#870. The Famous Five do Paris

By pascaljappy | News

Jun 18

They say you should never meet your heroes, but they’re wrong. One of the joys in an Internet-centric world is to be able to meet in the flesh the people you befriended via electron and pixel. People who have withstood the test of obligation-free, long distance relationships.


Over a period of three days DS founding mother Caroline, globe-trotters Paul and Steve, evil Mastermind Philippe and yours truly got the opportunity of multiple variable-geometry meetups and unlimited shooting.

Unlimited, that is, within the constraints of June hypothermia, a healthy lazy-arse attitude to everything, workload for those of us who still have to suffer through that unbearable necessity of life, the strength of the coffee and the attractiveness of the cafes on our various routes.


But unlimited enough to allow each of us to upload a few pics and words about their Paris. Which now follow.






Big softies, aren’t we? Sorry, I mean we humans are social creatures 😉

But it’s undeniable that even someone so used to and in love with solitude as I, really enjoys meeting friends for a chat and for a shared experience such as walking and shooting. It’s fun, and it’s inspiring.

Call me Sponge Bob if you will, but I find myself soaking up the styles of my co-conspirers whenever we’re together. My photography is different when done solo or in group. With Philippe, I’ll focus on intimate micro scenes that most people don’t even care about, those forgotten nothings that Philippe so eloquently transforms into emotionally moving pictures. With Steve and Paul, I turn into a street cat catching people in the act of their daily lives. With Caroline the sculptor, it’s shapes, form and texture that dominate.

Mingle we must. And more often.

Woody was here (alone)
Cubicle city (alone)
Pipe dream (with Philippe)
Bye bye Birdy (with Philippe)
Going places (with Caroline, Steve and Paul)
And they huffed and they puffed and they blew the piles down (with Caroline, Steve and Paul)
Poke her nose (with Caroline, Steve and Paul)
Enough bikes for 10 posts (can’t remember, but dedicated to Jean Pierre)
Pari-Sabi (can’t remember)
If only I lived in Texas (with Caroline, Steve and Paul)
When angels paint (with Caroline, Steve and Paul)
A DS Senior Director deliberately ignoring a bike! (with Steve and Caroline)
At least some of us are taking our work seriously (with Caroline, dedicated to Kristian)
Strat (with Caroline)
19:30 (with Caroline)
The Future of Mobility (with Philippe)
Behind the veil (with Philippe)
Fleur de Lys (with Philippe)
Follow the black bunny (alone)

Paul – Photography By Wandering About



It took a while, but finally the stars aligned, our diaries co-incided, travel was arranged and suddenly, there were five Susans all in Paris at the same moment in time. We imagined street shooting sessions, eating delicious breakfasts, lunches and dinners together and a great deal of catching-up.


Steve (Mallet) and I rode Eurostar from London, he clutching a brand new Fuji X-Pro2 and a 35mm f2; already earning a great name for itself and clearly deserving of the Fujicron mantle.


Pascal arrived with DS co-founder Caroline. He from Provence where he lives and in Paris on business, she having taken a day off work to join in the fun. Pascal was wearing his X1D and surprise, surprise, Caroline was sporting an X-Pro2, too. Hers was wearing Fuji’s large, but wonderful 16mm f1.4.


Our lunch, chat and afternoon wander was without Philippe, who was elsewhere earning a crust, but due to catch up later. That became the pattern; whoever is/was available would join us, otherwise we were TCB – taking care of business.


Philippe’s business commitments (and the Parisian traffic) finally released him on the evening of day two. A welcome sight, sporting a new Sony A7RII kitted-out with a Zeiss 25mm Loxia. We caught up and dined on fine Asian pork and the tiniest of tiny potatoes.


Day three was the first time we had actually planned an outing and headed across the Seine for Rue Mouffetard and its food market.




Being Thursday, the place was all but deserted, even after a full-on Parisian petit dejeuner and hope of some market activity had consumed an hour of our final time in the city.


A wonderful few days. We’ll do it again soon.


Pascal caught me working on these piggies…
Summer bicycle
Rain? The walking must go on.


The early brd catches the worm…

Some say photography is all about the gear, be it analog or digital. The pixels and the stops. The f-stops and the t-stops. Others ridicule that, saying that this quantitative evolution misses the important point, which is all about soul, and craft, if not outright art.

Homage to the great PJ

The pox on both their houses! Photography, I’ll let you know, is about neither. It is about people. ‘Togs. Blokes who get up early to catch the good light. Others whose eyes wander ceaselessly as they walk the streets, while their index finger twitches, the better to be ready when the moment -and the impulse- come.

Beholden to bikes…

Fact is, without such partners in un-crime as fellow DSers, I’d never have gone into town on that rainy, forlorn evening, nor gotten up early the next morning to wade right back in, but this time to glorious light.

Real photographers catch them standing up…

So thanks, people, for being who you are, GAS-striken, opinionated and endless yakkers though you are. Thanks for being the modern-day sirens that lure me to the right place at the right time. Betcha Paul has never been called a siren. Maybe I should have my eyes checked…:-)

Paris by night

Anyway, this tells me, once more, that solitary pleasures are less intense than group ones, photographically speaking, of course. So it is fitting that my post ends with a picture of the great PJ, our founder and getter-together, in full swing…



Paris Afternoon Paris Jun 11 2019 Photo: Steve Mallett
Paris Afternoon Paris Jun 12 2019 Photo: Steve Mallett


Paris Morning Paris Jun 13 2019 Photo: Steve Mallett


Paris Afternoon Paris Jun 12 2019 Photo: Steve Mallett


Paris Morning Paris Jun 13 2019 Photo: Steve Mallett


Reflections Paris Jun 11 2019 Photo: Steve Mallett


Paris Afternoon Paris Jun 12 2019 Photo: Steve Mallett


Paris Afternoon Paris Jun 12 2019 Photo: Steve Mallett


Paris Afternoon Paris Jun 12 2019 Photo: Steve Mallett


Paris Afternoon Paris Jun 12 2019 Photo: Steve Mallett



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  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Thanks for the “hon. mention”, because of the bicycle content – but really, you didn’t have to.
    What intrigues me most is whatever did you DO to them?- the tourists I mean – there’s scarcely a tourist to be seen (apart from one or two of you guys!)
    And next on the list is how on earth do you curate & catalogue such eclectic selections of photos?
    Pity about Rue Mouffetard – it’s great fun. Did you check in the Photographers’ Ephemerus first, or doesn’t it rate a mention there?
    I couldn’t do this for the shot of the dead bird – as a lifelong animal activist, seeing that creature left to rot, like that, simply hurt – couldn’t see beyond there, to appraise the photo.
    So instead, I’m going to suggest that the golden bagel should go to this photo – “Rain? The walking must go on.” 🙂 Of COURSE dogs are more important than people!

    • paulperton says:

      Thanks Pete. The dog walker suddenly appeared in my peripheral vision, as it did Steve’s. There was the briefest moment and he’d gone. Pity as I managed three frames, but none caught the wonderful look on the black lab’s face, seated royally in his sedan chair.


  • Hugo says:

    Honestly this post is very annoying. First the peeping Tom photo of the waitress’ butt and second the disgusting bird cadaver.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Sorry you don’t like it, Hugo. The first picture is play on the contrast between the silly playmobil and the leaning waitress. Nothing untoward. The dead pigeon is just the reality of what you can see on the streets of Paris. Liking the photo or not won’t change the fact the animal is dead and trying to create a strong image from it isn’t showing any disrespect. Cheers.

  • Sean says:

    Hi Pascal,
    This collection of images are wonderful. While I respect Hugo’s response, one does not necessarily have to agree with that opinion. I entirely get you response, and I quote you that it is a “… play on the contrast between the silly playmobil and the leaning waitress…” – it’s also the first thing I saw myself, in the image. The image, to me, has neither been crafted nor delivered with a malicious, or otherwise negative intent, it simply is a record of an amusing juxtaposition, based on the circumstances at the time. Others have their own opinion, which may not align with mine, nor yours – that’s life.

    I particularly like the following images, in this stream:
    a) Pipe dream (with Philippe)
    b) And they huffed and they puffed and they blew the piles down (with Caroline, Steve and Paul) along with the more focussed colour version;
    c) Pascal caught me working on these piggies…; and
    d) Poke her nose (with Caroline, Steve and Paul); and
    e) The early brd catches the worm…; and
    f) Paris Afternoon Paris Jun 12 2019 Photo: Steve Mallett; and
    g) Paris Afternoon Paris Jun 12 2019 Photo: Steve Mallett

    They’re all well composed images.


    • pascaljappy says:

      Thank you Sean. Much appreciated.

      I respect Hugo’s point of view as well, but the general tendency to rebuke anything vaguely provocative worries me. Political correctness is the death of all creativity and almost always hides deeper issues. I much prefer to discuss the intent than the surface. But to each his own 😉


      • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

        Having spent an [almost] entire lifetime as ‘an awkward child’, always ‘doing my own thing’ and having little respect for so-called ‘rules’, I find all these much more conventional figures strolling through the pages of DS, and flaunting their creativity and their disinterest in mimicking the flocks of happy snappers who seem hell bent on taking over the universe, quite fascinating.
        I have had a brief flirtation with ‘political correctness’, Pascal, because I first started being anti-racist nearly 70 years ago, and that kind of grew, and became a deep seated aversion to people who sneer at others, because they think they are somehow ‘better’. If you pore through the pages of DS, I’m sure you will find I’ve mentioned it before! 🙂
        Beyond ‘political correctness’ is another stage. We are being entertained by a bizarre example, here – a footballer who was thrown out because he started ranting against homosexuals – and after they kicked him out, he started screaming his head off, claiming they were attacking his religious freedoms – then even though he’s a multi-millionaire (sports people are paid more than lawyers and neurosurgeons, these days, if they are any good at their sport!), sought crowd funding to cover his legal costs, as he sued for damages for wrongful dismissal. And then the legal profession jumped on the bandwagon, and started arguing back and forth over the notion of other people funding someone else’s litigation, and what the rights and wrongs were if he lost the case and all that money had to be paid to the other side’s lawyers, and what was to become of the surplus left behind (in the unlikely event of the lawyers not charging so much there was no possibility of a surplus). It’s all rubbish, from start to finish, of course. For a multiplicity of reasons, that I won’t go into here.
        My point in mentioning it is quite simple. It is that ghastly social disease of ‘opinions’, all over again. People who suffer from what I have come to refer to as ‘opinion-itis’ have no room for the views of anyone else. Our footballer has no room for the views of homosexuals – my late sister-in-law, a brilliant psychiatrist, once told me that ‘people who worry about other people’s sexuality are not confident in their own’, which I think kicks the footballer over the grandstand & into the parking lot. But it gets worse – he then comes out with his religious opinions – followed by the confusion amongst the lawyers, engaging in their most popular past time, worrying about what is to become of all of that money.
        Political correctness ultimately is just another form of ‘opinion-itis’, and yes, it does hide deeper issues – it hides them in all sorts of ways. One is the fact it doesn’t ELIMINATE whatever it is we’re not supposed to do – it simply drives it underground, where it is no longer possible to see it, monitor it, deal with it. Another is that comment from my sister-in-law; and her comment applies in all sorts of other ways, including the way twisted minds use ‘religion’ as a weapon to attack others, under some imaginary cloak of ‘political correctness’ (like our football hero, for instance).
        Sigh – I might be a loner, a maverick, an ‘awkward child’ – but I am doing no harm to anyone else, I am doing my own thing, and I believe it is perfectly OK. I enjoy seeing other people’s photos – I sometimes wonder how they catalogue them, but of course that is their affair and none of my business. And I enjoy the way photographers generally can share what they do, what they learn, without too many trolls spoiling it for everyone else. Perhaps that is something we could all pass on to the broader community!
        Sorry to waffle on like this – but you can see it’s an issue which is very dear to me. Age gives you the opportunity to learn an awful lot – and not just about photography! 🙂

        • pascaljappy says:

          Thanks, Pete. I think it all boils down to intention and good faith. My intention was to create a comical photo with the playmobil and a stark reminder that life goes on beneath the veneer of tourism, with the dead pigeon. Hugo’s intention was probably to signal that these two pics are not what he wishes to see in a travel photo blog. It’s all good so long as we are all well meaning. Cheers.

  • Kristian Wannebo says:

    A bit late…
    But I’ve a reasonable screen again, my Nexus is down and finding a 7″ tablet – just right for a cargo pocket – took some time.
    ( And I try to avoid surfing with Windows.)
    – – –

    (… using a modern art to show a forgotten art!)

    > “…ignoring a bike!”
    … but books *are* more interesting!
    > “Put your head on my shoulder”
    Paul A. looked just as disinterested…
    > “Follow the black bunny”
    Now, did you really?

    I do like your photos! And the broad mix.
    I get the impression you really enjoyed yourself (and the ‘blad)!
    And thanks for the dedication … but how did you know I have bikes standing at my stairs?

    I like your slightly blurred photos! (I’ve started to experiment myself with out of focus.)
    Very nice how those red spots make some of your photos come even more alive – I suppose you waited for the street lights to turn red.

    Aah, the more majestic Paris, very nicely lit!

    Life in Paris!
    I particularly like the old man (your #3), the blue reflections and the sitting lady!

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