Sunday, August 28, 2016

France again, but this time at La Gacilly, in Bretagne (Brittany)

post #299
      Before getting to Paris this summer, I made sure to visit as well a close friend, Mariko, who lives in Rennes, in western France. I met her years ago in Japan, but she has been married to a frenchman and living in France for a long time.  A couple of springs ago on this blog I showed photos of her and her husband, Christian, in Rennes and in St. Malo. 
       This time I only had a single day to visit, due to one of my airplanes having been canceled.  Anyway, with two of her friends, we drove to La Gacilly, about an hour away.  That is where a famous annual outdoor photo exhibit takes place: several hundred large photos set up all over town, grouped by photographer or by topic. It was impressive!  Actually, this year one of the major topics was photos from Japan.  
     One of Mariko's friends, Joelle, is also a photographer, and last week she sent us some of her photos from that day.  That gave me the idea of showing some of her photos and some of mine of the same places.  I will try to pull off my idea today, both to show the town with its renowned event being well attended on a Sunday, and, mainly, to enjoy the way each photographer's own eyes have the final say about how a photo looks. Merci, Joelle, pour tes photos fantastiques!

Ann - first views of the village of La Gacilly, to be followed by Joelle's first views

Joelle!  This has more water, and of course the willow tree!
another perspective, by Joelle

I love this photo -- Mariko made it!  And it shows three of the four of us. Next are two other versions of this same main area at the entrance to the town.

(Ann)  I assume this red structure is there year round.

(Joelle) looking back from the big buildings -- I didn't notice while there how the shaped tree reflects the red structure.  So glad to see it here.

As we walked around the town, which had so many photos on display, I noticed this stairway off to one side; we all had a long discussion about how to compose a photo of it. So here, one is mine, one is Joelle's -- a beautiful use of a staircase that's probably unsafe to use...

(Joelle) the ancient town well

(Joelle) I missed this as well!

(Joelle) I assume this was a favorite photo of hers.

three friends, after our true French lunch

This mother and daughter are acquaintances of my gang. They just happened to be having lunch at the same restaurant!

(Ann) the "square"

(Joelle) the same "square," in La Gacilly
I will now add some photos, some by me, some by Joelle, with hopes they give the flavor of how there was something interesting to see around every corner.


(Ann) -- first of three photos from one place

I never found out the story behind choosing this photo for a posed moment....
Joelle making a photo.

(Ann) I put the head in the photo on purpose, partly to gauge the size of the photo on the wall, but also to acknowledge that the whole place was a celebration of photography, with tourists looking at the several hundred photos on display and taking photos in return..
(Joelle, of course)

We figured someone had left this bike out as a prop.  So we obliged....  After all, the day was also about having fun! It was the first time any of us had been to this village and so also the first time to see one of the annual exhibits.

Thanks, Joelle, for this fine photo of Mariko and myself.
a favorite photo there, though my photo of it doesn't do it justice

Sunday, August 21, 2016

France, part 3, some twice visited places

post #298
       Maybe Paris, France is not your favorite place in the world, but I hope the photos I've made there, with iPhone and with my Canon SLR, are still worthy of a perusal.  I thought today I would show some places I went to more than once, where I used both my cameras, and see if that makes any difference at all in how they come across!

To start, here is an over/under photo, two different times, two very different views of the same bridge. (There are 5 pedestrian bridges that cross the Seine River in Paris.)

our family, crossing over to the Louvre Museum, early in the day

crossing under that same bridge, the next day, while on the Seine River

looking at "my" side of the street from across the Seine, with the backs of the book stalls shown along the Quai wall

I took many photos of this woman as she opened up her book stall for the day. This was the first one -- it took me a bit to realize what she was up to and that I had time to follow her. I have two photos of her in the previous post. The river is in the background.
       I found the following photo in a book stall near "my woman". There was no way I was going to be able to arrange to be where that photo was made, so I tried to make an art photo from what I did have to work with.
a photo of a photo, showing the model of the Statue of Liberty

and now the reverse view, from the Eiffel Tower, and the statue is located at the far end of the strip in the middle of the river
 Next, here are first three views made with my iPhone from within the quiet cathedral nearby, St.--Severin, that I visited on my last day. I learned that it is one of the oldest cathedrals still in operation on the left bank of the Seine.

 and now three photos I made inside this church with my Canon. I don't like to use the bigger camera when there are folks nearby who are in church.  I also stayed awhile in the meditation chapel, but there was someone else in there the whole time, so I didn't take any photos at all. No problem:

This shows how the organ does hide some of the beauty of the window.
  One last photo, a snapshot, really, from the front of Notre-Dame, which we we could see from the apartment. This was amazing to me, since I have only ever stayed a night or two in Paris before.  Thanks for sharing some of this journey with me.


Sunday, August 14, 2016

More Paris bits, part 2 of 3

post #297
        This week's post is more Paris! Today's photos are ones made with my Canon 5D companion. I didn't carry my camera everywhere -- too heavy, even when it was in my son's backpack, and we had some rain -- plus once we left in the morning, we'd be gone most of the day.  Anyway, I love my Canon, so I did enjoy it when I had a chance to use it. (Next week: times when I used both the iPhone and the Canon at the same place.)

       So here's from early in our week, exploring the Seine and some of the 37 bridges that go over it in Paris:
moving forward

and then looking backwards - the roof window opened despite the drizzle, and E's head liberated.

getting closer by water to the Eiffel Tower
   The next day we got even closer to the Tower. In fact, we went up to the top!

I love trying to get a photo of something I wasn't expecting to see.

But I found that even the expected had charm.

This was as close as I got to the Bois de Bologne, by the way, which is the wonderful wooded area seen in the background.... My sisters and I remember playing there years and years and years ago.

I went across the Seine to get a view of the building we were in -- I hung my red sweat shirt over the railing of our apartment before leaving the apartment to take some photos. Hint: the building is the third one from the right, and there is a close-up in the next photo. Sightseeing boats passed by all the time, including at night, on their way to nearby Notre-Dame. The street floor of the building had a Pizza place.

       The green structure between the trees in the photo above is the back of a book stall, a famous feature in Paris since forever. One morning, early, I took a series of photos, from the opened window, of the woman across the street as she opened up that book stall for the day.  Later I went outside to talk to her, which I enjoyed very much.  She said that tourism is definitely down this year in France, and she also gave me permission to take her photo when I asked -- and I made got a good one.  Now I wish I had her address to send her a copy of it. I am not sure that anyone would deliver a letter to "the woman who works across from 47 Quai des Grands Augustins."

all set up, near the bus stop, and ready for some sales

  Since we were located within a few blocks of Notre-Dame, we went back there another day.  A late afternoon church service started up, with incense and song, and roaming tourists on the side. I remember studying that window in a history of art class at my college!

       We returned as well to Saint Chapelle (see last week's post), but this time it was for an evening concert, in the top level of the building. What a beautiful place to hear Vivaldi! Surrounded by those windows!  
       My thanks again, dear family, for my being part of such a lovely week.  Merci beaucoup, beaucoup.

 (True confession - these last two photos were taken with the iPhone, since I didn't bring the Canon with me.  It seemed better to be there for the music and family, and not be tempted to zone out with the Canon.)