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Paris - Streets and Cityscapes

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It’s always interesting to look back at moments through photography especially moments during travel. Everything is tinted by a certain distant nostalgia filtered through mood and every other external influencing factors. Were the leaves really that vivid? Were the vistas really that inviting? Did the streets really wind their way into your heart the way they have wound up there in retrospect?

I am in the process of putting the majority of my Paris photography online in one way or another. I am populating my Paris Pinterest board, adding to my Flickr Paris album (linked below), and I will eventually launch a travel photography portfolio site which will be part of my main photography portfolio.

A number of people have messaged me via email and my Twitter asking what cameras and lenses I used while in Paris. All of my Paris photos were taken with my Sony A99 and Sony A7R. I used the Zeiss 24-70mm f/4 lens with the A7R and the Zeiss 16-35mm f/2.8 with the A99. For the interior photos I have posted like in this post about The Palace of Fontainebleau, all photos were hand-held. In fact, I did have a tripod with me but I used it to shoot video (more on that in a future post!).

Photo-set:

1 - Spring flowers and stormy skies at Jardin du Luxembourg

2 - A view of Paris looking out towards the Eiffel Tower from the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette.

3 - A cat stops to ponder why I am so happy standing on this street in Montmartre with my camera, of course. ;)

4 - A sunlit street in the neighborhood of Buttes Chaumont.

5 - Spring blossoms on the Promenade Plantée in Paris (also known as Coulée Verte). I discovered that Paris has its own elevated park (that pre-dates NYC’s High Line!) with Rendez Vous with Paris. Pretty awesome.

6 - There is a really interesting story that goes with this photo that was sort of surreal in a cool way. So, prior to my Paris trip, I pinned a number of Paris photos I found on Pinterest to my Paris Pinterest Board hoping to visit the locations in the pins. This particular location is on Rue Ramponeau in Belleville, Paris.

On the final day that I was in Paris, Hugo and Gael from Rendez Vous with Paris took Katherine and I for a ride around Paris on their Vespas (the best time!). Hugo had told me earlier in the week that the view in the pin I pinned (which was totally random) looked like it was taken from his mother’s apartment complex. It turns out that the pin was a photo taken from almost the same location as the vantage point of his family’s Belleville apartment. And so, we rode to his mother’s apartment, met his mother (who was lovely) and pondered how strange it was that the view was indeed eerily similar.

7 - La Maison Rose in Montmartre, Paris.

8 - A hidden courtyard in Versailles City.

9 - Paris alleys are so charming.

10 - Few people seem to know that you can climb 300 steps up a very, very narrow staircase which will take you to the top of the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre which gives you an impressive view of all of Paris.

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All of my Paris posts so far:

Paris Through the Lens

Looking for these (and more) Paris photos to view larger? Here you go (click or tap on each photo to view larger):

Paris

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View: My photography portfolio, My Gear List, My Travel Blog, On G+,email me, or ask for help.

Paris - Springtime - Cherry Blossoms

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You remind me 

of springtime

as hope

unfolds

from the 

pauses

between 

your words

like blossoms

opening 

on trees.

And I 

cling to the 

promise

of petals

like the city

clings

to the promise

of summer.

—-

All of my Paris posts so far:

Paris Through the Lens

Looking for these (and more) Paris photos to view larger? Here you go (click or tap on each photo to view larger):

Paris



—-

View: My photography portfolio, My Gear List, My Travel Blog, On G+,email me, or ask for help.

Paris - Springtime - Cherry Blossoms

—-

You remind me

of springtime

as hope

unfolds

from the

pauses

between

your words

like blossoms

opening

on trees.

And I

cling to the

promise

of petals

like the city

clings

to the promise

of summer.

—-

All of my Paris posts so far:

Paris Through the Lens

Looking for these (and more) Paris photos to view larger? Here you go (click or tap on each photo to view larger):

Paris

—-

View: My photography portfolio, My Gear List, My Travel Blog, On G+,email me, or ask for help.

Paris Day Trips: The Palace of Fontainebleau

While in Paris, I was able to take a few different day trips to the outskirts of Paris to visit some truly awe-inspiring places. One of the trips was to visit the Chateau de Fontainebleau. The palace is located 55 kilometres south-east of Paris in the sub-prefecture of Seine-et-Marne. I took the Paris metro to Gare de Lyon where I hopped on another train to the destination. After I got off of the train, it was just a simple taxi ride to the palace which makes this a great day trip destination.

Dating back to the 12th century, the Palace of Fontainebleau has over 1500 rooms (!) , 130 acres of land, and is the only palace that has been continuously inhabited for over seven centuries hosting many royal families. Its proximity to the large forest of Fontainebleau made it a prime location for the Kings of France.

I was able to go on a great tour of the palace and while I only saw a few rooms, I learned so much about the palace and the Kings and Queens who inhabited the rooms we visited.

Here is a little tour of the views and rooms:

This is the Gallery of Diana. It’s one of my favorite areas of the palace that I visited. The Gallery was rebuilt in the 19th century to serve as a banquet area and then a library for Napolean III:

You may recognize some of the details of this space from the Lana Del Rey video Born to Die since the opening sequence for the music video was filmed here. It’s the Trinity chapel which was was built in the 16th century to replace a church in the same spot originally built by Saint Louis. Louis XV was wed in this chapel in the 1700s and Napoleon III was baptized in the chapel in the early 1800s.

Another view of the Trinity Chapel:

Located in the former medieval keep that existed on the site, this is the Second Saint Louis room. It served as the King’s bedroom until Henri IV when it served as an antechamber. Many of the paintings depict scenes from Henri IV’s life.

(Click on the Read More below to see more photos from the Palace of Fontainebleau…)

Read more

My recent post to my new travel blog all about the spectacular Balboa Park in San Diego.

Enjoy!

travelthroughthelens:

Balboa Park - San Diego - California

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The first thing you will notice about Southern California is the light.

The sunlight seems to be involved in a lingering conversation with the ocean and the cities that dot the coast. It’s as if the sun, ocean, and coastal cities are constantly hanging on the ends of each other’s sentences.

San Diego is definitely a part of this ongoing dialogue. It’s a city that revels in its proximity to the ocean and is steeped in history. After all, San Diego is the first place that Europeans visited on the west coast. In the mid 1500s, Spanish colonists claimed the area for Spain and 200 years later, the settlement of Alta California was formed based on this early colonial foundation. San Diego became a part of the United States in 1850 after 30 years of being part of Mexico.*

Balboa Park was first known as City Park. It was created in the 1860s and was renamed Balboa Park in 1910. It is named after Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, the first European to spot the Pacific Ocean.

The day I visited Balboa Park was the same day I had to depart on a plane back to New York City. Normally, I like to control when I visit notable places since I am always thinking about light and photography. Mid-day light is not the best light to capture the nuances of a place.

The hour prior to sunset/sunrise and the hour after sunset/sunrise are the times of day when the earth seems to be involved in an elaborate performance with the sun and moon. This is usually when cityscapes and architecture sing their arias.

However, it was almost perfect that I first laid eyes on the marvelous architecture in Balboa Park in the blinding mid-day light. The sun rays poured over the massive buildings and illuminated the ornate decoration in the way that only Southern California can deliver with its direct line of communication with the sun.

As the sun bleached the magnificent structures with bright light illuminating the lush flora that covers the nearly 1200 acres of space that Balboa Park occupies, I couldn’t help but feel like this was the same sort of light that the first inhabitants enjoyed.

While I didn’t have a lot of time to spend in Balboa Park when I was there, I did enjoy what little I saw there. The buildings in this photo-set include: San Diego’s Musuem of Man, Casa de Balboa, and the Botanical Building.

San Diego’s Musuem of Man is a building that is an ode to a variety of architectural styles (Plateresque, Baroque, Churrigueresque, and Rococo) while also being the home to an extensive collection materials dating back to the pre-Columbian history of the western Americas, with materials from the Native American cultures of the Southern California region, and the Maya. It was also the building used by Orson Welles as one of the main features of the fictional estate in Citizen Kane.

I recommend taking the time to spend exploring Balboa Park. I could have easily spent two days just exploring the museums in the park. There are also many beautiful gardens to explore.

And if you find yourself in Southern California, I dare you to not be enraptured by the ongoing conversation between the sunlight, ocean, and coastal cities. It’s an unforgettable conversation.

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*As with all colonial history, the native inhabitants were displaced suffering land loss due to war and colonial sprawl. The Kumeyaay people, whose rich history may date back as far as 12,000 years in the San Diego area, are the original inhabitants of San Diego. They currently inhabit 13 different reservations in the area.

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Interested in seeing larger versions of these photos? Feel free to check out the entire set here:

Balboa Park - San Diego

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** These photos were taken using the Sony NEX-6 and my iPhone 4S. If you are curious about the photo gear I use, feel free to check out what I have to say about the gear I use here.

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View: My portfolio, Gear List, NYC Blog, On G+, or Contact me.