Le Buci – Paris, France

The last few years have been all about work, getting more work, and shooting lots of work. Which is great and I can’t begin to say how grateful I am to have great clients that hire me all the time. But lately, I’ve had a feeling that something is missing in my career. It’s like my creative muscles are out of shape. A lot of what I shoot is about how other people feel and see the world. Shooting buildings, interiors, even food is all about someone else’s creativity. I just have the craftsmanship to capture it succinctly. I’ve lost touch with what I want to say about life through photography. Today that changes.

When I first started photoblogging, I was seeking my vision and style. I definitely found it and it helped my career tremendously. It’s time to once again to start showing personal work regularly here on Ides of May. I will post something every day, Monday through Friday. I may not write a lot, but I will try to explain why I posted what I posted.

On my last trip to Paris, I regretted bringing my big camera and lenses. It literally weighed me down and made walking around the city more of chore than a pleasure. I was constantly worried about my gear being stolen, especially my
24mm Canon TS-E II
. That lens is my workhorse.

However, maybe all the hassle was worth it to get this shot. Yeah, I could have used post production to fix the perspective. But it was so cool to stand on the street corner, lens shifted up and just wait for this moment.

Up the Spiral

Busy week! I’ve got some cool blog posts in the works, but for now enjoy this twirling wonder of Parisian Architecture. This spiral staircase is located at Panthéon and leads down to the crypt that is the final resting place of many French artists, politicians, scientists, and military heros. It’s a pretty amazing place. That spiral goes up about 8 stories and is only about 6 inches in diameter.

X Marks the Spot

Click Here to Buy a Print

Big images are back! I’m very excited about this latest tweak to the photoblog portion of my blog. I like the 2 column sidebar layout for my normal blog posts, but for my fine art work, I really wanted to have bigger images. It took a little fancy PHP “if this {”  and “else {”  of the template, but it worked. Now I just have to go back through 400 some odd posts and replace the small images for large ones. Oh joy.

About this photograph: I’ve only shot aerials once, but it was a lot of fun. I can see why photographers like Cameron Davidson specialize in it. It’s incredible way to see our world and the patterns that emerge naturally or man made. Since I didn’t have access to a helicopter in Paris, I had to settle for the Eiffel Tower. I think we’re pretty close to the top looking down on the Champs de Mars. I like how the road and the park form an X.

Hey, if you like this shot, head over to my archive and buy a high quality fine art print. It’ll look great on your wall. All my fine art prints are now hand printed in Portland, Oregon on high quality Hahnemühle paper.

The Curved Staircase #1 & #2

We took the Metro to the Louvre, so I didn’t see this entrance staircase until I was leaving. It’s really a pretty incredible feat of engineering. The spiral staircase floats around a column that doubles as an elevator and connects the outside courtyard to the belly of the museum. Definitely go in this way if you ever go to the Louvre.

Looking Through the Pyramid

I finally got to visit the Louvre on our most recent trip to Paris. The museum is huge and holds an incredible collection of art, I barely scratched the surface of what’s there. I did get to see some of the famous works including the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory of Samothrace. Seeing those was quite an experience on their own.

This shot is from inside looking through the Louvre Pyramid. A trick I learned from shooting with my iPhone is that you can put small camera lenses in places you don’t normally go with bigger cameras. I literally stuck the lens right under the base point of the Pyramid and shot upwards.

These next few blog post will highlight some of my favorite shots I took on my afternoon there. All these shots were taking with my Lomo. And don’t forget to subscribe to my RSS feed if you want to keep up with the blog from the comfort of your own RSS Reader.

Lomo and Me

An interesting feeling happened to me while I was in Paris. It’s a little hard to describe, but I just wasn’t feeling my camera. I was enjoying being there and the first day or two I had fun shooting. But very quickly, I realized I wasn’t enjoying lugging around a body and three pro lenses (or about $6000 worth of gear) all day. I wanted to lighten up. Take it easy. Relax…. I needed something simple. Plus, my 5D MK II is the camera I use for “work” and I was trying to be creative in a non “work” kind of way.

In researching where we were staying, I discovered that a Lomography Store was only a few blocks away from our rental apartment in the Marais. Lomography Stores sell all kinds of toy cameras including Holgas and Lomos. I have a Holga, but was never that stoked on it. It’s a little too toyish for my tastes. I like cameras that don’t have light leaks 😉

I had read about the Lomo LC-A+ a long time ago and really wanted one. They’re not too hard to find, but I never wanted one at the same time that I could buy one easily. Walking in to the Lomography Store, the right impulse buy happened at the right time and I knew this was the camera I wanted to shoot for the rest of my trip.

This camera is pretty basic and it’s not fussy at all. It’s really fun to shoot. One of the funnier things about shooting film again is every so often, I’d catch myself chimping after I clicked the shutter. Old habits die hard.

Anyway, these next couple Ides of May posts will be all Lomo and all film. Thanks for looking.

Trocadéro

As you may or may not know, Lauren and I took a little trip across the pond to Paris and London last month. Going in November, we were expected cold and rain. Instead we were treated with blue skies, sun, and even some warm days. Over the next week or so, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite shots.

This view is pretty famous and if you’ve ever been to the Trocadéro, you know exactly where this spot is. There’s a famous black & white photo from this same vantage point that’s used on a postcards at every gift shop you go to in Paris. The problem is that when you go there now, tourists are everywhere.

I really wanted to isolate the statues, the building and the Eiffel Tower, so that’s why I choose to shoot at this cropped angle. Just below the frame are literally dozens of tourists taking snapshots of the Eiffel. I wanted something a little calmer.

Side note: as an experiment, I’m going to post this image on Facebook and Google+ to see what gets more reaction.