Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Louisiana Belle

Samedi, janvier 22nd, 2011

If France had not sold Louisiana to the United States (for $15 millions …), would it still be French anyways nowadays ? Probably not, but maybe we would see more of these wonderful wheel boats on the Seine River (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M9 with 60mm Hexanon at F2.8, 1/350, ISO80

B movie in Poncelet

Vendredi, septembre 3rd, 2010

Ever wondered what a mix of Paris and the Bronx would look like ? A bit like a B movie from the eighties I suppose. Nevertheless this scene happened in Rue Poncelet, one of the most expensive market in Paris, and definitely a very peaceful one.  (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/4000, ISO200

Tradition & Fashion

Dimanche, août 29th, 2010

On Les Champs-Elysées, one must chose between tradition and fashion. The God of shopping is all powerful.  (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux at F1.4, 1/500, ISO200, ND filter

The age of reason

Vendredi, août 6th, 2010

This French movie featuring Sophie Marceau (L’age de raison) was released last week on the theme of adults entering a second step in their life (the forties I guess…). Maybe this man was also pondering over whether riding a powerful motorbike on Les Champs-Elysées is still within « the age of reason ».  (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F2.8, 1/500, ISO200

Suffering makes you greater

Lundi, juin 14th, 2010

A few friends climb the statue of  in Park Monceau. Sacrilege ? Maybe not as the following words are written on its base :

« Rien ne nous rend si grands qu’une grande douleur »  meaning « Nothing makes us greater than a great suffering ».  Looks like it was granted to him !

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Leica M9 with 75mm Summicron at F8, 1/3000, ISO160

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)

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

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)

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

The ghost of Isadora

Samedi, février 20th, 2010

Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929) was a prolific scupltor whose works you can admire a museum dedicated to him (Musée Bourdelle). One of his muse was Isadora Duncan, an American dancer who died tragically strangled by her own scarf . So when you look through the windows of Bourdelle’s original workshop, you can almost feel the presence of Isadora … and someday maybe even see her in her endless wanderings. (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M9 with 35mm Summicron IV at F2, 1/125, ISO320

Three in one

Samedi, février 13th, 2010

In France, most bakeries act also as pastry and candy shops (Boulangerie, Confiserie, Patisserie). Meaning, it is quite impossible to spend a day without a quick stop in one of them.  (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/125, ISO200

The subversion of images

Jeudi, janvier 7th, 2010

A gypsy woman plays an instrument in front of the Centre Pompidou, the temple of modern art. Can a picture including a banner on subversion be subversive ?   (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux at F4, 1/180, ISO500

The longest birthday

Vendredi, janvier 1st, 2010

The Eiffel Tower is 120 years old. Not bad for a structure that was not supposed to be dismantled after twenty years. To give it a proper celebration, a special lightning show made of 120′ooo bulbs was shown every night during the last three months. Last night was the last representation of that long birthday so thousands gathered for a last look and to welcome the New Year. Some even managed to get some intimitacy among the crowd.  (click on pictures to enlarge)

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

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Leica M9 with 35mm Lux Asph at F1.4, 1/15, ISO1000

The rap concert

Mardi, décembre 22nd, 2009

Diam’s is the most famous French female rapper, so when is featured at the Olympia concert Hall, it is not surprising to see ticket scalping start hours before at the gate.   (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/40, ISO640

La belle américaine

Lundi, novembre 2nd, 2009

This scene reminded me of the 1961 French movie starring  De Funès. Of course « La belle américaine » (The American Beauty) does not refer to a lady, but to a wonderful Cadillac which Funès acquires for a surprisingly low price. Eventually, he discovers that the car is loaded with gold and ends up chased by gangsters. In the case of this picture, the American taxi was parked in front of luxury hotel Crillon waiting for its own merchandise to be loaded, in this case … wealthy customers.  (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/500, ISO160

Vogue Exhibit

Dimanche, octobre 25th, 2009

During the month of October, an exhibit on the lower part of Les Champs-Elysées displays the best covers of 90 years of Vogue magazine. Looks like women already knew how to seduce decades ago.  (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 75mm Summicron at F4, 1/125, ISO640

The Eyes of the Seine

Dimanche, octobre 11th, 2009

« Les yeux de la Seine » is a large scale exhibit on the banks of the Seine River.  JR, the artist, has spread large printed clothes over the walls of the piers to represent a dozen  women eyes. Several expressions are displayed and it opens up a lot of creative composition as one integrates them in their surrounding. In this case, this eyes seem to completely freak out at the sight of a peaceful couple taking a rest by the river. Were they telling horror stories ? (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 60mm Hexanon at F5.6, 1/250, ISO160

European Patrimony Days

Dimanche, septembre 20th, 2009

This weekend took place this yearly event where citizens can visit any governmental buildings. This was also the case for President Sarkozy’s Palais de l’Elysée where thousands queued to discover the innards of power. While it was an openhouse day, it obviously did not mean visitors could freely enter any place of the Palace … Carla surely would probably not have appreciated.   (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 28mm Summicron at F2, 1/3000, ISO160

Né dans la rue (Born in the Street)

Lundi, août 31st, 2009

« Né dans la rue » is the name of a photography exhibit taking place at the Fondation Cartier in Paris until end of November. « Born in the street » refers to graffiti and street art as this exhibit shows the evolution of this art over the last thirty years through photographies and live graffitis.Yet, for a moment I was fooled as I initially believed this exhibit showed pictures of kids « born in the streets ». Maybe my brain was tricked by the association of this sister in a bus and the charity of Mother Teresa.  (click on picture to enlarge)
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Leica M8 with 24mm Elmarit at F2.8, 1/350, ISO160

High Tech Monks

Jeudi, août 6th, 2009

Most Europeans that visit the Asian countries return with a picture of monks in temple, such a classic shot. Therefore when I see these two monks with their high tech camcorders, I wondered about which classic picture/scene from Paris they will bring back to their country. A man wearing a beret with a freshly baked baguette under his arm ?    (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 28mm Summicron at F2, 1/250, ISO160

The shooting stand

Mardi, août 4th, 2009

Guess at what (or who) the girl was aiming at …. ;)

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Leica M8 with 28mm Summicron at F2.8, 1/125, ISO640

A Flea market jam

Mercredi, juillet 29th, 2009

At the flea market, have a stop in one of the various typical bars and restaurants that showcase music bands. With some luck, you might assist to a special performance that will transport the audience in a parralell world.   (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 24mm Elmarit at F2.8, ISO640