We were free men in Paris, unfettered and alive, posing somewhat awkwardly in front of a structure that is anything but awkward – the Nortre Dame de Paris. I handed my camera to a passing tourist. So I guess that this isn’t really my photo is it?
When I give my camera to a stranger so I can pose, I try to pick someone who appears to be slower than I am so that if they decide to run with my valuable equipment, I can catch them. I wouldn’t tackle them, though, since that might harm my camera. . . .
I was with a group of students in the Montmartre district in Paris and as we were walking down the steps of the Sacre Couer Basilica, I looked down and saw this man and this apparently mesmerized child. This isn’t the only photo of a child marveling over birds. What is it about birds that is so fascinating to children?
I wasn’t looking for bokeh* when I took this photo. In fact, I didn’t know what it was at the time. But here it is in all its glory. Also, here is green in all its glory. This time the green is basswood tree leaves in a park in Paris. There is snow out my window but not a speck of snow in the window we look through today in “A Photo A Day.”
Here’s a bit of trivia: the interstices between leaves that cause bokeh in a camera also act as pinhole lenses and if you can find spots of light on the sidewalk that come through the holes, they will be circular because the sun is circular. But in the event of a partial solar eclipse, the projections will be crescent shaped. Don’t believe me? Try being in South Africa, Tasmania and most of New Zealand on November 25, 2011. That’s when and where the next decent partial solar eclipse occurs.
*”The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens.” (Japanese origin)
The most famous Gothic cathedral in Paris is the Notre Dame de Paris. But I think St. Chapelle is the most beautiful, primarily because there is so little stone and so much glass in the walls.
When I walked into this structure the first time, I stood for several moments in amazement. This structure was built in the 13th century. If I’m amazed, imagine how someone from the 1300s would have felt when walking into this sacred place the first time.
This is the palace at the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, France. In this photo I am showing obedience to the principle of “zones” in a landscape photo: the idea that there is something in the front, something in the middle and something in the back. I guess it makes something that is two dimensional seem more three dimensional.
I have said that I can remember taking many of the photos I have even years after the actual capture. I suppose I’m pretty focused when I do that. (Bad pun, I know) But I also take photos that are forgotten. This one would be an example. I was spending a little time going through my travel photos and came across this scene from the Louvre in Paris.
These children and their teacher/mother/???? have set up shop by the easel of an artist who has permission to paint a copy of one of the paintings in this gallery, though when I look at the copy and the wall I can’t see which one. The copyist is gone but the observers remain. Why, I don’t know. And which gallery this is, I couldn’t say. There are many unanswered questions. Maybe someone reading this has answers. . . ?
Yesterday we were inside of the Notre Dame cathedral and today we have stepped outside and are looking at the west facade. More specifically we are looking at carvings next to one of the three sets of doors into the cathedral.
The man holding his head is St. Denis. He became a saint in part because the miracle he performed was to be martyred by being beheaded, then to reach down and pick up his head and walk 6 miles north of Paris, preaching the whole way. He finally died. And they built a basillica to honor him. Not bad for a day’s work.
In researching this post I learned a new word: cephalophore. A cephalophore is someone who carries his/her own head. Try working that into your casual conversation today!
I posted a stone carving from a building in Chicago yesterday and observed that it was done in an “era when there was time, talent and money to hand carve decorations for skyscrapers.” The building you are looking at is another sort of sky scraper: it is the Notre Dame de Paris. It is the most famous Gothic Cathedral and it took over a 100 years to construct. It, too, was done in an era when there was at least time and talent to construct such buildings.
The carvings in this photo are over 1000 years old.
Well, it’s not gurgling here and this isn’t an ordinary downspout. It’s a gargoyle and it is located on the famous Sainte-Chapelle chapel, just around the corner from the Notre Dame de Paris. It is a marvelous combination of stained glass, stone and air. It’s not on the “normal” tourists stops so you’ll have to make special efforts to get there. Interestingly, its inside the main judicial complex in central Paris so you’ll also have to go through metal detectors.
One of the architectural features of many Gothic churches are the carved downspouts, known as gargoyles. And the sound of water rushing through the monster’s mouth was described as a “gurgle,” a word derived directly from the name of these conduits.
I apologize if you’ve been lured to my blog this week thinking that “A Week In Paris” would offer a series of spectacular views of the great monuments and buildings in this amazing city. Those shots have been posted (more or less). Two of my favorites: Here and Here
While those structures help define Paris, so does this snapshot. This was not a car accident; this was someone making the most out of limited curb side parking. I have see this more than once is my travels to the big cities of Europe. I have even seen cars wedged in on both ends and then, as if things could be made worse, cars parking in a new row along side of the blocked-in cars. I have never driven in Paris and don’t think that I want to.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.