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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:57 pm 
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At the end of March, I travelled to Paris for the first time. It's is a beautiful city indeed, a street photographer's dream. Two factors were working against me though: it was super busy (Easter weekend, and I don't like taking pictures in crowds); and me and the friend I was visiting explored most of the city by foot, so after just two days of non-stop walking my legs were tired already.

I will be posting my favorite snaps from the trip in this thread, so stay tuned, there are more pictures to come!

All pictures are shot with my Leica M9-P and 50mm Summilux.

    1. Check the map. Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2013
    The friend I was visiting and who accompanied me on my long walks had sore legs by the time we got to the Louvre, so we sat down near one of the fountains. Bright sunshine offered good lighting conditions to take some pictures.
    Image

    Aperture: f/16
    Shutter Speed: 1/250th
    Sensitivity: ISO 200


    2. Arc de Triomphe. Place Charles de Gaulle, Paris, 2013
    The roundabout that surrounds the Arc de Triomphe is absurdly busy, but I lucked out with relatively quiet streets in this picture.
    Image

    Aperture: f/5.7
    Shutter Speed: 1/500th
    Sensitivity: ISO 400


    3. The wedding car. Rue Abreuvoir, Paris, 2013
    Arriving at this street corner in Montmartre I saw a wedding company entering a restaurant. Had about one second to take a picture before they disappeared, but managed to snap this one. I liked the way the door of the van is opened, making it seem as if the bride and groom just stepped out of it.
    I mean, renting a wedding car can get expensive, why not go for a van? :lol:
    Image

    Aperture: f/5.7
    Shutter Speed: 1/750th
    Sensitivity: ISO 400


More pictures to come!

- Bjorn

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:35 pm 
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Great shots, I think I like the third one best. For a split second I thought the bride was climbing in through the window :D

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:04 pm 
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Thank you breadandbutterfly! I also like the third shot most, will definitely be printing it at a large size to frame and put up on a wall somewhere.

- Bjorn

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:29 pm 
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Each of the three is likable in its own way. Knowing it is your friend in the first one, reading the map, makes it important as a personal memory, while having excellent composition. I really like the composition of the second, causing it to get my attention the quickest, though the missing top of the Arc is noticeable. Of course, getting the top of the Arc within the frame would have made the women on the bench relatively smaller, so your chosen framing was probably the better choice. The third has humour that reminds of Elliott Erwitt's photos, and I mean that in a positive way. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:05 am 
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Thanks very much for your comment Rex! I must add that the person in the first picture is not my friend, but some random stranger (as with most people in my photographs :) ). Me and my friend were sitting near on the of the fountains and resting our legs. From that fixed position I snapped some pictures, so it was hard to properly separate people from the background (really busy).
I do have a snap of the full Arc de Triomphe from a couple meters back, showing both the women on the bench and the full structure, but it just didn't look right from that distance.

Hearing my picture reminds you of Elliott Erwitt's work is the biggest compliment you could give, and I sincerely want to thank you for saying that. Erwitt is my biggest source of inspiration (ranking above HCB, Doisneau, Brasaï and others), and I have full shelf of his photo books to flip through on lazy Sunday afternoons. Knowing how fast I had to think for this snap I only appreciate the genius wit of Erwitt more, he's truly brilliant.
I had the honor of attending one of his lectures in London. He's quite the stand-up comedian on stage as well. If you have some time, watch this two part recording of one of his presentations:

http://vimeo.com/49222196
http://vimeo.com/49222197

- Bjorn

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:06 pm 
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    4. Jumping rope. Avenue de Paris, Versailles, 2013
    Most things vintage draw my attention, especially photographs from the 20s till the 50s. It's hard to replicate such photography nowadays because the world looks and behaves so differently. Therefore, I was thrilled to see these classically dressed kids come jumping rope down the street in Versailles. Underexposed the shot, but managed to fix that while developing the shot.
    Image

- Bjorn

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:34 pm 
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I really do like this one, too! :)

Bjorn, I really do enjoy seeing your images. I am glad you are inspired by Elliott Erwitt, because I like his work, and I like yours. I have the opportunity to follow your work from this early time in your life, as it happens. I do not claim to be any kind of art or photography critic, but I am hopeful that you are noticed as your art and skills develop.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:15 pm 
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Well thank you Rex, those words mean a lot to me. I do not have specific ambitions to work in the photography field, but to become a modern male equivalent of Vivian Maier would be a dream. Of course, if some gallery or agency were to get in touch, I would happily respond... :wink:



Here's another picture for today.

    5. Opulence. Opéra Garnier, Paris, 2013
    The national opera of Paris is an impressive structure on the outside, but it is only when you enter that the opulence of it makes you stop in awe. Gold and marble seem to be the only materials used in the construction. Truly impressive and a definite must-see if you are visiting Paris.
    Image

    Aperture: f/1.4
    Shutter Speed: 1/250th
    Sensitivity: ISO 1600

- Bjorn

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:45 am 
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The classic style of your shots reminded me of the John Denver song, "A Country Girl In Paris", which would probably make a nice soundtrack to accompany them.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:36 am 
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I'll give it a listen after my class, thanks. Have been playing Doris Day's "April in Paris" and "That's What Makes Paris Paree" quite a bit over the last weeks while processing the RAW files. :)

- Bjorn

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:20 am 
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Great set so far, Bjorn.

How are you getting on in lower light with the M9? I see at f1.4 you're up to ISO1600 indoors at the opera house, but what's your personal high ISO limit (then again you were at 1/250th so there was plenty of headway there if you so wished, so presumably you're shooting full Manual)?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:46 am 
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Thank you Phil!

The low-light performance of the M9-P is not great, to be honest, and it is not a good camera for low light unless you have a fast lens on there. If I did not have a thing for grain, I would probably be trying to sell off the M9-P to get a Monochrom instead. I use all the ISO settings available, although I know that ISO 2500 (upper limit) can get very extreme in terms of noise, so I try using longer exposure times as much as possible. The picture at the opera house was shot at 1/250th mainly because I was lazy: I normally go fully manual in bad lighting conditions, but on my vacation I let aperture priority help me out.
The photo was underexposed, but I find that the Leica's files retain a lot of detail in the shadows that can easily be pulled out in ACR. The picture of the girls jumping rope (no. 4) originally showed silhouette-like figures, but a little processing did the trick. By the way, I stick to ACR (Adobe Camera Raw for those who are not familiar with it) for all my processing; I do not do anything to the pictures in Photoshop itself. I still like to think of myself as a purist when it comes to processing pictures.

- Bjorn

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:06 am 
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It's good grain on M9 and M9-P files though, isn't it? I have a friend with M9 and 35 cron and I'm trying to get a play with it for a day or so!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:11 am 
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Once you print it, it sort of looks like film grain (which I love) so yes, I would consider it good grain. There is a slight defect in my sensor though: as I go up toward ISO 2500, a vague green line appears across my images. I have to be careful in my B/W conversion to make it blend in with the rest of the picture.

It might be hard to get your friend to loan you his Leica, but if you do, make sure you have to full day to go out and enjoy it. I look forward to seeing your results!

- Bjorn

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:23 am 
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Here's another picture for today.

    6. L'Amour. Esplanade du Trocadéro, Paris, 2013
    Paris is a whole lot of tourism and a pinch of romance.
    Image

    Aperture: f/5.7
    Shutter Speed: 1/500th
    Sensitivity: ISO 400

- Bjorn

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