Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

« The World » over a bridge

Samedi, novembre 7th, 2009

The French are very assiduous readers. So much that it poses no problem for that man to read his daily newspaper « Le Monde » (which translate to « The World ») while crossing the Pont de Sully Bride in the midst of rain and wind.  (click on picture to enlarge)
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Leica M8 with 75mm Summilux at F1.4, 1/750, ISO160

Back home; the Shantytown

Jeudi, octobre 29th, 2009

A Gipsy mother and her daughter return to the shantytown. Their paper house with no water or electricity is located 100 meters away from the high rise of one of France’s biggest multinational company.  These shantytowns are not permanent as the authorities dismantle them after a few months. Their inhabitants then climb on the next train and go build another camp a few kilometers away. (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 75mm Summicron at F4, 1/750, ISO160

Daily Laundry

Mercredi, octobre 28th, 2009

When one visits the magnificient City of Lights, he would be hard pressed to believe that shantytowns can be found only a few miles away. Thousands of Gipsies live close to the shores of the Seine branches, and do their laundry by drawing water out of the River. It is always puzzling to witness such scenes in France in 2009. (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 75mm Summicron at F2, 1/500, ISO160

The Revolution of the Hiddens

Samedi, octobre 10th, 2009

There are thousands of people living in France without a residency permit. Even though they do work and even sometimes pay taxes, they can be sent off at any moment. So this afternoon, thousands took the street for a large demonstration. When the cortege went through Place la Bastille, it almost felt like another uprise was to happen; the Revolution of the Hiddens. (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 28mm Summicron at F2, 1/8000, ISO160

A protest for life

Lundi, septembre 21st, 2009

Abortion was legalized in France in 1975. Since then, it has become largely accepted in the French population and does not generate much debate anymore. Nevertheless, a few religious groups keep on defending the « right for life » and organize rallies now and then. Last weekend, they organized a small demonstration in Place Saint-Michel and put themselves to the task of convincing the passerbys on this delicate subject. Not always with success but it generated quite a few passionate debates.  (click on pictures to enlarge)

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All pictures taken with Leica M8 and 28mm Summicron, ISO160

Golden Ferrari : Dubai licence plates grant immunity

Lundi, août 24th, 2009

A Golden Ferrari blocks a lane on a side street  of Les Champs-Elysées and create a large traffic jam. A squad of seven policemen walks by, looks at the Dubai licence plates, exchanges a few words and walks away. A few hundred meters further away, six policemen fine the truck of a merchant  parked outside of the designated area.

The motto of the French Republic is « Liberty, Equality, Fraternity ». Obviously, equality does not seem to apply to you if your licence plate comes from the Gulf Emirates. To add to the absurdity of this situation, a homeless steps out of the crowd and fakes he is the owner of the car.  Liberty still resists, hopefully.  (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 24m Elmarit at F2.8, 1/60, ISO640

Melting pot generation

Dimanche, août 23rd, 2009

Though there are no strong racial tensions in France, equality of chances has not been achieved in the French Society. The political and economic system is completely locked by Whites even though an increasing percentage of the population is formed by other ethnies. Change and, ultimately full integration, will hopefully come through the new generations. (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 24mm Elmarit at F5.6, 1/750, ISO160

Ants’ World

Dimanche, août 2nd, 2009

As one climbs the stairways of Pompidou Center, he will soon have the impression that the square below is populated by hundreds of ants. Though they look organized, at least in space occupation, these ants do not seem to be busy building their next hill … not every of them at least when you take a closer look.  (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 35mm Summilux Asph, ISO160

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Leica M8 with 60mm Hexanon, ISO160

Disney, 6am

Jeudi, mai 28th, 2009

The Champs-Elysées is such a different avenue early in the morning. A few souls leaving the dance clubs slowly leave their place to the inflows of delivery truck that replenish the numerous store. The great world of Disney looks like any common place, hopefully all kids are still asleep at that moment.      (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 35mm Lux Asph af F1.4, ISO640

Haven of peace in Crime City

Mercredi, mai 20th, 2009

Saint-Denis, only 5 miles away from downtown Paris, owns the sad record of criminality in France. Of course, we are not talking murders as France is still a country where violent crimes are not a common fact, but thefts, riots and drug traffic. So very few would believe that Saint-Denis also can look like a common countryside town where people will come for a midday rest contemplating the slow flow of the Seine River.    (click on picture to enlarge)

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Sigma DP2, 24mm at F5.6, ISO100

Chinese weddings

Mercredi, mai 13th, 2009

Paris seems to have become a very popular destination for weddings celebrations, especially for people from China and other Asiatic countries. So on weekends, you will probably see newly wed couples almost waiting in queue in front of the Concorde fountains to have their picture taken. This bride turn was obviously getting closer as she looked around anxiously for her husband.      (click on picture to enlarge)

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

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

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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Road racer or musician ?

Mercredi, avril 22nd, 2009

Is a kid future profession decided in the early years of his life ? I do not know, yet if it is indeed the case, this little boy might become a great pianist or orchestra conductor.            (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 35mm Summicron, ISO160

Tibet Libre

Mardi, mars 10th, 2009

Today  took place the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against the Chinese invader. Thousands of demonstrators walked all over Paris and ended close to the Chinese Embassy on Avenue Georges V. Even if anti-riots forces prevented them to get close to the building by blocking the avenue, it did not prevent the participants to voice loudly their protest. The demonstration ended peacefully as always advocated by their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.     (click to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with CV35mm Nokton at 1.2, ISO640

A day at the SIMA

Jeudi, février 26th, 2009

The SIMA fair is one of the biggest farming show in France that took place this week in Paris. The show displayed thousands of square meters of the latest farming equipment and even a cattle exhibi. While located in Paris, most visitors come from the rural areas of France uncovering a strong contrast between the glamourous ads of marketing departments and real inhabitants of the countryside.

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Epson R-D1 with CV25mm at F4, ISO1600

Broke in Foch

Vendredi, février 13th, 2009

The Foch Avenue is probably the most famous street in France after les Champs-Elysées. It is home to the biggest fortunes of France and links the Arch of Triumph to the Boulogne Woods. Though you will encounter many Mercedes and Rolls-Royce parked along the town houses, a magisterial metro station lays at the end of the avenue.  Perhaps it was built for the numerous maids and servants that work in the area though lately  you might find a few broke bankers entering soberly the station …    (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with CV25mm, ISO160

Snow over the city

Lundi, février 2nd, 2009

Although Paris is close to Northern Europe, it is very rare to see snow in the city. So when 2 inches snow falls hit downtown last night, it resulted in a total collapse of the transport system. A record 350km of trafic jams were recorded at peak hour. Nevertheless, many people elected to walk to work and smiling faces could be seen all over the streets. Snow can do miracles !    (click on picture to enlarge)

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Epson R-D1 with CV25mm at F4,  1/30  , ISO800

Hotel de Ville’s Ice Ring

Dimanche, février 1st, 2009

Every winter, the place in front of the Hotel de Ville (town hall) is host to a huge ice ring. While it is often very crowded, it must be one of the most beautiful setting to skate in for the fans of this sport.    (click on picture to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with CV15mm at F4.5, ISO160

View picture location on Google Maps

Chinese New Year

Samedi, janvier 31st, 2009

The whole Chinese world celebrated their New Year today. Paris is host to a large community of Chinese immigrants and even has the chance to have a little Chinatown in the 13th arrondissement. Therefore, a parade took place downtown but as I got there late I could only grasp a few shots as the celebrants quickly went back to their Parisian home to go on with festivities.     (click on pictures to enlarge)

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Leica M8 with 35mm Summicron, ISO160

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Leica M8 with CV75mm at F4, ISO640

View pictures location on Google Maps