Saturday | Departure | 7,930 Kilometres To Home

Paramedicine was a dangerous job, the streets unpredictable, but to know true danger you really just need to take a cab ride to Charles de Gaulle Airport.  Last year was the worst, with our driver literally falling asleep multiple times on the highway at the end of a long night spent ferrying revellers home after France won the World Cup.   Lightening doesn’t strike twice though, right?  Well, as it turns out, sometimes it does.  My driver didn’t fall asleep this time thankfully, but he did set new land speed records through the use of… creative… lane changes.

I think I might just walk to the airport next year.

I was excited though, despite the ride, because airports always inspire me to make new photographs.  There is something magical about the way light and shadow bounce through a terminal,  due to the glass architecture and design.  

I had a 2 hour wait, so I made photos until we boarded (see images below).  As I settled in for the 10 hour flight home I had time to reflect on the past week.  How lucky am I?   I lead an amazing life, full of travel and time spent with wonderful students, and now I get to spend time at home with my family.  Balance, right?  And gratitude.  A LOT of gratitude.

I hope you enjoyed this eight part series documenting a week spent teaching in Paris (click here to go to the first post).  Looking forward, there are a few things coming up on this site that I am incredibly excited  to share with you.

Until next time,

Ian

To view the previous post click here

Wednesday | Workshop | Day Three

The forecasted rain arrived in full force, dark skies and wind combining to make it feel like fall and not early summer.  Water can add much to a photograph, creating beautiful light and reflections, but it’s important to be flexible during workshops so that the class isn’t spending 8 hours straight in the rain.

With that in mind, we chose to start the day with an indoor shoot at the beautiful Musée d’Orsay (I love this museum’s architecture and the interplay between light and shadow that you find there).  I have photographed the d’Orsay many times before, so while our students were working on their assignments I spent a bit of time making abstract images and silhouettes rather than classic “museum” photographs.  The Musée d’Orsay also has two wonderful restaurants, so we capped off our visit with a meal spent talking about photography and art.

After lunch we took the Metro to Sacré-Cœur, spending time shooting the beautiful Montmartre area.  This is one of my favourite parts of the city to visit in inclement weather, the rain somehow complimenting the cobblestone streets and overall romance found there.  Photos always seem to come easily in Montmartre. 

That evening, after dinner, I sat by an open window editing photos.  I listened to the rain pounding the streets below and enjoyed a cool breeze that was coming in through the window.  Exhaustion finally caught up to me around midnight, just as the clouds parted to reveal the stars above.  

It was a perfect ending to another wonderful day in Paris.

Click here to view part SEVEN of this series

Tuesday | Workshop | Day Two

I woke up tired, realizing as I turned off my alarm that I missed a FaceTime call from my daughter… a frustrating way to start the day.  The weather forecast called for:

“Thunderstorms, some severe.  Storms can bring downpours, large hail, damaging winds and a tornado”.

A tornado?  In Paris?  This could be interesting…

The rain held off until the end of the day, allowing us to explore and photograph the two islands in the Seine:  Île de la Cité  and Île Saint-Louis.  It was a day on the streets, a reminder that the heart of Paris doesn’t just beat in the churches or the towers, in the museums or the palaces.  The heart of Paris beats on its streets, in the lives of its citizens, and this is what we set out to capture on this day.

Simple scenes.  Snippets of daily life.  The heartbeat of a city.

Click here to view part SIX of this series