I thought I’d share a veritable panoply of images with you today. They’re all either photos that didn’t come out quite right, images I thought would be funny to write about, or ones I snapped explicitly because they were so trite. I mean, really, nothing beats 3rd rate art school photography more than that same photography done completely self-consciously.
The top shot in today’s series is of the famed Musée d’Orsay at sunset. Tragically, there’s a huge ad on the side of museum these days, while it undergoes renovations, so there are no good photos to be taken. Rather than do a few exposures that would allow me capture both the awesome sunset and the museum, I just went with some camera settings that would allow the final shot to be vaguely remiscent of a 1970s Eagles album cover – that is…if the Eagles were French. And the shot below was just a candid shot of this nice couple who’d sauntered into the Luxembourg Gardens. The lady seemed dazzled by the place, and I got the impression that her male companion had been there a few times before and was happy to tell her all about it. Cute shot, if a bit ruined by some unfortunate camera settings.
I can’t tell you how many times I photographed the intersection below. It’s long been my favorite – if one can legitimately say they have a favorite intersection – and I always wanted to capture the perfect balance of sun, clouds, and street life. While I have yet to go through all of my shots from this summer, this vaguely approximates what I wanted to get. But, keeping with the theme of effed-up shots, the mini-crane on the right side, the absence of pedestrians/bicyclists and the solitary cloud puff didn’t quite make it all I needed it to be.
Ok, ok, now this shot is the absolute embodiment of the poor art school photography I mentioned earlier. Cause, you know . . . there’s something aesthetic about. But, at the same time, the whole billowy clouds (a la Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game video) silhouetting city rooftops is just phenomenally jejune.
This one might be my favorite in the whole set. I’m all for people having tattoos. While I have none myself, I think they’re awesome . . . especially neck ones. But there’s just something weird when I see a guy walking down the street hand-in-hand with his girlfriend and then notice he has a butterfly tattoo on his left arm. If he’s been walking with another guy, then I’d be like, “Awesome. They look happy together, and what a nice butterfly tattoo that is.” But instead I was like, “I wonder if she approached him in a bar and was like, ‘Hey, nice butterfly tattoo. Wanna buy me a drink?’” It just doesn’t compute.
Can you see why I snapped this shot? Yep, cause it’s ******* creepy. That’s the kind of doll you know comes alive at night.
The photo below does double-duty as both a totally insipid shot and one I thought require some commentary. So it’s in a restaurant, napping behind seats in one of the booths. What are the odds the next person that sits down will notice there’s a cat there? I’m doubting they’re going to see it. But I bet when it wakes up and pops its head over the cushion, the person facing it will probably **** themselves.
I was pretty excited to get the shot below. No, not because it’s a cool site to be seen – because, after all, it’s a garish arch in the middle of a dirt path – but because this is only known shot ever taken without at least 20 Japanese tourists standing directly in front of it. Truth be told, the French themselves, as well as Russians, Germans, Americans and more tend to patrol this area in packs. I always think there should be some law, in every major tourist city, that tour groups must have fewer than 10 people. Especially when you’re in a museum and there are 30 people huddled around a painting or sculpture you’d like to see, it’s really frustrating. Andy Rooney recently retired from making crotchedy comments on 60 Minutes, so I’m . . . just sayin’.
I literally took the shot below while thinking, “God, I hope no one sees me taking this photo.” Do a search of either “solitary chair paris” or “solitary chair tuileries” on Google Images or Flickr, and let me know how many artistic shots you come up with. I also have a few shots from it at a distance, as I wasn’t sure what better amplified the vibe of a 14-year-old having taking the photo that best exemplified their sense of isolation.
So there you go. Did you enjoy these random and generally banal and not-quite-right shots? I have many more interesting ones I’ll be whipping out soon enough. But I think the next non-pastry entry I’m going to do will be all about my favorite café. So get ready for some super awesome photos coming your way.