Sometimes, DS life gets less virtual and we get to meet one another in real life. Not often enough, hold dat thought.
Philippe and Dallas have been visiting multiple areas of the capital together for months / years. Dodging yellow vests and transportation strikes like two Indiana Joneses, they have explored a great variety of lesser known parts of Paris and always returned with a great tally of interesting photographs.
After months of begging, negociating and humiliation, I was finally allowed to join the duo for a morning of exploration. This is our story. And only my version of it is the truth.
For a photographer, what can be more delightful, than going out shooting on an early and cool morning with my regular shooting buddy, Philippe. Actually, this time it was 2 buddies, Pascal joining us for the first time.
The 3 Amigos met on the Pont Charles de Gaulle, Paris. It was my first face to face meeting with Dear Susans’ Pascal. Of course we have “spoken” many times by email over the last two years.
The walk along the banks of the Seine near Quai d’Austerlitz in the glorious soft Parisian light was a joy. It allowed us to experiment and shoot in our own distinct styles.
This aspect of shooting with friends never fails to amaze me, how differently we see and frame the city, landscape or seacapes around us.
Pascal took the opportunity to try my Zeiss Milvus 50/1.4 & 135/2 on his beloved X1D. I will allow him elaborate on his experience.
As always after a shoot, petit déjeuner is required, to refuel the body, the mind and of course to reminisce of the missed shots and what could have been. The cafe itself provided some additional photographic opportunities.
Many thanks to Philippe and Pascal for a a memorable morning in Paris.
So, here I am, standing on a bridge at what can only be described as night time, astronomically and internal-clock-wise, while the more sensible people of Paris are still enjoying the comfort of down and cotton on their skin. Brass monkeys have sanely retreated to heated shelters and I’m wearing a light jacket, unused to subglacial climes in the middle of April. Global warming? You must be kidding. If I survive this, I’m buying a huge V8 and an oil field 😀
Chilled, not stirred, I soldier on and finally get to meet the wonderful Dallas in person, and regroup with pardner in crime Philippe. Generously, the two had given me the choice of location and I picked this bridge for the view over the Seine and design museum (below). Naively, I forgot to mention that space and time are unseparable and never demanded a decent hour for the meeting. I mean, you can always Photoshop a sunrise on a photo but nothing can glue back your nose when it’s been frozen off, right?
Our walk takes us from right to left in the picture above, underneath this glorious, green, alien blob swallowing a building, into a passageway covered in great graffiti and views over the river, and back out under the bridge in the distance. During the underground walk, Dallas lends me his fab Milvus lenses for me to try on the X1D, and those are photos for another post. So I meet you at the other end, by the bridge.
Over a very short stretch of land, this deambulation provides views over multiple interesting architectural masterpieces (or monstrosities, depending on who you ask, but I find them fascinating) : Gare d’Austerlitz and some great new adjacent projet (I love photographing ongoing work as much as finished buildings), the intial Charles de Gaule bridge, the design musem, the ministry of finance, above, the national library, shaped as 4 standing books (below) and, finally, the pont de Bercy, which becomes photographically alive at sunrise.
Those small group walks are fascinating. You come to a scene and expect everyone to rush to the subject that’s just perked up your ears, Tex Avery style. Only noone does ! Dallas has spotted golden light through some leaves, Philippe is busy transforming an empty beer bottle or the edge of some steps into a nostalgic homage to dark cubism and I’m left feeling very literal while framing my find 😉
Conveniently located at the end of the bridge is a lovely little cafe and it’s safe to assume we can tell who’s tooth is the sweetest by the amount of picutres made inside. Just sayin’ Dallas … Just two frames for me, two similar views, trying to determing the impact of toning on mood. A sunny veranda, croissants and great company end this morning far better than it started. Thanks guys 🙂
DS readers know my proclivity for not shooting alone, and my outrageously good fortune in meeting (a) great people who (b) are great togs, and (c) have become great friends. Hat off, and unreserved gratitude to Boris, Pascal, Dallas, and other less frequent but not less well-liked stroll-companions.
So it was no common occurrence when I could share a walk-talk-and-shoot (in what order?) with both Pascal and Dallas. Pascal set the place, I set the time, and Dallas, ever the easygoing gentleman, went along with and humoured the two compadres
Pascal was playing with his newly-acquired Hassy, and tried out various Milvus lenses, courtesy of Dallas. He also generously let me take Audrey off his hands and back into my fold. I am now officially bigamous!
Overall, pictures are quite different between the 3 of us, and they tell the story of our meet better than a thousand of my words…
Thanks to both of you, making it so much fun on top of that of good shooting…
You can let go of that thought, now.
How about expanding that group and making those walks a more frequent occurence? We’re doing it again in June with Paul and Steve in Paris. Dallas and I are meeting in Marseilles later that same month, followed by Pascal R & Pascal J a month later. How about you?
If you’re interested in meeting us, and one another, I could upload a Google map with our locations on it. You can then find someone close to your home or close to your next travel location and get in touch via the contact info on the map. If that sounds like something you’d like to do, just send us a message with your email address and current location, I’ll add it to the map! Looking forward to meeting you. What say you ?
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