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Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

Swans seem almost angelic in their beauty and I was thrilled to spot this pair of Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) yesterday as I strolled along the Seine River in Paris. I had the impression that the swans wanted to swim nearer to the middle of the river channel but were unable to do so because of the numerous boats filled with gawking tourists.

Periodically, as you can see in the second and third photo below, the swans had to deal with the waves created by the passing boats. However, they did not complain out loud—they are mute swans after all. The swan in the first image may have been signaling its displeasure, though I believe it was merely trying to dry its wings after being doused by a high wave.

Mute Swan in Paris

Mute Swan in Paris

Mute Swans in Paris

Mute Swan on the Seine

Mute Swans on the Seine

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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We had crazy weather yesterday, with two big rainstorms, intermittent blue skies, and  thunder and lightning. The biggest surprise for me, though, was a hailstorm that dropped a coating of pea-sized hailstones everywhere.

There was such an accumulation of hail that in the first photo it looks almost like snow had fallen on the outdoor seating of the cafe. When I arrived at my apartment, however, I examined the small table on the balcony of “my” apartment up close and could see the individual, spherical hailstones. Wow!

I carefully tried to avoid the patches of hailstorms when walking after I nearly fell—hailstones on cobblestones are a treacherous mix.

Hail to Paris

Hail to Paris

 

Hail to Paris

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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All of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées was blocked off today to permit French President Macron unimpeded access to the Arc de Triomphe, where he laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and made a speech in honor of Armistice Day. I did not make it all of the way down to the Arc de Triomphe, but captured a few photos of the ceremonial guards as they made their way past my vantage point on the Champs-Élysées.

Armistice Day 2019

Armistice Day 2019

Armistice Day 2019

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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I got up early yesterday morning, hoping to get some photos of the sun rising over Paris from the steps of the Sacre Coeur Basilica, the highest point in Paris. Unfortunately it rained on me the entire walk there and while I was there. The sun did not cooperate and it is tough to take photos in limited light when it is windy and rainy.

I hope to try again when the weather is better. In the meantime, here is a composite panoramic shot that I took earlier in the week that gives you an idea of the view from that spot. I am curious to see how WordPress handles a panorama shot and encourage you to click on the image to see some of the amazing details.

I took a series of eight shots and stitched them together with the Photo Merge feature of Photoshop. Only later did I come to realize that I might had been able to achieve a similar feature with my new iPhone, but I am still so unaccustomed to it that I have not even used the phone (or camera in it) in several days.

It was a bit cloudy and dark the day that I took these photos and it is a bit hard to pick out landmarks. One of the most notable landmarks, the Eiffel Tower, is not visible in the image—it is off to the far right, hidden by the trees. As I was walking away, I caught a glimpse of the tower and by climbing on a wall and leaning against a railing, I was able to capture the second image below. You can definitely see how much the structure towers over the surrounding buildings (pun intended).

Panorama of Paris

Eiffel Tower

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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After I did the posting called Sunrise on the Seine earlier today, I realized that it did not truly give readers a sense of location. Yes, it was in Paris, and yes, it was on the Seine River. The image was pretty, but it didn’t really speak “Paris.”

I shot a lot of photos this morning as I walked and stopped on the paved pathway down near the water level of the river. I was hoping to be able to capture an image of Notre Dame at sunrise. The angles and timing did not quite work out as I expected. By the time Notre Dame came into view, the sun had already risen a little too high and was directly in front of me.

When sorting through my photos, I initially rejected this image because the bright sun created a hot spot in the image. Later today, I decided to revisit the image and decided I liked it. Why? It has Notre Dame in the frame, of course, but it also shows the effects of the early morning sun as the rays illuminate the boat on the right and the concrete barrier along the pathway.

So, I decided to break my normal pattern and post multiple images today. It’s Paris, after all—I am sure I will be forgiven if I feel extra inspired here.

 

Notre Dame at sunrise

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Saturday morning sunrise on the Seine River. What a great way to start today in Paris.

Sunrise on the Seine

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Evenings in Paris can be magical. Many of the buildings are wonderfully illuminated and it is easy to feel a sense of enchantment. The moon was moving in and out of the clouds yesterday evening as I walked past the Louvre, providing some natural illumination. I managed to capture this two second image of part of the traditional Louvre building by leaning my camera against a railing.

I am gradually getting used to the I. M. Pei glass pyramid that stands in the middle of the traditional courtyard. It was early evening and there were still a lot of people around, preventing me from capturing the simple geometric view I had in mind. In the end I settled for a somewhat closer view that cut off the lower corners of the pyramid.

The final shot is a view of the St Eustache church that is located not far from where I am staying. This church was built between 1532 and 1632 and, according to Wikipedia, its façade is in a Gothic style, while its interior is in the Renaissance and classical styles. I have not yet gone inside it, but definitely plan to do so. I also would love to be able to hear the church’s organ that has 8,000 pipes and is the largest pipe organ in France.

Louvre Museum

Louvre Museum

St Eustache

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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