Archive for mai, 2009

Wifi Hacker ?

lundi, mai 11th, 2009

I found this girl almost hidden in the shadows of the pillars supporting the Pompidou center. Was she taking advantage of an open connection coming from the center ? Not sure, though her expression showed that « I have been caught » kind of look … ;)

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Leica M8 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, ISO160

Service any time

dimanche, mai 10th, 2009

This scene was shot this afternoon next to the Place Vendôme where this elegantly dressed gentleman was sitting patiently. Was the service offered a nice conversation around a cup of tea  ?

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Sigma DP2 at F4, ISO200

Sigma DP2 samples

samedi, mai 9th, 2009

This new camera seems to be generating a lot of interest, so for those who are contemplating a possible buy, here are a few more samples. Especially shots close to wide-open to let you judge of the quality of the lens

Sample one :  F2.8, ISO 200

Sample two :  F4.0, ISO 400

Sample three : F5.6, ISO 100 (for bokeh)

Sample four : F2.8, ISO 800 (night shot)

Sample five : F2.8, ISO 200  (click on picture below to enlarge)

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Old times

samedi, mai 9th, 2009

An old lady stares at the rails of the metro while the young singer Berry looks up with a mischievous laugh.  A life behind, a life in front, part II.   (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 90mm Summicron at F2.8, ISO640

Contrasts on the Avenue

vendredi, mai 8th, 2009

One would not guess that this scene happened today on one of the most famous Avenue in the World. Indeed, this shot was taken on Les Champs-Elysées where  the rich mixes with the poor, the fashion world with urban street art and rap music with Dali.       (click on picture to enlarge)

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Sigma DP2 at F5.6, ISO400

Love Paris … but spend money

jeudi, mai 7th, 2009

There are two kind of T-shirt that you will see a lot in Paris this year. « I love NY » and « I love Paris » (which is kind of normal here). Obviously a good business for the owners of tourists stands. If you ever stumble on this girl on New York’s 5th Avenue wearing proudly her « I love Paris » shirt, take a picture and send it to me.  ;)     (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 35mm Lux Asph at F1.4, ISO160

Sigma DP2 has arrived

mercredi, mai 6th, 2009

The DP1 was the first compact camera with a digital reflex sensor type. Though the concept was innovative, the camera had some quirks that made it  inadecuate for street photography. Eighteen months later, Sigma just launched the DP2 which showcases a lot of improvements such as a faster lens (F2.8) and a focal lenght of 24mm (that corresponds to 41mm on a full frame). Advertised were also several improved menu features, more responsiveness and better ergonomy. So I fell and was lucky to get one of the very few that were shipped to France this week. I will come back on my impressions in a next article and compare image quality to the Leica M8 but meanwhile, here is what I believe to be the first picture of the Arch of Triumph ever taken by a Sigma DP2 …. ;)    Thousands by happy tourists will certainly follow in the coming years …      (click on picture to enlarge)

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Sigma DP2, 24mm at F2.8, ISO800

Note that the camera was bought at L’Instantané, a small camera shop with an owner passionate about his job with great customer service. He was very helpful and is a great Sigma specialist. So if you are in Paris, do not hesitate to visit him, he also sells Pentax, Ricoh and other brands. His address :

L’Instantané
40, Bd de Beaumarchais
75011 PARIS
Téléphone : +33 (0) 1.43.55.02.32
The owner’s name is Marcel

A few notes under the Tower

mardi, mai 5th, 2009

A few meters away from the Eiffel Tower was sitting this girl, quietly taking some notes. Was she writing a poem, a philosophy essay or simply preparing the next day’s test ? Who knows, but by the look in her eyes, she was deeply absorbed in her task.    (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, ISO160

The Endless Round of the Tenacious

lundi, mai 4th, 2009

Today ended the « Endless Round of the Tenacious ». Led by university professors, this walk took place in front of the town house for the last 1000 hours non stop. The goal was to protest against the government reforms of the university system which faces strong resistance from the student body and faculty members. So be it that girl walking with a colored flag or these students taking a small rest in front of the numerous slogans, all seemed to put a lot of heart and … calories in this record demonstration.      (click on pictures to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 24mm Elmarit at F2.8, ISO160

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Leica M8 with 35mm Summicron at F5.6, ISO160

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Focals

dimanche, mai 3rd, 2009

The main difference between a rangefinder  (such as the Leica M8) and a common reflex camera is the fact that rangefinders do not have zoom lenses. It means the photographer need to carefully select the lens he will use depending on the scene he is going to photograph. I will leave the debate on pros and cons of both systems for a future post, as my intend today is to illustrate the impact of the choice of focal on a given scene. In my case, I use mainly three focals, that is 24, 35 and 90mm (I sometimes add a 50mm). As the Leica M8 has a smaller sensor than the standard 24 x 36, the focal needs to be multiplied by 1.33 to get the equivalent. Therefore, these 3 lenses correspond on film to roughly 35mm, 50mm and 120mm or in technical terms; a wide-angle, a standard lens and a tele. Let’s look at the impact of the choice of focal on a landscape scene.         (click on pictures to enlarge)

24mm Elmarit : the wide angle lens permits to incorporate a background (classic Parisian building), the roofs of Paris, the Eiffel Tower and the sky with heavy clouds. The importance of each elements are pretty well balanced.

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35mm Summilux : this standard lens shortens the field of view and the foreground building can no longer be seen. The clouds are also less present yet, the darker ones give an impression of heavy cast on the city. Together with the foreground roof, they create a tonal circle that centers the subject on the tower and the two main buildings.

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50mm Summicron : this is a focal I use seldom as  I find it either too similar to the 35mm or not long enough such as the 90mm. On this picture, it is unclear which is the main subject besides the Tower. Clouds can only be seen partly, the building on the left is half cut and the foreground roof only shows its chemineys. The building with the many windows on the right seem to take over the attention but with no real meaning.

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90mm Summicron : the 120mm equivalent on the M8 give a tremendous « compression » ability. Meaning that several planes can be brought in one flat surface, giving the impression that all subjects are at the same distance. In this case, it basically compresses four planes; that is the building with the many windows, the top of the church and surrounding buildings, the Eiffel Tower and the clouds in the background. Yet it does not create an interesting compression as the Tower stands outs.

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In my opinion, the 24mm shot is the most balanced closely followed by the 35mm, but it is a matter of taste and why photographers choose different standard focals to express their own perception of a scene. Also, I almost used the same central point on each picture so it disadvantages the longer lenses that depend especially on sound composition. In a next article, I will reiterate this exercise but allowing for recomposition. It will probably have a large impact on each focal’s rendering of the scene.

Around Europe

samedi, mai 2nd, 2009

I have added a new page to my blog : Around Europe. I will post there pictures or slide-shows of other cities across Europe. The first series will be about Barcelona which in many ways resembles to Paris. Indeed, its large streets, classic buildings, avant-guardist art and a certain glamour make it in my opinion the closet cousin of Paris.

You can read the article and visualize the sound slides by going to the Around Europe page.

Lily (Lilies) of the Valley

vendredi, mai 1st, 2009

On the 1st of May, people will give Lily of the Valley to bring one year of luck to friends and family. This tradition dates back to 1561 when King Charles X decided to give these tiny flowers to all the Ladies of the court, it has been perpetuated since then. Now young people have taken over the royal task and sell the flowers all over the city in joy or … boredom.     (click on pictures to enlarge)

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Both pictures taken with Leica M8, 35mm Lux Asph at 1.4, ISO160