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In one of my previous posts, I talked about my new love of shooting film on my travels. It’s freeing to leave the heavy digital body behind and just carry my lightweight film camera + one lens. And with only 36 exposures to a roll, it forces me to be in the moment more often, only pulling the camera out when I see something that’s worth one of those exposures.
This blog post is a photo-heavy journey into the three rolls of film I shot on my recent trip to Paris. I’ve captioned some of the images with a story behind why and/or how I took that specific frame.
The first thing we saw after departing the train station, which goes right to Disneyland Paris.
The Disneyland Hotel, sitting right atop the gates of the park.
Waiting in line to buy our park tickets, I noticed the way this view had a mix of horizontal and vertical lines. My eye follows the queue railings across the image before following the columns back to the posters on the far wall.
A Disneyland cast member hanging out in front of The Storybook Store. I loved how he was flanked on either side by Minnie and Mickey balloons. The color and ornateness of the building also makes me happy!
It’s A Small World in Fantasyland. These balloons were tied to a stroller. It took a few seconds for Minnie’s face to spin into the right position so that I could get the attraction in the background.
I saw this Small World cast member standing by the queue in his French costume, so I asked him “Puis-je prendre votre photo?” – he said oui, smiled, and posed for me.
The pastels and storybook shapes of the Small World facade caught my eye.
I love the golden, futuristic look of the Oribtron and Hyperspace Mountain in Discoveryland.
Hyperspace Mountain is a way cooler, Star Wars-themed version of WDW’s Space Mountain. After loading onto the coaster, it goes from 0-crazy fast – I waited until I heard the riders’ screams to snap this image of the coaster in the opening.
I love the Bavarian charm of Fantasyland. The Mickey Mouse balloon at the bottom of the frame add some context.
Shades of pink and blue – signature Disneyland.
Finding shapes: a heart and a Hidden Mickey
I waited to find the right bunch of balloons to photograph as a close-up – I chose this bunch because of the castle in the background.
Les fleurs and leading lines
Ranunculus at Hotel Henriette; rising striped columns at Palais Royal draw your eye further into the image.
More fleurs at Hotel Henriette; Lamp posts outside the Louvre in the morning (before it opened). The posts create a leading line drawing you further into the image.
I took a lot of photos of the flowers at Hotel Henriette. #sorrynotsorry
Walking from our hotel in the 13ème arrondissement, I noticed this woman writing the day’s specials on the glass windows of the corner café. I framed up the shot and waited until she was midway through this line before snapping the shutter.
At my favorite flower shop in walking distance to the hotel.
My mom and I selected the blooms we wanted for our room. Here she is holding our carefully wrapped bouquet.
“Ç’est une cadeau?” the fleuriste asks. I tell her no, the flowers are for our room at the hotel. She snips the ends and wraps them in kraft paper.
Susan painting her collection of flowers in the Hotel Henriette courtyard.
A mid-afternoon tea break. I loved the blue floor, and knew it would photograph well with the tea cup.
I couldn’t take my flowers back to the US with me obviously, so I chose to document them as much as I could.
Early morning stroll around Ile St. Louis and Ile de la Cité
I love the tile entrance outside of Hotel Henriette
Vingettes around Hotel Henriette
Vingettes around Hotel Henriette
I love “from where I stand” photos – somehow photos of my shoes on a surface helps tell a story.
Inside the Pont Neuf metro station as my train arrives.
Facades are so much more ornate in Paris than in the U.S. Would you believe that this is a drain pipe?
Looking toward Notre Dame from Ile St. Louis
There was a car parked in front of this door, so I chose to photograph the top of it and include the balcony and window instead; the pink Evian crates outside of this cafe by Place Dauphine caught my eye.
I saw this girl stop on the corner, so I set up my shot and waited a second to click the shutter.
Walking down a side street on Ile St. Louis, I noticed a bicycle leaning up against the front of a house. I didn’t have the right lens on to get a good wide shot, but then I noticed a kitten climbing out of the window, through the vines and onto the back of the bike, behind the child seat. I set up the shot and hoped she would keep eye contact with me when I clicked the shutter.
Scenes from cafés in the morning. I waited a minute or two to get the right shot of this man at Café St. Regis – unfortunately, he had extinguished his cigarette before I was set up.
Pas ouverte – not open.
I loved that the Saint Michel metro station entrance is made of stone, so I photographed it through the surrounding railings for some foreground interest.
Paris has so many beautiful doors, and I think I’ve photographed half of them.
C’est tout! Have you ever photographed Paris (or another city) on film? I’d love to know in the comments!
Camera: Canon Rebel 2000 35mm
Film: Kodak Portra 400; Kodak Portra 160
Lab: The Find Lab
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