Three days in Paris

Whenever I travel somewhere, I always take my camera with me and try to find the time to photograph. I then bring those images home and share my favourites with whoever is willing to look at them here on this blog. I don’t know if this is a common feeling, but I often have the same nagging thought – “did I capture the character of the place?” I always worry whether the images I present also convey the feeling of the place, the feeling that I had when I was there taking those photographs.

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Back in March of this year, Mila and I had a special three days in Paris. The photographs in this blog (and in the video at the bottom of this post) go some way to record that wonderful time that we had. Not being a native Parisian, it’s hard for me to say whether even a small part of the essence of Paris did make it into these images.
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One town, One mile, One camera – Den Haag, The Netherlands

Earlier this year I was at a meeting in The Hague, or Den Haag, in the Netherlands. I took my x100s with me thinking that I might have the chance for some street photography while I was there. It was a busy two-day meeting, and I only had one chance to try and take some images of the streets in Den Haag (I like saying it the Dutch way!), and that was at the end of the meeting as I walked between the NWO offices, and the train station.

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This was my first time in Den Haag, so I had no idea what to expect. But that just added to the experience. I had no expectations and I would just try to see what I could see in the streets as I walked through the town towards the station.

The pictures in this post are what I could find. A mixture of architecture both old and new, classical and avant garde, and one or two characters.

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One town, One mile, One camera – Lincoln

Driving through the county of Lincolnshire it is tempting to think of it as one of the flatest counties in the UK. There are flatter counties and those in the East Anglia region are the flattest of all, according to Wikipedia. But you are easily misled into thinking this when driving into Lincoln. And then you park (if you can find a spot!) and decide to walk to the Cathedral quarter. The gentle ache you feel in your thighs and calfs as you do so tell you a different story.

I took my trusty Fujifilm X100S on this walk, from the University campus, on the banks of the River Witham, up to the Cathedral.

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To get to the Cathedral, you walk along an aptly named street – Steep Hill.

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After taking images of the Jewish House I was later surprised to learn of the Jewish Heritage that is present in the city, especially in relation with the Cathedral. When reviewing my images, I was struck by the triptich that I put together. Nothing to do with Jewish heritage, but more to do with the symbolic ascent of young man through life who then returns back down from the summit, well…. changed, and with a new perspective on life.

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We walked past The Pot Shop. As we were not in Amsterdam, all we found inside was a man making and selling pots.Lincoln-4

You are thankful when you reach the top. We will return to Lincoln soon. I shall have to bring my wider lens.

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One town, One mile, One camera – Bakewell

(click on images in grids for larger versions)

Is Bakewell a town or a village? Nestled in the heart of the Peak District it is certainly a very idyllic and picturesque place. We visited during the busy summer season because, well, Bakewell is a very idyllic and pictureque village nestled in the heart of the Peak District.

Whenever I go into towns with the intention of doing some street photography, I always look at the people around, the situations they find themselves in and the interactions between them. That’s what gets me into the right frame of mind for street photography, which is different to the landscape photography frame of mind I need to be in when we are hiking the hills and valleys.

Luckily, there were many characters on the streets of Bakewell that day.

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One town, One mile, One camera – Chester

I’m taking some time off this summer, along with the rest of you, but unlike some I will not be going too far away. Last week, for instance, it was a day trip into Chester to look around the historic town, do some light shopping and take my camera out for some street photography.

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Chester still has the old walls along which the Romans used to patrol, and you are still able to do the same or take a tour with a group. With Chester being quite close to us, we decided to have a quick look from the high vantage point, but to leave wall-walking to our next visit.

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One town, One mile, One camera – Valletta, Malta

This business trip took me to the capital of the Mediterranean island of Malta, Valletta. This was my first time to Malta and I enjoyed it very much. A typically mediterranean town especially at this time of year – hot, dusty, rocky. I found the language fascinating as it was very difficult, for me, to place. You could hear influences from the Latin and Arabic languages.

A week long meeting where I would spend the bulk of the day within a building listening and talking to people. So inspired by my post from Edinburgh I decided, over the course of the 5-day week, to enter street photography mode for the approximate 1 mile walk from the hotel to the University buildings where our conference and meetings were taking place.

Having never been there, I didn’t know what to expect of Valletta, but I quickly found that I really liked the town. It has character and charm, and more besides. Arguably, the island is most famous for receiving the George Cross from George VI following the great siege it suffered in WWII. A replica of the letter from the King bestowing the award is inscribed on the walls of the “Grandmaster’s Palace”.

The doorways and shop fronts in Valletta are both colourful, expressive and indivudual.

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One town, One mile, One camera – Edinburgh

A good friend of mine recently challenged me on Facebook to a 7-day B&W challenge. Take a single black & white image each day, for seven consecutive days, and post it on Facebook, and at the end pass on the challenge by nominating someone else. There are lots of these challenges around and I’m not normally a fan of them, but I felt different about this one.

I was spending the week in Edinburgh for a conference, so I wouldn’t have much time to explore the streets or spend sight-seeing. Opportunities for photography would be few and far between. Instead, the bulk of each day would be spent within the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, listening to people talk and talking to other people.

So there was a double challenge – the challenge itself and the challenge of fitting it into the time I had walking between the venue and my hotel, and the hotel to wherever we may be having dinner that evening.

But I did have a card up my sleeve – this is Edinburgh. Anything is possible from a creative standpoint.

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