Archive for the ‘Pictures – Photos’ Category

Rediscover : St-Germain-des-Prés

It is very easy to walk along Boulevard St Germain and not give the Abbey of St-Germain-des-Prés a cursory glance. Afterall, in a city of grandeur and one that contains many magnificently ornated Gothic cathedrals, a small stone Romanesque church would have a difficult time competing.

The Romanesque square tower of St-Germain-des-Prés

The Tower of St-Germain-des-Prés

The Gothic choir of St-Germain-des-Prés

The Gothic choir of St-Germain-des-Prés

Windows designed by Flandrin

Windows designed by Flandrin

The church was built characteristically Romanesque, with thick stone walls, round arches, large tower, groin vaults, sturdy piers, Corinthian capitals, and latin cross floor plan, containing several chapels on the East end of the church. Nonetheless, the church also retain some early Gothic features, following renovations and additions, including flying buttresses and four-part groin vaulted roof.

The next time you find yourself passing by the area, why not drop in for a little visit. It is pleasant, silent, not overrun by tourists, and it’s free to enter. If there are performances scheduled, buy a ticket and marvel at the acoustics of the church.

Great Paris Photo Competition

At first glance, this is a photo competition that anyone (particularly photography enthusiast) who loves Paris would gladly take part in. Organised by Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, it’s a competition that will attract both residents of Paris and visitors alike. There are no entry charges, and contestants are to submit 5 photos – making the task for contestants to choose their entries a little easier, since I’m sure one would easily have hundreds of wonderful photos and be torn about which to submit.


The prizes are quite attractive, and here’s the list of the prizes:

  • 1st : Canon EOS 450D Compact Digital SLR Camera
  • 2nd : Canon Powershot G10 Compact Digital Camera
  • 3rd : Paris Dinner Cruise for 2 on Bateaux Parisiens
  • 4th : A night for 2 at 3*** Exclusive Group Hotels
  • 5th : 2 Tickets to Disneyland Paris

Now, why 5 photos per entry, you ask? Well, there are 5 different categories that one can submit their photos for, although you’re not obliged to submit 1 photo per category and instead you may choose to submit varying number of photos per varying number of categories of choice. The categories are:

  • Paris Mythique : Concorde, Champs-Elysées, Tuileries, Louvre
  • Paris Monumental : Eiffel Tower, Champs de Mar, Invalides, Trocadéro
  • Paris Seine : River Seine, the bridges, the quays, the ports
  • Paris Tendance : Marais, Montorgueil, Hôtel de Ville, Les Halles
  • Paris Populaire : République, Bastille, Oberkampf, Père Lachaise

But, before you whip up your camera and roam the streets of Paris, or dig up your digital archive of photos that were taken this year, you must be aware of the following entry requirements:

For initial submission:

  • Photo digital file size at about 3Mb
  • Dimension approximately 10cm x 8cm (1200 x 900 pixels) at 300dpi
  • Format : Jpeg

Final submission if chosen as winner:

  • Photo digital file size of minimum 25Mb
  • Dimension approximately 30cm x 20cm (3500 x 2500 pixels) at 300dpi
  • Format : Jpeg

I am as casual a photographer as any amateur may be, and I have never taken any photo with my trusty compact digital camera that has final size of 2-3Mb, let alone 25Mb. It somehow makes me believe that, this competition is not really geared for just an average photographer. You’ll probably need to be shooting with a digital SLR in RAW format or something like that. (If someone can correct/confirm my assumption?)

If this is really the case, now look back at the prizes again. Do the rewards corresopond to the amount of effort put in? And if you do need more than just a digital compact camera to produce final photo of 25Mb (you must have that for submission after announcement of winners, within 5 days, or a new winner will be chosen), then how likely are any amateur/casual photographer be able to meet this entry rule? I understand that such huge size is required so that an exhibition of the photos may take place later on, but it is quite an imposition to anyone who would like to take part but do not have fancy high-end camera.

Nonetheless, if you have what it take, do submit your best shots. Take part in the competition here before 31 August 2009, and please do read through the entire competition rules before you get started. Bonne chance!

A couple shots from the Eiffel Tower 14-juillet fireworks





Er… where’d the tower go? (Part of the finale)


Interesting graffiti


I walk by this graffiti every day on my way to work. /sigh
And I still go all the way there anyway!

Make an X-wing from a metro ticket!


Isn’t this amazing? I found out about this here and apparently it came from here (with step by step instructions!).

O my, and there is the Milllenium Falcon too!


Well done Hubert! Most impressive and inspiring work! :D

Exurbis, let’s explore the city

While I was randomly surfing the web, looking for some details of some Paris event, I went from website to website and eventually arrived at…. Exurbis.

This blog suggests that we follow the author through “urban exploration” of Paris. Going on the roofs or underground… in places where you don’t expect to meet many people…

Illustrated with many pictures, it’s a very interesting read! You should go take a look ;)

Also, I’d like to mention the fact the this blog is available both in French and in English, which I find most admirable. Even though it’s not an exact translation: there is, from what I gather, basically a French blog and an English one, which do not contain the same posts. Still a most brave endeavour :D (You may remember how torn I was / am about which language I should use here…)

Faking tiltshift : Paris and Provence

In the age of digital manipulation, there are so many tools out there to play around with, that the user doesn’t need to be a pro to produce some fun and rather stunning final photos from somewhat mundane shots. One of the tools that I’ve been checking out of late is the Tilt-Shift Maker.

Tilt-Shift Maker works best with panoramic-style overall shots, transforming the location into seemingly a miniature model while enhancing the colours. Unfortunately I love taking photos in close crop most of the time, making it difficult for me to find something suitable. Nonetheless, I’ve grabbed a few shots randomly, taken in Paris and in other places within Provence in the south. I uploaded them to Tilt-Shift Maker for quick manipulations, and save them again. Have a look (click on image to enlarge it) and tell me what you think of them ;-)

The triumphal arch of Paris

The Eiffel Tower at sunset

Dining al fresco in Castellet

The port of Marseille

The waterfront of Cassis

I must admit, while it’s exciting and all to fake the tilt-shift, the end result made me a tad envious. More specifically, why do I not have the skill to produce photos that are at least as bright and beautiful as the faked versions, even if I can’t manage the tilt-shift myself (considering there are special lens required and my baby point-and-shoot can never compare).

Oh well… and I used to think the photos I took was pretty good. Putting them side by side to manipulated ones, they look dull, dull, dull. *sigh* Now you know why proper photographers get paid so much. They can produce miracles instantly that us mere mortals can somewhat reproduce via Photoshop and various other softwares.

Paris under snow

It’s incredible. I walked though lots of snowy snow today! (And lots of slush too!)

Merry Christmas to all!

with a little picture from the lights on the Champs Elysées…

LE sapin devant Notre-Dame

Le sapin devant Notre-Dame

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