Silhouette with Van Gogh

This is our entry in Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #62: SilhouettesLens-Artists Photo Challenge #62: Silhouettes.

In April we attended the Van Gogh Starry Night exhibit at the ATELIER DES LUMIÈRES PARIS.   Viewers are immersed in moving images taken from Van Gogh’s works.   Here is the silhouette of a tall man walking in front of “Self-Portrait” (1889) as the projected image moves on the wall.  Van Gogh appears to be exchanging glances with the man as they pass each other.

This photo was taken on April 8, 2019. Specs are:

Canon 200D, ISO 1000, f/3.5, 1/4 sec, 18 mm.



Locks on the Canal Saint Martin

This is our entry in Dutch goes the Photo!’s Tuesday Photo Challenge – Lock.

This past April in Paris, France, we cruised  The Canal Saint Martin from the Port de l’Arsenal to the Bassin de la Villette, passing through four double locks and two swing bridges. The photo below shows the first of a double lock fully open as our Canauxrama boat passes through on the way to the second lock.  From the water pouring over the top, we can see that that lock has begun to open for our boat. One of the six pedestrian bridges over the canal provides an excellent viewing point for two passers-by, while other viewers stand behind a railing at the side of the canal.

For some very good photos of the locks and cruise boats from a pedestrian viewpoint, please visit Bushboy’s post Negotiating the Lock.

Twisted at Palais de Tokyo

This is our entry in nancy merrill photography’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Twisted.

We visited the Palais de Tokyo in Paris this past April.  After three hours of wandering through the fantastic exhibits, we were heading back to the entrance when we came across a group of curiously colorful and lumpy objects lying on a stairway and the lobby floor.  The objects were encased in fabrics that were simultaneously sophisticated (shimmering, elegant, textured) and grotesque (tightly-stretched, color-clashing, awkwardly-constructed).  As we stopped to look,  we observed the objects writhe and twist occasionally, in an uncoordinated way.   Expecting to learn that some random movement process was being controlled by complex machinery, we were somewhat (but not very) surprised to see an errant foot appear from one bundle and a head from another, as the bundle occupants struggled to remain hidden while they twisted blindly in place.


This photo was taken on April 10, 2019. Specs are:

Canon 200D, ISO 640, f/5.6, 1/250 sec, 18 mm.

Sacré-Cœur on Montmartre Hill

This is our entry in Dutch goes the photo!’s Tuesday Photo Challenge – Hill.

Sacré-Cœur, or the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, stands 83 meters above the top of the butte (hill) Montmartre, which extends 130 meters above sea level, for a total height of 213 meters.  (Sacré-Cœur is the tall domed monument surrounded by the green space in the middle of the photo.)  The photo was taken from the top level of Montparnasse Tower, which itself stands 210 meters tall, putting Sacré-Cœur essentially at eye level for the photographer.


This photo was taken during the blue hour just before 9 PM on April 24, 2019.  Specs are:

Canon 200D, ISO 1250, f/5.6, 1/200 sec, 135 mm.



Finding Paris’s most interesting people

Paris limits the number of burials within its city limits. In fact, more than six million skeletons were dug up and arranged in artistic piles in their underground crypts. However, as in life, some people get very special treatment after they are gone. One of the places very special people go when they are gone is the Père Lachaise Cemetery. As strange as it may seem, it is a major tourist attraction with millions of visitors each year (we have been there three times). We were near it this April and decided to walk through on our way to the metro.

Père Lachaise wasnt very popular when it first opened because, in 1804, it was too far out of town. In a stroke of marketing genius, the operators decided to dig up famous people buried elsewhere and rebury them in their cemetery. Two of the first were star-crossed medieval lovers Pierre Abélard and Héloïse d’Argenteuil. This really classed the place up. Now there are more than 800,000 people buried here.

There are supposed to be maps at the entrance but we couldn’t find one. That didn’t bother us since we were just taking an interesting shortcut. However, Père Lachaise never fails to delight (at least people taking a shortcut). One of the first graves we came upon was an angel who appeared to be giving us a thumbs up.

Passing the angel, we wandered downhill and found Oscar Wilde’s grave. It is interesting to note the lipstick on the tomb and the glass wall surrounding it. The tomb of his next door neighbor appeared to have been toppled by admirers climbing on it to plant kisses on Wilde’s avatar. Walls never seem to work.

A little farther downhill and we found a tomb marked by a large bronze pelican. We don’t know who this is but suspected he might have had something to do with pelicans. Alternatively, this could be the tomb of a very famous pelican.

The cemetery is full of broad avenues, side lanes, paths, and little trails. They are all full of tombs, a few simple but many ornate. The cemetery is huge but we could actually find our way — and a few interesting tombs — using Google Maps.

Many of the tombs would be at home in Disneyland, especially the Haunted Mansion.

When we found this tomb, we wondered if someone was trying to get in or if the occupant was trying to get out.


About two-thirds of the way down the hill, we found Jim Morrison’s (of the Doors) grave. It was relatively simple but seemed to be one of the most visited. It was surrounded by another fence which seemed to have no affect on passage to or from the grave.

The picture of a tomb for this post was one of the most ironic. The words above the door say “Perpetual Concession” (apparently, one can rent a temporary spot here). As far as we could tell, the tomb was empty and the door had turned to rust. So much for long term planning.







38 Seconds Over Paris

This is our entry in Dutch goes the Photo!’s Tuesday Photo Challenge — Tower.

The Montparnasse Tower juts above the Paris skyline. Its elevators are the fastest in Europe: 38 seconds between the ground floor and the 56th.  A countdown clock in the elevator — where you would expect to see floor numbers — flashes rapidly as the elevator ascends or descends.  38 seconds of elevator plus three more flights of stairs takes you to the 210 meter high Observation Deck hovering above Paris. It provides a 360 degree panoramic view extending 40 km in all directions (on a clear day), including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, Montmartre, Sacre Coeur, the Pantheon, the Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe — in fact, everything but Montparnasse Tower.  The photo below shows the one view you can’t see from the Observation Deck.


This photo was taken on April 24, 2019, with a Canon 200D.

Vista from Montparnasse Tower

This is our entry in Dutch goes the Photo!’s Tuesday Photo Challenge — Vista.

Many tourists ascend the Eiffel Tower to see the vistas of Paris. We have.  There are two problems when doing this. The first is that the most iconic structure in Paris, the Eiffel Tower itself, is not part of that vista. The second is that a nondescript skyscraper, the Montparnasse Tower, is part of that vista.

We had a one day stopover in Paris while coming home from Central Europe last month. We decided to take in the vista from the top of the Montparnasse Tower.  It costs less than visiting the Eiffel Tower and the view is better! This is one of the shots we got from the Montparnasse Tower Observation Deck.