie Jardin for her beautiful Paris workshop!
Last fall, I attended a beautiful photography workshop in Paris led by Valérie Jardin. For some reason unknown to me, I decided to take a look back at those images today – and ended up reprocessing several of them.
I love the post-processing of images – brings me back to where I was when the image was made. Wonderful!
Earlier this week I listened to Valérie Jardin’s Street Focus podcast with her interview of Gail Albert Halaban, author of Paris Views. Valérie’s weekly podcast is one of my favorites in the photography genre – and this episode was extra special as the two of them explored Gail’s work shooting neighborhood scenes – into neighbor’s windows – with Gail shooting with the permission of both sides. After listening to the podcast, I checked out Gail’s website and some of her other work.
After listening and then looking at Gail’s work, I checked out Gail’s website and some of her other work and then ordered a copy of Paris Views – which arrived today. It’s a stunner!
I’ve bought a lot of photography books over the last few years – but this one was different. All too often, I flip through the pages quickly – just scanning for interesting composition, light, gesture – and put the book away for future reference.
With Paris Views, I slowed down – each of her images makes you just want to see and explore the details. The book is beautifully printed by her publisher Aperture and you find yourself just wanting to spend time – taking the time to see what she’s captured.
Gail’s created a wonderful body of work with Paris Views – and a beautiful book with wonderful views with the light, textures, and people of Paris.
Gail’s new project is called “Meet Your Neighbor” – she writes: “I photograph from one window to another with the consent of both parties. I am doing this all over the world.” Maybe you’d like to participate?
If you want to explore Paris street photography, I highly recommend spending a week on the streets of Paris with Valérie. I spent a very special week with her and a great group of colleagues last fall – doesn’t get much better! Here’s my album of images from that trip. Check out her Paris workshop schedule.
We were in the Jewish Quarter in Paris – having had lunch at the falafel place I headed out for some solo shooting.
This is classic street photography “stage” shot – you find an great background and wait for someone interesting to fill the frame. In this case, the colors just worked – the red collar and the blue cap against all of this beige/brown.
It helps to capture the arms and legs at just the right spot – that’s mostly luck and, maybe, just a bit of skill.
I shot this with my tiny Canon PowerShot S100 – had it on my belt as my secondary camera while I was in Paris.
Sometimes you see something and just feel it might get interesting. Part of the fun of street photography.
I saw the cook doing his thing through the window – I liked the framing of the soft drink cans along the bottom – and then this guy walked into the frame from the right – adding a new layer to this already interesting story – at the time of the cook’s glance my way.
Sometimes you get lucky…
I think it was James Taylor who penned “the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.”
I love getting out on the streets with my camera in a beautiful city – like Paris in this case – and just watching, looking for beautiful light and people enjoying life.
Here’s an example – shot with my Fujifilm X100S. Happy hour! Savor every moment!