In November I travelled to Paris to visit Paris photo and explore the city. I last visited Paris twelve years ago and I really didn’t remember all that much about it.
The trip was partly a Master trip, visiting various events that formed part of the Paris photo experience. As Sian was coming with we decided to stay on for a few extra days to explore. We stayed in an airbnb in the suburb of Saint-Mande near Vincennes. This was actually really nice as it was a bit out of the busiest areas, but only 20min on the metro.
Paris Photo was a bit of an overload, a massive exhibition of hundreds of galleries, publishers and agencies. The show is held in the beautiful Grand Palais. I think in future I would definitely have a couple of days there. I was a bit burnt out after a few hours so would have been nice to go back the next day when I was reinvigorated. One high point was meeting the legendary street photographer, Joel Meyerowitz. His work has been quite influential to me in the past so it was nice to meet him and have a chat (and of course get a book signed). There were a few other brief chats and catch ups with the likes of Thomas Dworzak and Chloe Dewe Mathews, which is definitely one of the highlights of these things.
As we had quite few plans I decided to travel light in terms of cameras, just packing my Fuji X100F and the two conversion lenses (I only shot one image with either conversion lens!). I was aiming to do plenty of street photography as we explored and the X100F is great for this due to its compact nature. I didn’t envy all those walking around with huge dslr’s and lenses (quite why you need a 400mm lens whilst in a city).
In a departure for me I decided to shoot in colour, for some reason the city seemed to speak to me in colour and black and white just wasn’t working for me, maybe it had something to do with the dull weather we had for most of the trip.
I did not have much in mind whilst out shooting, mainly just capturing the feelings of the place. I was conscious of not just repeating the cliche “Paris shots”, but sometimes it is hard as you are presented with any number of beautiful Parisian scenes. There were also plenty of coffee/wine/patisserie stops along the way which hindered the progress somewhat.
I found Paris an interesting experience for street photography, it takes a little work to get beneath the cliched images, but it is possible and I would recommend visiting the outlying suburbs as things tend to get more natural. I had fun photographing in Vincennes and wish that we had perhaps had a full day exploring that area.
Till next time!
Playing in the background today Water World 3 by Binary Star