Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ecole Militaire

I was a student in Paris in the early eighties. Back then, my camera was a Kodak Pocket Instamatic 110. Remember those? Tiny film in a plastic cartridge. No fuss, no muss. No great photos, either. When I returned to Paris in the late eighties, I was armed with a real thirty five millimeter SLR camera, some nice lenses, and a tripod.

The 18th century Ecole Militaire, viewed from the Champ de Mars.

I carried that heavy collection of equipment around on our walks through the city (Ken often got stuck with my camera bag full of film, lenses, and flash), taking the pictures that you're seeing now. Thank goodness for the lightness and relative simplicity of today's digital cameras, eh?

Because I had a tripod, I was eager to take photos at night, especially because so many of Paris' monuments are lit up. I had no idea what I was doing; it was all pretty much trial and error. Some shots came out great, others not so much.

This one, the Ecole Militaire, turned out just too dark (a common problem I had early on, even in full light situations). And since I was taking thirty five millimeter slides, the field of view was such that to fit in what I wanted horizontally, I ended up with too much space above and below the subject.

After digitizing this slide with a scanner, I once again employed Photoshop to crop the image to eliminate all the extra sky and grass. Then I used the light and color controls to make the image resemble more closely what I remember seeing. The result is not particularly good photography, but an image that I can actually see and enjoy.

This is part of a series of color slides that I took in Paris in the late 1980s. They are images that I didn't like much back then for one reason or another. I'm using Photoshop to try to give them a new life.


  1. This pic is really sharp! I have one of the école during the day with a wedding couple in front of it. I did a little "resquiller" to obtain the photo.

  2. You know, this photo would make a great painting.
    Some photos do not but the colour and where it is in the shot would work well !

  3. rachael, wedding crasher! ;)

    lady jicky, do you paint? The only painting I do is on the walls, and usually just one color.


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