Showing posts from April, 2014

Reaching La Manche

By the time we arrived at the coast it had started to rain - torrentially. We pulled in by the estuary at Grand-Fort-Philippe, around 10 miles from the port of Dunkerque intending to go for a walk, but I only managed a couple of pictures from the car of sodden mud banks. We had something to eat in the van and made our way to the embarkation area. In Dunkerque this is surrounded by wire fencing which makes you feel a little as if you are in a prison camp, so I thought it worthy of a shot or two, especially as the rain had stopped leaving a moody sky.
We arrived in Dover at 9.00pm, in good time to get home for bed.

The long journey home

On the Monday morning we left Paris early (6.00am) so as to be away before the commuter rush started on the Peripherique. We were not catching a ferry till 8.00pm but wanted to have a leisurely drive back through northern France, stopping when it took our fancy and avoiding the autoroute.
The road passed through avenues of poplars and flowering trees, over the vasty fields of France, and we eventually stopped in a village where we found an abandoned factory.This was the Sucrerie de Franciere, where presumably sugar beet would have been processed. I have added texture to the pictures of this building as befits it.
Lunchtime saw us by the shores of the Somme where Alan saw an otter and I took some 'arty' photographs. Finally Alan saw a swallow - our first of the year and it is his picture.

Paris- a little colour in the Jardins

While wandering through Paris I did take a couple of photos I thought best kept in colour. The last is of our campervan moored in the Bois du Boulogne.

Paris - bridges and Jardin des Tuileries

After some lunch we went for a stroll along the Seine to La Chapelle with its magnificant windows. Then over Pont Neuf and the Pont de L'Archeveche, a pedestrian bridge which is festooned with the padlocks of lovers. Finally after skirting round the Louvre we found ourselves in the Tuileries gardens where we wandered in the spring sunshine.
Still under the influence of Cartier-Bresson, these pictures are in monochrome. I will post a few colour pictures in the next blog.

Paris - the black and white of it - around the Pompidou Centre

The reason for taking a weekend in Paris was to visit the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition at the Pompidou Centre. Cartier-Bresson has always been a hero of mine and I really wanted to see this giant exhibition with 500 pictures in it. In fact it was too much and I was Bressonned out for the last third, although it was really something to see the pictures 'in the flesh'. He had such a full and interesting life and was so passionate about many things. I had not realised that he had been in a German prisoner of war camp for three years before he escaped and went back to the French Resistance.
Fired up by this it seemed only appropriate to take pictures of Paris in monochrome and here are some of those taken around the Beaubourg. The Pompidou Centre is now well past its best and could seriously do with  a lick of paint. The last picture is of Alan standing outside the entrance to the Centre.
If anyone wants to do this exhibition I would suggest buying a ticket in advance as you c…

Dunkerque harbour and evening in Suresnes

We landed at Dunkerque and drove down through northern France to our campsite in the Bois de Boulogne on the north western fringe of Paris. Our campsite was near the Pont de Suresnes which crosses the Seine to the suburb of Suresnes. We walked here in the evening and found that there was a weir on the Seine and some large machinery associated with it. We also discovered that the parisians have 'Boris' bikes. The first picture is a multiple exposure of the back of the ferry as we approached Dunkerque.

Dover to Dunkerque - on the ferry

Leaving England in the fog there were a few hardy souls up on deck who proved good subjects for monochrome photography. The fog made a great softbox and gave wonderful lighting conditions. As we approached France the sun started to burn through and as you can see the last picture had much more contrast.