Street photography: France

Street photography is still relatively new and foreign to me. Because it is so in-your-subject’s face, I can’t really bring myself to do it often. And do it comfortably.

This first photo is obviously not on the street at all. Rather, it is behind a clock face on the inside of the Musee d’Orsay in Paris.

Leisure time

equipment: Nikon D600 and Nikon AF-S 14-24 f/2.8 lens
exposure 1/160 sec, f/5.6, iso 1000, 18mm
post processing: fill light 40, saturation +20, vignetting -10

It was quite a popular and crowded area, as the transparent clock face affords views of the Louvre across the Seine River. I had been hanging out in this area for the while, as my family members rested on the chairs nearby. Strangely enough, there was this quiet moment when most visitors moved on and it was a chance for me to take a snap of the clock face.

Pull back shot of the clock face area

As I was composing and adjusting exposure, I realized a woman was discretely looking out of the clock face to see the view across the way. Though I saw the woman standing on the left side of my frame, I decided to go ahead and take a few test shots for exposure, thinking that I could crop her out later or wait to take additional shots once she leaves. It was a backlit situation and I wanted to balance the exposure for the outdoor subjects such as the Louvre and the clock face indoor subject as much as I can in-camera. During post processing, I realized that she offered a human point of interest to what would otherwise be a rather boring photo. I adjusted the exposure to give her just enough definition to catch the viewer’s eyes, after gazing at the bright clock face.

Here’s another shot. While technically not street-level, it is below ground in the Metro station. The train was stopped with the doors open. I thought this offered an interesting mosaic-like view into the different lifestyles of Parisians.

Metro, Paris

Here is an opportune shot of a man walking his dog just outside of the Musee d’Orsay. I was watching and tracking him a few seconds prior to lifting the camera up to eye level and making the exposure. This is my first example of classic street photography.

French gentleman and dog (l’homme et chien)

The French gentleman looked at me briefly while moving on about his business.

I snapped this one through a window from the Louvre museum looking out onto the cafe seating area on the balcony. I was particularly drawn to the symmetry.

Louvre cafe

During my visit to the French countryside, I encountered this pink chic city service truck in one of the small towns. Only the French would have such nice looking service vehicles.

Chic city service truck… mais oui.

[(Ô] HtL.

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