#849. One walk, three togs, 33 pics. And a proposition.

By pascaljappy | News

Apr 24

Sometimes, DS life gets less virtual and we get to meet one another in real life. Not often enough, hold dat thought.

Some weird cult taking place in Paris …

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…


In conclusion, a proposition


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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  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Surely this is not the first comment?
    Thank you Dallas for reminding me, that if you want the sun in your image you need to use a mirrorless, or liveview. The shot through those leaves is to kill and die for! Did you notice the fighter plane in your previous shot?
    Thanks, guys, for your shots of the cafe tissot louis – seems like a destination spot, to me – I’ve shoved it in my bucket list, for future reference.
    And a special commendation to Philippe, for including the mandatory bicycle shot! – and for your shot of the ancient telephone, Philippe!
    Is that a shot of the back of Dallas, included in the shots taken by Dallas? – where’s his selfie stick? – and rear vision mirror? Am I getting confused? – or is this a belated poisson d’avril?
    The Ministry of Finance has always struck me as a rather strange piece of architecture – is the reason for that design to facilitate the disposal of records, by providing a convenient way of chucking them into the river?
    It must have been a fun day for you guys. I went on a group shoot at the local zoo recently, and perhaps it’s just coincidence – or maybe it’s part of human behaviour – but the initial group of around 20 people quickly broke up into groups of 3. It just seems to work better, for a shoot like this. Big enough for everyone to be able to mix, share, chat, get feedback, etc – and small enough for everyone to avoid stepping on each other’s feet.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Yup, the first and, so far, the only. Something that hasn’t happened in years on DS. So I’m guessing the get together idea isn’t working all that well 😀 😀 Ah well, you live and learn.

      The shot in Dallas’ list is of the back of Philippe. The shot at top is one of mine of Dallas and Philippe.

      In the past, we’ve found that 2 to 4 is the best size for walking about. Max 8-10 in a workshop with plenty of free individual time.

      That cafe is very nice. It’s also remarquably close to the metro 🙂


  • Kristian Wannebo says:

    Few comments so far – ?.

    I’d guess the idea of a location map is new and needs thinking over.
    Your texts & photos speak for themselves and don’t raise questions – one takes them in and nods appreciatively, at the photos and at the different approaches.
    ( That first photo, the two photographers, – it says a lot..)

    > Except for that bridging building…
    So it’s the ministry of finance!
    Did they try to bridge troubled waters and ended up bridging (or trying to..) a troubled land? Or did they just want to stay above the people?

    ( I once (long ago) heard the CEO of Kopparfors say to my father, that his staff always complained of being too crowded, but he would never give them larger offices as that would just allow the administration to grow!)

    Looks like a very nice café, not that modernised thing! But so empty!
    A friend of mine (not quite so long ago) used to say – when we made an excursion – “c, c, c.”, which meant “coffee, culture, coffee.”, a good way to slow some of us down a bit.

    Cheer up!

    • pascaljappy says:

      Hi Kristian, yes, sometimes a new idea takes a while to catch on. Sometimes, it’s just not a good idea 😀 Don’t worry, testing ideas is part of running a blog. Some catch on and some don’t the point is to weed out the bad ones early and nurture the good ones to keep the community going and continue having fun.

      We’ll keep on meeting and will always be happy to meet new faces. If something more comes of it, great. If not, so be it. No cheering up needed 😉

      Yes, it’s the ministy of finance. I’d love to visit it as there is a secret trading room in there where France sells its debt off to foreign investors and I can’t help imagine that looking very James Bond-ish. I’d probably be very disappointed. Cramping the administration is actually a neat idea. Not one likely to catch on in France. Every year, the administration grows and the debt with it.

      Lovely cafe. Full of glass windows that let the sun in. Along with a good croissant, that makes for a great way to have breakfast with buddies on a freezing day !! Hope to meet you there one day.

  • John W says:

    A fun proposition indeed. Problem is it would be a 3000 mile hike followed by a 2000 mile swim … where would I put the gear??? Still … a walk in Paris morning light with some kindred spirits would be much fun.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Ha ha, ideally, the idea would be to let you find fellow photographers close to where you live. But I cas you already know those 😉 I’m just suggesting that people who’ve had virtual contacts via posts or comments eventually have the opportunity to get together, whether at home or during their traveling. Who knows?

  • Pascal Ravach says:

    Many great photos from all… the “Café Tissot Louis” from Dallas touches me a lot… exactly the mood of the films made in the 40-50s… the composition and processing suit perfectly the local lighting… congrats!

    Well, not many responses… on top of the distances involved for some of us, I guess there is another factor: it is both enlightening and intimidating to share a photo trip with such talented guys!
    I just discover here that my time with Pascal J will be such an experience… as we say, “glup” 😀
    After many hours it can become natural, but personally I know I will “freeze” at the beginning… and I have a feeling I am not alone 🙂

    Maybe you guys could allow us to keep our miserable results hidden on our laptops until we curate them a bit ?

    • pascaljappy says:

      Pascal, don’t make me blush, it doesn’t suit my grey hair 😉 Thanks for the vote of confidence, though. Now the pressure is on not to disappoint you 😉 Plus, your photos have a wonderful energy to them, so you nothing to be shy about 🙂

      The cafe in question is called “Chez Lili et Marcel”, should you want to check it out one day. It’s not a Michelin star restaurant, just a relaxing place with a lovely decor and yes, Dallas’s photograph of it is fantastic. It wa seeing it that inspired me to try toning, but his captures that vintage vibe so much better.

      Anyway, the whole idea is to get people together for a chat and a walk with cameras in hand. It’s not a competition, just an opportunity to make all this less electron-based. I hope it eventually pics up (see what I did there 😉 )

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    I should have read the heading first – I only just noticed it – well I can relate to that, but I’m certainly not going to say why, here! 🙂

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