A couple weeks ago my wife and I, along with another couple, travelled to Paris. It was a trip that was months in planning, and by planning I mean in September we more or less said, “Let’s go to Paris over March break.” We were extremely fortunate in that we had some pretty gracious hosts for the week who were more than happy to have us. Their apartment is a mere 10-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower; you can see the top of it from their kitchen. Killer location.

We had an idea of where we wanted to go but for the most part took our time—we called it “focused meandering”. We all purchased a museum pass that allowed us into many of the attractions and in most cases let us skip the line. And boy did we get our money’s worth!

Our first full day together started at the Louvre and then moved across the river to Musée d’Orsay. We only saw a fraction of the Louvre mostly because of it’s size. We were there in the low season but there were still droves of people there. Seeing pieces of art that I only saw in books in school with my own eyes was pretty thrilling. I’ve heard multiple people say how overrated the Louvre is. I say that’s a bunch of malarky. It’s nothing short of spectacular. d’Orsay’s massive collection of impressionist paintings was probably the highlight of the day.

Paris doesn’t have a shortage of cathedrals so we visited a few, namely Sainte-Chapelle and Notre-Dame. Sainte-Chapelle is known for it’s stained glass windows that date back to the 13th or 14th century. At Notre-Dame we climbed all the way up to the top of the bell towers. If you’re claustrophobic and/or afraid of heights (or gargoyles), I wouldn’t recommend this.

We visited the Palace of Versailles the next day and had a tour by bicycle on what turned out to be a perfect day. It’s a fantastic way to see the grounds because of it’s ridiculous size. While there we visited a local market to get food for a picnic lunch—that included cheese that’s illegal here at home—that we ate along the canal.

Along with a night river cruise down the Seine, we also made stops at Invalides (which has Napoleon’s tomb), Sacré-Cœur/Montmartre, another farmer’s market, a chocolate shop called Mococha, Carnavalet, the Luxembourg Gardens, Centre Pompidou, the Catacombs, Champs-Élysées, two stops at the Arc de Triomphe, and, of course, the Eiffel Tower.

Oh, did I mention the food was impossibly good? We obviously ate out a lot, but everywhere we ate was memorable. We got into the habit of having pain au chocolat almost everyday at breakfast. It might not have been good for the waistline, but we did a lot of walking so I will continue to tell myself that they cancelled each other out.

I Love Google Maps/I Am Not A Stalker

One thing I’ve never liked about photography is naming images for shows. I don’t want to skimp out and go with the easy option of “Untitled” for everything but at the same time I really don’t like using vague mumbo-jumbo that make me sound pretentious. I tend to be very matter-of-fact with my image titles although I try not to be too obvious to the point where I feel I’d be insulting the viewer.

This is where Google Maps and my show come in. I’ve got my final images selected (side note: new printer found!) so I’m now just finalizing titles. Some of the landmarks are simple enough to name but some of the urban street shots are a little tricky. Solution: Google Maps and Bing. I seem to be adept at remembering where certain photographs I’ve taken were taken so this helped when finding the locations of my images online. I also went through my photos chronologically so I’d be reminded of the area I was in so locating the spot would be a bit easier.

Bing Maps is great because it has the bird’s eye view where you can actually get a 45 degree angle view in any direction over a city as opposed to just straight above it. I can then use Google Maps’ Street View and be transported back to that spot and basically confirm that that’s where I was. If the locations don’t have a particular building name or region of the city I can use, I’m simply using the street names.

Here you can see on the image with the tree silhouette, that the tree has since been removed, but the green glass and window panes are a dead giveaway. Success! You might think I have too much time on my hands, but I prefer to think I’m just being precise. And maybe a bit obsessed.

In Berlin: UPDATE!

Well, my printing for my upcoming show in October has basically hit a brick wall. Not mentioning names, but the lab I used did a very good job at doing a poor job of printing black and white images. They’ve done good work for me before, but they just completely dropped the ball on this one and they didn’t seem too concerned on fixing it. I’m going elsewhere to get things done now, and more than likely will not use them in the future.

This isn’t as big a pain as you’d think because I’m actually seeing it as one of those happy accidents. After seeing some of the photos printed and seeing how badly some of them came back, I thought maybe doing them in colour might be a better option. I thought about it and thought about it some more and I asked some friends what they thought and they agreed that the colour versions would work better. Most of the images will now be colour, although a few (including the one below) will remain black and white for the simple reason that they just work better that way.

So. No more metallic paper. Same images, same sizes, but with a splash of colour.

Using Format