Even Graffiti Eyes Can Cry — Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Eyes

This is our entry in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Eyes.

Graffiti is everywhere in Paris, France. What drew me to this street art, sprayed under the shelter of an arch near Place des Vosges, were the eyes.  If I had seen these crying eyes for the first time just eight days later, I would have said even graffiti eyes cried for the burning Notre Dame Cathedral.


This photo was taken on April 7, 2019. Specs are:

Canon 200D, ISO 800, f/3.5, 1/500 sec, 18 mm.

You had one job! — Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: January 28, 2018

This is our entry this week for  Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: January 28, 2018.

This photo shows an increasingly angry barefoot bride and her groom trying unsuccessfully to scatter pigeons for a wedding photo in front of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on a chilly and overcast day. Before taking this image, we saw them make at least a dozen unsuccessful runs through the disinterested pigeons. We have no idea what the bride was saying to the groom, but from the expressions and body language she shared between the runs, it was clear that the bride felt that the groom had just one job and that was to make the pigeons fly.


This photo was taken on September 19, 2016. Specs are:

Canon 100D, ISO 800, f/8.0, 1/160 sec, 40mm.


A Sinister View of Notre Dame

As part of our attempt to develop better photography skills, we have been exploring Adobe Lightroom and Google’s Silver Efex Pro. We had an image we took of Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral with interesting architecture but little color and a flat sky, so we decided to convert the photo to black and white as an experiment. When we used split toning to make the highlights slightly blue and the shadows slightly amber, the result was positively creepy. Since Halloween is less than three weeks away (and today is Friday the 13th), we thought we’d post this sinister image of one of the most beautiful places on earth.

This photo was taken on September 19, 2016.  Specs are:

Olympus TG-4, ISO 100, f/5, 1/125 sec,  35mm-equivalent focal length 77mm.

Take 2 – Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: May 28, 2017

This is our entry in Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: May 28, 2017.

A popular meeting place near the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, is the bronze equestrian statue of Charlemagne and his guards.  It’s popular because it’s easy to find and shaded for some respite on hot sunny days. Notre Dame and its surrounding area is also popular with wedding photographers.  Did I mention that there are a lot of pigeons there?  They like the area around Charlemagne, too.  The last time we were there, a wedding photographer was directing his young clients to run through the massed pigeons on the ground, so that he could get an action shot of them framed by the startled flock.  Needless to say, this took many tries (the groom was a slow study), but the pigeons obligingly settled back on the ground after each try.  The photo below shows the couple checking the results with the photographer after the latest attempt.

iBallRTW-Odd Ball-3
Take 2

This photo was taken on September 19, 2016. Specs are:

Canon 100D, ISO 800. f/14, 1/640 sec, 41 mm

Day 25: Ho Chi Minh – Cu Chi Tunnels and city tour

This morning, Pati and BeeBee were picked up at 7:45 am and driven to the Cu Chi tunnels just outside Ho Chi Minh City. During the Vietnam War, the guerillas (resistance) built a labyrinth of narrow tunnels, where they hid during bombing raids and staged surprise attacks. This area has been developed into a large exhibit showing how the guerillas lived and fought during the war. Particularly disturbing are the examples of traps the guerillas developed for injuring and killing soldiers.

Pati and BeeBee climbed down into one of the tunnels that has clearly been enlarged for tourists, although it is still quite confining, and traveled about 30 meters underground. They also dropped down into a small space representing a hidden entrance to a tunnel. BeeBee had to be lifted out, since the top of the hole, once she was in it, came up to her armpits. Pati was able to climb out unaided.While the guide did a very good job explaining the exhibits and the war, he advised them not to watch the video at the end of the tour, saying it could ruin their visit to Vietnam. They skipped the video, but may try to find it online when they get home again. 

After this, they drove back to the city for lunch.

Lunch was followed by a city tour that included the War Remnants Museum, the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, the General Post office, the Opera house and downtown Saigon.

The War Remnants Museum (previously named the Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes) originally opened in September 1975. It displays old military equipment and other related items from the Vietnam War, including (in the courtyard) larger exhibits (e.g.,an F5A fighter and a UH1-Huey helicopter). Inside, on the second floor, are many photographs from the Vietnam War, mostly of soldiers. On the first floor are many more photographs, and they are even more disturbing, of civilians that were wounded and those affected by Agent Orange and phosphorus bombs. The ground floor displays posters and news stories from the Vietnam War era.

The Reunification Palace, formerly known as the Presidential Palace, was the site of South Vietnam‟s surrender in April 1975. Parked on the front lawn near the fence are two tanks, representing the ones that broke down the fence on that day. On the roof is a helicopter.

Notre Dame Cathedral, the General Post Office and the Opera House are all beautiful examples of architecture from the French colonial period.

Today’s tour would have included a visit to the Ben Thank Market (Night Market), but Pati and BeeBee had already visited that on their own yesterday. Instead, they visited a shop for some small souvenirs.

After this, they were dropped off at their hotel and their guide marked several good restaurants for dinner on their map.

They decided that they would like to have American food and walked about a mile to Pizza 4P for dinner. After this came dessert at a Baskin Robbins nearby. They then walked back to their hotel for internetting and bed.

Note:Their guide is passionate about the history of Vietnam and delivers historical nuggets with both barrels blazing. As to his appearance, think “bad cop” from Terminator 2 with a gravelly Chicago gangster accent.