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Category: Travel (page 2 of 43)

Paris Street Photography

According to Wikipedia, Street Photography – which is not always shot in the street, but which is nearly always black & white – has its roots in Paris. What better place then, to try to master the craft? Luckily, my new Fuji x100T may be the best camera available for the genre. It’s perfect because it’s small, fast and completely silent.

Street photographers in the past chose black and white film due to its greater light sensitivity. This allowed them to stop motion blur. Today’s digital cameras with their super-fast lenses and sensors are well-suited to freezing motion. I chose shutter priority at about 1/500th of a second for most of these.

Focusing is a bit trickier. I am usually not looking through the viewfinder when I make these shots. Instead, I carry the camera at or even below my waist and pretend to be fiddling with it, while in fact I’m snapping pictures as fast as I can. I thought that maybe I should try a fixed focus distance – say ten feet – and shoot everything from that distance, but this proved to be difficult and produced a lot of blurry shots. It’s easier to let the camera (attempt to) autofocus. Naturally, when you or your subject are on the move, you will still get plenty of out-of-focus shots, but occasionally, you’ll achieve something wonderful.

Yes, shooting this way is a bit random, and you could argue that there is little skill required to make shots this way. That’s mostly true. The thing is though, that shooting “from the hip” can result in images which are more interesting and more emotional than shots of the same old architectural and landscape subjects. This is especially true these days, when virtually every square inch of the planet has been photographed by someone with far more talent and much better hardware on that one day when the light was just perfect.

Christmas Day in Paris

Day Six

It’s Christmas! The timing of the day’s activities was perfect, as we arrived at Notre Dame during a gorgeous Christmas mass. Aside from the mass, the day felt pretty much like any other. None of the usual Christmas misery. Just fun exploring new places. What a great day!

In the afternoon, we strolled through the Latin Quarter with a tour group from the ship.

A reminder that you can view all of the images and videos from our trip by clicking here.

Auvers Sur Oise

Day Five

We visited the last home of Vincent Van Gogh, and stood on the very spot where several of his paintings were made. We learned that he made more than 70 paintings in the last 70 days of his unhappy life.

We also got our first glimpse of the sun today, which lasted about 30 minutes.

Les Andelys

Day Four

Les Andelys is a town of 9000 people 60 miles from Paris, which makes it close enough to be considered a suburb. Much of the population commutes from here to Paris. Naturally the town has a large church named Notre Dame where we enjoyed a beautiful organ concert.


Day Three

Our third day finds us in the unpronounceable city of Rouen. Eighteen year old Joan of Arc was burned alive here. A chapel was erected in the 1970’s near the exact spot of her death.

This prosperous city of 107,000 people and 70 church steeples is also home to many wooden and stone structures dating to the 16th century. I find it amazing that wood can survive this long, but here it is in all it’s bent and bulging glory.

Charming streets lined with very old structures. Formerly a burial ground, now an art school.
Not sure what this ad is about, but we saw several of these. This gate surrounding a the Rouen Courthouse means business.
The aptly named Big Clock. Check out the lean on the building to the right!
Tiny reminder that Christmas is coming. Just a bit of cool Christmas decoration.
The view of a few of the 70-odd steeples from the Wonder Wheel. That's St. Joan of Arc Chapel in the left foreground. Lots of folks smoke cigarettes.
Today's geometry lesson. A 670-year-old restaurant serves amazing apple tart.

A reminder that you can view all of the images and videos from our trip by clicking here.

While viewing the Google+ Album, you may find it interesting to click on Photo Details to the right. Most of my images are geotagged with their more-or-less precise location. You can also view the camera’s EXIF info. Also note that you can zoom any image by rolling your mouse wheel or equivalent. Another very nice way to view images on Google Plus is to select Slideshow at the top of the screen. Enjoy!

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