If you enjoy photography at all, you gotta take your camera anywhere you go in the world, right? Sometimes I get in trouble for dawdling too long trying to capture just the right shot while I’m on vacation, but that’s just the way I am.
Paris is known as the “City of Light“, but to me, it was more like the City of Bright Sun. Every day was hot and sunny, which for a vacation traveler is certainly enjoyable (especially after another long and dreary Seattle winter), but it sort of narrows your photographic options somewhat.
Harsh light and shadow can wreak havoc, blowing out the highlights and losing detail in the darkest areas of every image. Shooting in RAW can help, preserving more information than a JPEG for reclamation in post-processing. When I returned from Paris, I was a little daunted at the state of my images, and the time I’d need to put into them to make them look good. There was a reason I’d taken these photos in the first place, but for a while I put off rediscovering why.
I wish I’d rented a bike at one point. Paris has a ultra-convenient bicycle rental system called Vélib’, which I think would have made getting around the city a bit more efficient. On the other hand, it would have been more problematic to manage my camera from seat of a bike. My photos are blurry enough!
Some recent posts have had a bit of a French flavor lately, but in fact I was lucky enough to visit Paris for the first time, this past May. For some reason, it’s taken me a while to work with these photos, and perhaps it’s because I came away with mixed feelings about Paris. It was a gorgeous time of year to go, 80-degree weather (Seattle, take note!). The cuisine (and the chocolate, and the wine) was wonderful. But I’d been inundated with so many images of Paris, that once I was there myself seeing it all in person, the city didn’t quite fit my mental picture.
So these images took me some time. And they’re not all necessarily “true” to what I observed or recorded on my trip; I think that’s okay. They are an amalgamation of the Paris I carry with me in my mind, and the Paris I saw for myself. This is the first of three sets of images. You can find more at Paris on Wheels and Paris: City of Bright (Sun).