Paris streets

Paris – again?

…and again. I’ve been to a few places since I last posted, but I’ve been back to Paris again twice. The next visit was just a few months after the first, doing a similar type of trip; another spur of the moment, long weekend with no planning or organisation. Those are the best.

For this trip I saw a little more of the city and finally went up the Eiffel Tower. By the time I’d waited in all the queues to get in and get to the top, it was already dark, but that made for a brilliant view.

Last summer, I went to Paris for the third time. This was a more organised trip because I went with a friend and we needed to make the most of the trip. This time, I was there for Bastille Day, the French National Day, and had the opportunity to see the fireworks from the Champ de Mars, the gardens in front of the Eiffel Tower. There was a massive crowd of over half a million people waiting around until the start of the fireworks at nearly midnight; I’ve always loved fireworks and these were the best I’ve ever seen.

It’s also well worth taking a day out to visit the palace of Versailles. It’s huge, so you need a whole day to get there and take it all in. Top tips here; book a timed entry ticket the day before and save the barcode to your phone. To travel there, there’s a deal on public transport which I think is a fixed price from any metro station in Paris so just ask at a ticket desk for “aller-retour vers Versailles” (“return to Versailles”) and they will give you the right ticket. Keep it with you for the whole journey.

For all the major attractions in Paris, ticket barcodes can be scanned straight from your mobile screen with it’s brightness up high, so you don’t need to book and print everything out before you travel, and this gives you the option for a bit of flexibility. But keep an eye on availability levels, sometimes they can get booked a long way ahead. ALWAYS use the official ticket sites, don’t be lured in by these sites promising “skip the line” services, they’re basically scams and are just selling you a timed ticket at four times the price. As a guide, you do NOT need to pay more than about 21 Euros for a timed entry ticket to the top of the Eiffel Tower; until you get to the lifts, you’ve got separate queues and entrances. No one can skip the lift queue and if they’re advertising that service they cannot guarantee it because they are not connected to the onsite staff. A 70 Euro ticket can’t get you to the top any faster.

This trip to Paris was also the first time I’ve flown from Gatwick Airport since living on its doorstep. Being only a short bus journey away is great because you can take advantage of often cheaper early morning and late evening flights and get nearly two extra full days out of a trip. I flew from Gatwick a few times as a child But that was when it was still a four hour drive meaning leaving home at 1am to reach the cheap package holiday charter flights in time.

Some photos from the last two Paris trips below, and a video of the fireworks coming soon on YouTube…

Photo Project – Kodak Retina II S, 1959

After a somewhat unsuccessful attempt with the Kodak Brownie as described in my previous post, I’ve decided to park that one for the moment. I have now moved on to the 1959 Kodak Continue reading “Photo Project – Kodak Retina II S, 1959”

Washed up bike

Is photography Art?

art
ɑːt/
noun
1. the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be app

On The Guardian’s website today, I read an article, obviously by a regular columnist, talking about the most expensive photograph ever to be sold, at $6.5m (somewhere north of £4million). The columnist states:

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West Horsham Railway Platform

West Horsham Railway Station

The old railway station at Christ’s Hospital, known as ‘West Horsham Christ’s Hospital’, was opened at the start of the 20th Century, at the time the Christ’s Hospital school relocated from London because they wanted more rural surroundings. The school contributed to the cost of constructing the station, which consisted of seven platforms when it originally opened.

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WWII Tank Traps

Yesterday I went exploring near Horsham, and discovered further World War II defences on the Arun-Ouse Stop Line; a small bridge crossing the river Arun west of Horsham was defended by two tank traps or ‘coffins’, designed to stop tanks from getting through and crossing the bridge. Another little experiment with off-camera flash, although I wasn’t well equipped with tripods and diffusers so I was a bit limited with what I could do.

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Broad Street, Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis

I have ‘Lyme Regis’ as a saved search in my wordpress app, so I check it once every couple of days to look for any inspiring photos etc, especially now I’ve moved away and have lived in Sussex for about 16 months. I thought I’d use this to see if anyone actually uses saved searches, I know the post may be found in other ways but do people actually use saved searches?

So for anyone that has ‘Lyme Regis’ as a saved search, here’s a short pick of my photos and if you do, post a comment and let me know your thoughts .

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France 2005

La Mairie de Vannes

I haven’t been updating this blog as often as I’d like, so I had this little idea that once in a while I’d take a little look back at something I’ve done, or somewhere I’ve been somewhere in the past.

Today, I’m going to share some of my experiences of a 16 day trip to France in 2005; just me and my car. The main reason for going was because I fancied touring abroad in my new (to me) Audi Cabiolet. I didn’t plan a lot in advance. In fact all I did plan ahead were the Channel Tunnel crossings there and back. I booked them the day before I left. Another day before that was when I decided I was going to go on holiday. Sorry folks, it’s a long post, so I’ve had to add just the first snippet to the homepage.

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Wedding Photography

20120826-132255.jpg

Last weekend I photographed a wedding. In due course I will post a few more pictures and perhaps talk a bit more about it, but for the moment I thought I would just pick out this image. If you’re ever photographing a wedding, whether it’s for friends, family or commercially, get lots of abstract shots. Make sure you notice the details; close p shots can make great space fillers if you are creating an album or self-publishing a book to give to the happy couple. The flowers, the lapels, the cravats, the stitching of the dress, every little detail will help remind the bride and groom of all that happened on the day

Get Inspired for Instagram

Horsham Park
Horsham Park – look for symmetry and vanishing points to draw the eye in

Previously I wrote a piece about why I like Instragram, and why I think it has had such a great impact on smartphone users around the world.

This time I thought I’d write a bit to help you get inspired. Obviously Instagram gives you plenty of flexibility, you are only limited by your imagination and creativity.

Either choose a theme or pick random things, but a great advantage is that you always have your phone with you, so you can take pictures of anything any time. Look out for bright colours, unusual patterns or objects, cloud formations or reflections in water.

Instagram has plenty of filters available, and this is perhaps one of its key features. While preparing an image, experiment with the different filters available. I find it’s always worth trying the filters on each image, because they affect every image very differently. Don’t disregard images that might not be perfect, as the filters might just hide some of those imperfections.

Mantelpiece
Ilford HP5

Think in the square format when taking pictures; when I look through my Instagram timeline, I tend to disregard images that aren’t square…especially those that have the horrible black bars top and bottom or on the sides. To me, these images particularly detract from the image (there are free apps available that let you prepare images for the 1:1 ratio and apply a coloured or white background). I always use my iPhone’s built in camera app to take pictures, then I choose it from the album in Instagram to upload it, mainly because I don’t know how else I might want to use the image in the future.

Stream on the Isle of Wight

There are several ideas for inspiration that might help you if you are struggling. Why not try a ‘365 project’; a bit of discipline is needed, but take one photo per day, every day for a year. Use Instagram as the medium to publish your results. It could be a photo of where you are, a self portrait, or an image representative of the highlight of your day.

Create a ‘bucket list’ of things to capture and upload, and set yourself a deadline. Why not try the list below, and upload one picture to represent each item:

  • drain cover
  • leaf
  • bark
  • cloud
  • insect
  • tower
  • smile
  • jewellery
  • glasses
  • vegetable
  • wheel
  • rust
  • letterbox
  • bottles

Take one per day over two weeks. When uploading the images, add the tag #convexum to the caption.

If you’ve been inspired by my this post for any of your Instagram images, add a hashtag to them and then add a comment to this post, mentioning the hashtag so I can see your results.

My Instragram username is @laurencemadill