A Walk Through Paris

Gargoyle overlooking Paris from the top of the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

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Twenty-five years ago, I discovered the street photography of Elliot Erwitt and Henri Cartier Bresson. From that point on, my thoughts of Paris have been inextricably linked to their images.

A few months ago, I spent a week in the “city of light”. For this particular trip, rather than squeezing as many museums and sites into my daily itinerary as possible, I decided to attempt walking in the footsteps of these two great masters – as a street photographer.

Each morning I simply picked a new general direction and roamed the streets in search of Bresson’s “decisive moment” or as Erwitt suggests, the opportunity to put my camera in front of “something interesting in an ordinary place”.  One difference  would be that my camera would be an iPhone.

The below collection of images was shot entirely using what I like to call tiny format – which for me means an iPhone 6+ and a few other pieces of tiny camera gear.

View of The Eiffel Tower, Seine River and La Defense from the top of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.

Along The Banks

As I walk the Siene, I realize the river runs through the city like a great vein, delivering life blood to the various Arrondissements (neighborhoods). Life happens along the banks, where friends, lovers, and picnickers gather to eat, drink and commune.

Friends sit under the branches of a Weeping Willow tree on the Seine River in Paris, France.

Friends and couple crowd the banks of the Seine River during sunset in Paris, France.

Scenes from above

I discover the river banks of Île Saint-Louis are a fantastic place to shoot straight down. The scenes just unfold beneath me.

Back Streets and Alleyways

Everywhere I walk, I’m discovering a new street or alleyway. The texture of the street and its storefronts, stalls and shops create endless layers. I’ve barely walked a couple of blocks when I realize I’ve lost an hour.

Stencil graffiti by French street artist Miss Tic. in Paris, France.

Tourists mix with Parisians on the streets of the Latin Quarter in Paris, France.

A woman rides a rented bike on the street in Paris, France. The Velib´ bike sharing program makes over 20,000 bikes available to Parisians at over 1,800 stations throughout the city.

A woman begs for money on the steps of a church in Paris, France.

A woman wearing a polka dot dress enters the metro in Paris, France.

School friends congregate outside a park in Paris, France.

387 Steps

It takes me over an hour of waiting in line before I can begin climbing the 387 steps to the top of the bell tower where dozens of gothic gargoyles and grotesques await my arrival. I discover that one of my favorite views of the city is from the top of Notre-Dame Cathedral.

The backs of two gargoyles as see from the top of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.

Panoramic view of the cityscape of Paris as seen from the top of Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Cityscape of Paris, France as seen from the top of Notre-Dame Cathedral.

OLD Haunts

Walking along the Left Bank, I can’t help but stop for a quick peak inside the touristy, but legendary, Shakespeare and Company. The book shop is still a mecca for writers today just as it was for Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, George Antheil and Man Ray who all spent time here in the 1920’s.

Shakespeare and Company Book Store

Grand Facades & PARCS

What makes Paris Paris? The elegance and grandness of the city permeates everything, from a simple cafe in the Marais to an exquisite park hidden away behind an old church. I’m constantly reminded that a week here is just a tease–it would take a lifetime for me to capture the soul of this city.

Les Invalides, Paris, France.

Parisians mix with tourists under a canopy of leaves in Paris, France.

A waiter and his tables at cafe in Paris, France.

Palais du Louvre as seen from the Terrasses du bord de l'eau within the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, France.

Parisians sit on the bank ofthe Seine River before a rain storm in Paris, France.

2 Comments

  1. You have such a gifted eye for composition, texture. I so enjoy your work.

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