It’s a little difficult to see at this resolution but take a look at the guy in the green shirt walking through the Louvre. In the full resolution version you can see he is strolling with his date, little video camera in hand, attempting to capture it all with out ever slowing down. It’s a bit of a metaphor. It’s really not the way to experience art, or life.
You can see my other posts & photos from France here.
If you are familiar with my photography, you know that with the exception of my portrait work, I typically don’t have people in my photos. Usually with a combination of patience and very long exposures I can virtually eliminate the people. On this day in May at the Louvre, that simply was not possible, There were so many people that visually, the people almost became the event. So like they say, “If you can’t fight ‘em, join ‘em.
It’s extremely rare that I re-post a photo. However, one of my readers informed me that George Whitman, the American born owner of the iconic Paris bookstore “Shakespeare & Company” passed away yesterday. Of my thousands of photographs I have published, this would have to be one of my very favorites. I love Shakespeare & Company and I feel my photograph “Shakespeare’s Chair” does a decent job of conveying the spirit of the shop. Thank you George Whitman for creating so many wonderful memories and to your daughter Sylvia for continuing the tradition. Click here for a link to a New York Times article published yesterday December 14th, 1011 about George Whitman & Shakespeare & Company.
The Louvre is an amazing place. You can walk for hours, days actually, and never really get a chance to see all the amazing art and artifacts on display. On my last visit I spent a little time looking at not only the art in the building, but also the art in the architecture. This is the view when you look up to enjoy the ceiling in one of the many galleries.
There is actually nothing secret about this. It’s amazing how you can stray just a few feet off the beaten path and find yourself able to see a totally different perspective than those that follow the crowds. Besides being a great metaphor for a way to live life, it’s also a great way to find new photo opportunities. While walking through the gardens of Versailles, I slid away behind the topiary and found this solitary path just a few feet from the masses.
Another great place to visit in Paris is the Château de Vincennes. We sorta stumbled upon the Château while walking the neighborhood where we were staying. In addition to serving as the royal residence where a couple of Kings were married & several French kings were born, it later served as a state prison for prisoners including the marquis de Sade and others. There is still graffiti left by the prisoners high on several walls. (Since the small windows were placed high on the walls, that was where the best light was.) I also photographed the Royal Chapel at Vincennes. (You can see that image here)
Few rooms in the world are as awe inspiring as the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles just outside Paris. My family visited Europe when I was 16 and I still recall this room during our Paris visit. The day I shot this it was dreary & raining and I believe many of the tourist that perhaps might have been walking the wonderful grounds on a more beautiful day, were hanging out inside instead. I would love to go back and arrange for an hour or two of shooting before the crowds arrive.
One of the (many) wonderful things about Paris are the little produce markets. You don’t have to walk very far to find a place like this where you can walk in and almost experience a sort of sensory overload. I love the sights, the smells, the colors. (You probably noticed I like chroma…) And of course, I love the taste!
A light rain was starting to fall in Paris as we were hurrying to the Lourve for a private tour. (That’s another amazing story, and it was no doubt the highlight of our visit to Paris.) As we were crossing the river, a wonderful orange glow was settling behind the Eiffel Tower and Paris’ oldest bridge ‘The Pont Neuf’ or “new bridge” (built 1578-1607). My companions were quite patient while I set up my camera for a few shots before continuing on. You can see where there was a bit of rain on the lens, however, I’m still glad we paused for a few moments to try and capture the beautiful scene above the Seine.
On the Left Bank in Paris, just across from the Notre-Dame, lives a bookstore and an institution. Shakespeare and Company is an amazing place with an amazing past. You can quite literally read its history in the many nooks and cranny’s filled with literary soul. It is well worth reading the Wiki entry and visiting the website. Then, go to Paris and experience Shakespeare and Company for yourself.