Summertime in Paris 2013 (Part 2)

Parisian Policeman

Paris Memories….

Following on from the trip to Paris, the club needed a platform to exhibit and share their photos and their Paris memories. Offaly County Council (Arts Section) allowed a time frame to display in the Atrium in Tullamore. A lot of work went into selecting which photos would make it to Framed Print. Alex asked each member to select their favourite photo and to write a narrative or story about the photo – this would allow the viewing public to share the experience of the members.
Here we have a collection of their stories.

‘Skyscrapper’ by Alex Aubin

For me,in Paris, the Eiffel Tower is the best part of the landscape. It’s nonsense to climb to the top and photograph Paris without her. The club members were based in the south west of the city away from the main monuments, except the black spot in the city of lights, a dark side of romanticism, an awful building: the Montparnasse tower, a seventies business skyscraper. So the perfect location for MY shot.
A dramatic sky, bright summer light, shadows moving on the buildings – the 360 degrees panoramic view includes the south (where my family live) – the north has Montmatre and the Sacre Coeur – the east has the left bank of the University & all the Churches with a forest of steeples and the west has the Eiffel Tower – a great moment.
I use a tripod and select ISO 100 for quality and aperture of F22 to have the most depth of field. The air is clear because of the rain and the city is covered with drops of rain instead of dust.I do my composition with the rule of thirds – Say Cheese lady!
Sunday is going home day and so many photos to take on the plane. For me in Paris, the Eiffel Tower is the Icon of the city so this is my choice for favourite photograph of my home town.

‘The Tree Roof’ by Ann Sheerin

I was delighted that the hotel the club were staying in was directly across from the Jardin des Plantes. This is the main Botanical garden in France and was founded in 1626. Each morning before we set off on our travels, I would spend at least an hour exploring the diverse displays on view in this great facility.
There is a huge display of horticultural decorative plants, an alpine garden, a small zoo, specialised buildings such as Mexican and Australian hot houses and the Rose garden with hundreds of species on display.
I had discovered a haven of peace and tranquility in this very busy metropolis. My favourite place was one of the two rather long avenues of trees which provided a fabulous roof for those Parisiennes (and tourists) who enjoyed their early morning constitution. The angle of the tree avenue, the contrast of the jogger in the orange top against the natural colours and school children relaxing at the end of the week, had caught my eye. This photo captures a relaxed scene which is hard to credit is in the centre of a very busy Paris on the weekend of the music festival.

‘The Policeman’ by Dominic Guinan

Although it is frowned upon, I enjoy taking photos of people who are unaware and are not posing. This photo was shot in the main courtyard at the Louvre Gallery in Paris.
I had just seen the most unhappy boy you could imagine with his family who obviously had recently visited Eurodisney. The sullen boy was sporting a Seven Dwarfs sweatshirt bearing the legend GRUMPY! However I missed the shot and the family disappeared.
Disappointed, I turned around and saw this policeman on duty speaking to some colleagues. I caught his eye and he acknowledged that I could take a photo. In this world famous art gallery, nothing could contrast more with the Mona Lisa and her treasures within its walls than the trinkets hanging on the handlebars that the policeman had obviously taken from a street trader. I liked the contrast between the dark hues of the uniform and the garish colours of the souvenirs.
The presence of the policeman reminds us that not all visitors to the Louvre are are tourists – for many it is a place of work and for some it is an opportunity for crime. And it is reassuring that his mode of transport will guarantee a speedy response in the bustling city in the streets outside. In the background the visitors can be seen enjoying the square in safety. I think that the man has an imposing presence, note his safety gear, his short wave radio and other equipment.
And there is always something about someone wearing a uniform!

‘Sanctuary’ by Brendan Beaudelot

Having visited France many times, this was only my second visit to Paris. It is a city of many contrasts and cultures. Our first day brought us to the Fontaine Medicis au Jardin du Luxembourg. The city has a long history of art and excess, its no surprise to come across this gem. Tucked away in a park where only a few passers-by know that there are tables and chairs beside this area of tranquility. Ideal for sitting with friends, enjoying a bottle or two of Bordeaux on a warm summer’s eve.

I was walking in the park and having passed a young couple enthralled in each others company and then this fountain appeared through the trees. The long pond leading up to the statuette and the canopy of trees made an ideal frame for the shot.

It was a monumental task choosing just one photo from the many taken on this glorious weekend. The group from the club and the wonderful city made it a weekend to remember. This print reminds me of that ambiance. Sanctuary.

‘Are you looking at me?’ by Philomena Brady

That Saturday morning, while the Camera Club members made their way to the Centre d’art et Cultures Georges Pompidou building, I was making time to meet a friend from Facebook. Having met for the first time, face to face, we adjourned for a coffee by the hotel and enjoyed a wonderful chat and I learned a little more about this fabulous city.

Following our coffee, she kindly helped me travel across the city on the metro to catch up my camera club friends. The Georges Pompidou building is a place for street entertainers and performers amalgamate and practice their trade. While walking across the plaza, I spied the colourful outfit of the clown. He was engrossed in entertaining the children with his antics with the balloons. I took numerous photos to try and capture his many expressions. My photographic efforts caught his attention and we had a momentary standoff! I smiled then he smiled and the world was good again.

This photo epitomises the colourfulness and the friendliness of Paris and her inhabitants.


Keep an eye out for Part 3 of our Paris blog series……..


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