Archive for mars, 2010

Street photography spots II : Bir-Hakeim Bridge

mercredi, mars 31st, 2010

The second article of this weekly series leads us to the XVIth arrondissement where lays the majestic Bir-Hakeim bridge.

Paris has very few open air metro lines. Yet, line #6 magically surges from underground at the Passy Station and crosses the Seine over the Bir-Hakeim Bridge. You will find shot opportunities right under the metro line as a never ending colonnade sustains the rails and creates very graphic scenes over the Seine. Your wide angles will be at full ease there. At the middle of the bridge, a stairs brings you down to Les Cygnes Island where a promenade with views on docked barges and high rises will lead you all the way to a Statue of Liberty replica. Lone wanderers, joggers, couples will be your main subjects there. Also if you are keen on a few shots of barges and their dwellers, great scenes to compose with are located just under the Bir Hakeim bridge Obviously, some patience will be needed to see them appear and vacate to their daily activities.

On the North West side of the bridge, escalators lead to the Passy Station where you can shoot travellers getting in and out of the metro with fantastic backgrounds. Do not hesitate to carry on your way to the street going up from the Passy Station. Then by taking a right into Rue Raynouard, you will be led to a place with enormous billboards hanging from buildings, great for some Parisian pop art shots (obviously depending on the ads of the week).

On the East side of the bridge, the suspended rails go on for a few blocks and create a great atmosphere with characters suddenly appearing from one side or the other of the path. Finally, walk all the way to the corner of rue du Commerce and you’ll find yourself in a spot mixing the best of Chicago and Paris. There you’ll have opportunities for dynamic  shots where you can mix walker by’s, trains and cars in a spectacular setting.


Pictures  type  : Isolated wanderers, graphic compositions, views over the Seine and Eiffel Tower, metro station frenzy.

Lens chosen    : 24 or 75mm

Favorite spot    : Over the Bir Hakeim Bridge.

When to go      : Sunset for great light and shadows play.

Must go           : see the view over the Passy metro station

Metro station   : Passy


Map of area   (red showing the streets I like to hang around)




Sample shots  (click on picture to enlarge) 









Fangio Mummy

mardi, mars 30th, 2010

When  mummy accelerates on Les Champs-Elysées, better have a good grip on her.  (click on picture to enlarge)


Leica M9 with 60mm Hexanon at F1.2, 1/2000, ISO160

Place Colette

lundi, mars 29th, 2010

Warmer winds, lighter rains, a coffee and chat during a sunny spell. Spring is back, Paris blossoms.  (click on picture to enlarge)


Leica M9 with 60mm Hexanon at F5.6, 1/90, ISO1000

Will you still love me tomorrow ?

dimanche, mars 28th, 2010

Given the sweet look, he most apparently did.  (click on picture to enlarge)
Leica M9 with 60mm Hexanon at F1.2, 1/250, ISO160

All that glitters is not gold

samedi, mars 27th, 2010

Well, go explain that to the thousands shoppers invading les Champs-Elysées on a sunny day (click on picture to enlarge)


Leica M9 with 60mm Hexanon at F1.2, 1/2000, ISO160, ND filter

Ladies don’t enter bars alone

vendredi, mars 26th, 2010

Well, probably decades ago, but still seems someone is going to be in trouble.  (click on picture to enlarge)


Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/1000, ISO1000

Two pairs of ears

jeudi, mars 25th, 2010

The first pair of ears is easy to spot, can you find the second one ?  (click on picture to enlarge)
Leica M9 with 60mm Hexanon at F5.6, 1/90, ISO1000

Street photography spots I : Le Marais

mercredi, mars 24th, 2010

Planning to visit Paris and don’t know where to start with some street photography ?

Here is a new series on my favorite spots for street photography. It is by no means destined to be a comprehensive guide, but comments and recommendations based on my personal preferences. I plan to cover one spot per week and it should get us to the summer. This series will start by Le Marais, a neighbourhood located in the very center of the city.

Le Marais is one of the few places in Paris where you’ll find tiny streets typical of European medieval cities. Once a moor, the area is now home to many communities (Chinese, Jewish, homosexual, artists) that have transformed it into one of the most cosmopolitan and trendy part of town.  Be it late at night when shadows appear and vanish in the dimly lit streets, or on weekends when shoppers come in search the latest clothing, Le Marais has shot opportunities in every corner.  And you’ll always find inspiring people to include in front of wonderful backgrounds such as old stone buildings, restaurant terraces, trendy shops or crowded streets.

Pictures  type  : glamour, trendy, street portraits, night ambience
Preferred lens : 24 or 35mm
Favorite spot    :  Rue Vieille du Temple
When to go      :  weekends, night
Must go          :  Le Marché des Enfants Rouges, a great open air food market full of great shots opportunities
Metro station   :  Saint-Paul

Map of area   (red showing the streets I like to hang around)

Sample shots  (click on picture to enlarge)






mardi, mars 23rd, 2010

Always wondered how waiters somehow find a way not to drop the stuff on their trays. I wonder what would have happened in this occurence if the tray had been full of drinks as something (someone … ) seemed to have caught all of his attention (click on picture to enlarge)


Leica M9 with 75mm Summicron at F2, 1/2000, ISO160

Women love uniforms

lundi, mars 22nd, 2010

Uniforms do not seem to take away one’s shyness. (click on picture to enlarge)

Leica M9 with 24mm Elmarit at F5.6, 1/350, ISO160  (cropped)

Love of creativity

dimanche, mars 21st, 2010

When a bank advertises that they love creators, it seems to work.  (click on picture to enlarge)


Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F2, 1/500, ISO160

Election Day – blues vs reds

samedi, mars 20th, 2010

Tomorrow is election day as France renews their regional governments. Politics in France is easy : when the blues say black, the reds say white. When the reds say black, then the blues say white. Political parties leaders are only interested in taking power, so blues and reds never work together. Meanwhile groups of red or blue activists travel the streets, with the ingenuousness of those that believe that they can alter the unshakeable order of things.  (click on picture to enlarge)


Leica M9 with 60mm Hexanon at F2.8, 1/250, ISO160

« French people » defined

vendredi, mars 19th, 2010

I received an email today from a person surfing the net to find pictures of « French people ». After a while, it got me thinking about what defines pictures of « French people ». Are typical items such as a beret and a baguette needed to identify a Frenchman or could a simple portrait be enough ?

I don’t know, yet I am 99.9% sure that the picture below portrays a Frenchman. (obviously, the Arch of Triumph helps … but still).    (click on picture to enlarge)


Leica M9 with 60mm Hexanon at F1.2, 1/125, ISO1000

Road to the World Cup II

jeudi, mars 18th, 2010

It always starts with scooter rides and a few balls kicked against the neighbours garage door. Eventually, one will make it and proudly represent his country wearing the blue jersey.  (click on picture to enlarge)


Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/500, ISO160

Crossing paths

mercredi, mars 17th, 2010

A girl wandering with her dog, a boy peeping at the latest magazinse. How many stories start on the border of a street, waiting for the light to turn green ?  (click on picture to enlarg)


Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/90, ISO1000

Michelangelo Grounded

mardi, mars 16th, 2010

Some centuries ago, ceilings were painted for the Eternity. Nowadays, grounds are sketched for a few hours and euros.  (click on picture to enlarge)


Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/250, ISO160


lundi, mars 15th, 2010

Isn’t it when we are connected, that we are in fact, disconnected ? (click on picture to enlarge)
Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/250, ISO800

C’était un rendez-vous

dimanche, mars 14th, 2010

« C’était un rendez-vous » (« It was a date ») is a 1978 short film by famous film maker Claude Lelouch. It features a sports car full speed run within Paris as a man attempts desperately  to arrive on time for a date at the Sacré-Coeur. The film was shot illegally in the early hours of the morning with only a pair of assistants trying to secure a few crossroads. Luckily, and despite a few near misses, nobody got hurt and the movie has now become a classic.  You can vision it by clicking HERE.   As for the shot below, well this Sunday driver was hardly over 20 km/h as he turned in the Champs-Elysées. (click on picture to enlarge)


Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/2000, ISO160

Mirror, mirror, who is the most beautiful ?

samedi, mars 13th, 2010

Nothing lasts forever. Be it the menu of the day or be it youth, it all has to vanish at some point.  (click on picture to enlarge)


Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/180, ISO160

The art dentist

vendredi, mars 12th, 2010

When a man brandishes pincers, even a piece of work gets scared for its teeth. (click on picture to enlarge)


Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/180, ISO160