Paris is a beautiful city. During the summer months millions of tourists visit the French capital, the city know for being then most romantic place in the world. They seek out the areas of Saint Germain, Montmatre or Saint-Germain, visit Île de la Cité and Notre-Dame, the Eiffel tower, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the museum of Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe or just wander along the banks of the river Seine.
This summer I spend a week in Paris with my two youngest boys of 17 (yes they are twins). We had an amazing time; their age is perfect for exploring cities like Paris. We did everything any tourist would do, walked the streets of Paris from morning to late evening, jumped around from one arrondissement to another by the Metro and most of all we enjoy just sitting down on one of the many street cafes, having a shot of espresso and maybe a croissant – and observing street life.
And of course I photographed. A lot. But I wasn’t there foremost as a photographer, I was more photographing as a tourist captivating our exploration of the French capital. This time I didn’t travel to photograph, instead photographing became second priority. It changes the approach – and the final images I came back with, as I pointed out in my post 10 Tips for Better Travel Photography. Without being able to immerse myself in the photographic process I went for the feeling of Paris through the use of space and landmarks and less trying to capture the street life and people on the street. And of course I captured my boys’ experiences of the lovely city. Paris is a great place for any photographer – even when photography is not the main concern.
On a different note; last week I announced another start of my popular eWorkshop «Finding Your Photographic Voice». There are still some spots available if you want to join in. The workshop will help you become better at capturing pictures which show and tell what you saw for your inner eye. We start up next week. Does it sound interesting? You’ll find more information about the workshop here.
116 thoughts on “L’été à Paris”
Thank you, Suzanne.
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Con la mirada puesta en París.
Great photos! A pro tip about Paris is where you can eat for about 12€ for 3 courses in the Latin Quarter. Great fun
Yes, food and not necessarily expensive is part of the Paris experience, isn’t it?
Food is a great part of any Paris holiday! But,if you are on a budget or just want a taste of regional food. The latin quarter is a great place!
I agree. 🙂
Thank you, Andrew.
Lovely moods from Paris and very interesting reading. I’m sure traveling with the twins is fun and healthy and helps oneself staying young at heart. 🙂 Have a great new week!
Thank you, Dina. Same to you, may you have a wonderful week!
How is it that you can see a million photos of the Eiffel Tower and never tire of it? Beautiful images, as always. I used to live close to the square arch at La Defense shown in your picture that looks along the boulevard from the Arc de Triomphe. Happy memories – thanks!
I am glad the photos evoked some happy memories. And, yes, there is something special about the Eiffel tower. Imagine; it was originally only suppose to stand temporarily. Thanks for the feedback, Mary.
Terrific memories from your travels with your sons–a really engaging set of images of one of my favorite cities. I also like your choice of monochrome on some of them.
Thank you, Sally. I really like black and white, it conveys more of a mood and feeling that the literal subject matter.
I’m in total agreement. Sometimes color can distract from the blatant and even subtle elements that matter.
Beautiful! I especially like the b/w images. Some day I’d like to see these sights for myself.
I hope you will, It’s quite an amazing city!
Perfect portrayal of Paris. Can you imagine? The first time I saw the Sistine chapel there were no lines and 5 people in there.
Today there are hours of waiting in line for most anything you want to visit. Times they are a’changing…
Ah…memories of Paris! Did the same as you and your young men…jumped from area to area via METRO and feet. Nude sunbathers along the Seine “wall”, the Jewish Quarter, lattes and croissants, a small upper floor hotel room big enough for two but shared by four! Like your journey…priceless. Your photos are magnificent and evoke vivid remembrances….R.
Nothing like jumping around and just take it all in like in Paris. Seems like you have had some great time in this city, Jots.
Wonderful images Otto. I was in Paris in July as well and it is a very photogenic city.
It certainly is. I might have to go back another time – to photograph. But it was fun to be back, I think it’s about 30 years since last time…
Beautifully crafted collection of photos, Otto. Very thought-provoking, altogether.
I am glad you liked the photos. Thank you for the feedback, Meredith.
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I love all things Paris, and this article is getting me ready for my trip there in just a few short weeks from now. Enjoy!
Wonderful, Otto! I always think it is fun to see a photographers perspective when he/she is just being vs. being a photographer. The art is always within, but sometimes the perspective is different and images just appear simpler. Your work is always inspirational and a pleasure to view.
Yes, even when I am not out to photograph, of course my vision is still with me – I just don’t have the time to devote myself to photography at the same degree. Thank you for the very nice words, Robyn.
It’s funny, but that is the first time I have seen photos Paris that actually made me want to see Paris. I’m glad you were able to have such a nice trip with your boys. They will have some wonderful memories of the time spent together.
That is quite a complement. I hope you get to see Paris one day, then. 🙂
Herlige bilder fra vakre Paris!
Forstår dere har hatt en fin guttetur ; )
Fortsatt god sommer, Otto!
Takk, like så, Anita.
Beautiful photos! They are really showing the beauty of Paris!
Thank you for those encouraging words, Indah.
I am in awe of the different styles of processing you used to create this series of images of Paris. The variety makes a fascinating study for one such as me who is just starting to experiment and the difference of your images to the usual tourist snapshots/brochures I’ve seen brings the city alive in a much more personal way. A very creative post, thank you Otto for this glimpse of Paris.
I am glad you like the pictures, and you words warm my photographic soul. Nice to hear/read. Thank you.
I am so glad that you and your boys had a wonderful trip, Otto, and yes indeed, it is very different when you are not traveling to photograph. But I find that no matter where I am, if I am with family, the photography can always wait.
I mostly agree with you, but sometimes during special family photography cannot wait. 🙂 Thanks, Lisa.
would love to see Paris one day, lovely shots.
I hope you do get to see Paris one day! 🙂
As usual, very nice story telling. This time you were more as father than a photographer as i understood from your writing.
Yes, but a photographing father. 🙂
Yes, of course 🙂
I love the signage shot “Metro”, Otto. These shots feel intimate…friendly and lovely. Thoroughly enjoyed.
I am glad you did. Thank you, Elen.
Love the Black and White shot
Love your photography
Wonderful as always. A lovely adventure for you and your twins.
Thank you, Elena.
These pictures and places you mentioned just brought back some memory. I wished to see the tower at night. You must be quite late to see the tower lights in summer time. Great pictures as a tourist indeed!
Thank you for the nice words.
So excited to be going to France for two weeks in exactly one month! County the minutes until I leave!
I hope you will have a fantastic trip. Enjoy Elizabeth.
Spectacular as always Otto and with your characteristic capturing a sense of place as well… always wanted to visit Paris… thanks for showing me spine of the sights 🙂
I am glad you liked the image. And hope you will one day get to visit Paris, Geoff…
Post card picture perfect et tres classique! Merci pour ces images…
Et merci à toi, Nina.
Outstanding photos … and thanks for taking me to one of the great cities I have yet to visit.
And thank you for the nice words. 🙂
My experience in Paris with two small children wasn’t that good….maybe I should give it another change …. In 20years time…. 🙂
I can see that small kids in a big city like Paris, might not be easy all the time. Wouldn’t be bad to give it another try…
Great shots… Haven’t had the pleasure to visit Paris yet… Can’t wait after seeing your pics…
Yes, Paris is a lovely city. Thanks for the comment.
Oppps, my mistake I was going to miss your recent post, not sure how but I found unscribed from your blog 😦 but now again subscribed 🙂 .
I like the variety in your picture story, you have been able with twelve photos to give us the feeling of this special city. Of course I’m not surprised, on holidays with the twins there is the father and the photographer …
It does make for a special sensibility. Thank you for the lovely words, Robert. Much appreciated.
Con queste tue foto trasmetti tutta la bellezza di Parigi e la sua atmosfera.
Così sembrerà anche a me di avere viaggiato, quest’anno niente vacanze purtroppo.
Ciao, un caro saluto. Pat
Grazie per queste belle parole, Patrizia. Molto apprezzato.
I never get tired watching photos of Paris- the most inspiring town for me so far. Otto, I particularly like your black and white photos with white vignetting; the one of a cafe screams Paris 🙂
Paris is indeed an inspiring city. I hope it won’t take me another 30 years to get back again. I am glad you liked the pictures. Thank you, Paula.
Amazing photographs. Sounds like you all had a great time.
We surely enjoyed the trip to Paris. Thank you, Phillip.
You’ve caught such a perfect Paris in your photos. We’re here right now with our 10 year old granddaughter which is an absolute delight but lining up for hours everywhere is not for us. We too are surfing le Metro and cafe hopping.
I hope you will have a great time in Paris. Must be a special place for a 10 year old girl.
Tack för att jag fick följa med till Paris, staden som alltid både överraskar och lever upp till ens förväntningar. Härliga situationsbilder…och visst är det roligt att fotandet kan komma i andra hand ibland…kanske det blir som bäst just då!?
Hoppas att du får en fortsatt fin sommar, både under semestern och på jobbet.
Takk for fine ord igjen, Gertie. Ja, Paris er en spesiell by som jeg tror det aldri er mulig å bli trøtt av. Jeg håper også at du har en fortsatt fin sommer.
Paris is an amazing place to get inspiration! When I was there, I remember these long long strolls by myself on the Seine, trying to get the most from the atmosphere I was surrounded by.
Your pics are amazing to get inspiration, and to keep on following my dreams. And of course to dream as well!
Dreaming is important. It’s fuel to our lives. Thanks for the lovely words, Erik.
How wonderful that you took your sons to such an amazing city, and I love that you went primarily as a dad and co-tourist and not necessarily with your photography as the prime motivation. Still, those photos, Otto! They’re just wonderful. I have actually spent some time on your Blue Hour Photo Workshop site and I would like to work towards finding a time when I could be really ready to treat myself to one of your e-courses, Otto. I think it’s just a matter of prioritization, and I’m giving that some serious thought. 🙂
It would be a delight to have you participating, Debra. So thanks for showing interest in taking it at some point. And thank you for the lovely words. I believe you are right that passion for photography is one thing, but being dad is quite a different story. It was just pure fun travelling with my sons.
Sounds like my kind of visit to a city. Lots of time to soak it in. Is this iPhonography?
It’s not really iPhonography. All photos were captured with a “real” camera, but then processed with Instagram or an app call Zoom FX.
Great images. Great city.
Thank you, Deborah.
Thanks for sharing your images of Paris. One day I might get there. I might be able to take advantage of one of your eWorkshops in the future if my Kickstarter campaign is successful. No point with my point-and-shoot camera!
Point-and-shoot can OK… But I certainly hope you get to experience Paris one day, John. And of course I would be delighted to have you in one of my eWorkshops.
Love the variety of these, the atmosphere and emotions evoked. The monochrome ones especially appeal ….
Thank you for the nice feedback, Sue.
Just as you said, Otto; that’s why my photos didn’t come out looking so focused on the creaative side the first time I visited NYC. Despite my attempts to do so, I spent most of the time observing and shooting as a tourist, not as an artist. It is so interesting how the two results can come out of one person without it meaning to be that way.
It makes a huge difference, doesn’t it. I think you can still try to be artistic when you are visiting a place as a tourist, but it’s impossible to be that focused a real artistic approach requires.
Paris! Ah… need I say more? I love France, Paris, all the more. I’m so happy you had a splendid time with your boys during your trip, I really like the photo, photographing tourist of the Eiffel Tower.
Thank you so much.
Beautiful photographs, Otto. Specially the last one of a lady taking her selfie 🙂 A lovely photograph that expresses the popularity and significance of the Eiffel Tower.
Thank you for the nice words, Uday. Much appreciated.
Hej Otto, underbara bilder som andas glädje, skön atmosfär du fått fram och det gläder mig stort att du och dina tonårspojkar fick möjlighet att göra den här resan tillsammans. Här har som du säkert vet sommaren varit i varmaste laget men nu börjar det bli mer sansade temperaturer så nu börjar skaparlusten återvända. Önskar dig lycka till med din andra e-workshop.
Takk for de fine lykkeønskningene. Ja, det har vel stort sett vært veldig varmt de fleste steder i sommer. Håper at du fortsetter med å la skaperlysten blomstre, Monica.
How fun for your boys – and for you to experience it with them! I was 17 when I visited Paris, and yes, it was a great age to be there. I sure wish I’d had more than a 110 camera with a limited number of rolls of film back then!
Yes, a 110 camera was somewhat limited – but I am sure you still had a great time. Who wouldn’t in Paris! Thanks for the comment, Barbara.
An ecletic mix of wonderful images Otto that almost give one the sense of time travel through the ages of photography and scenes of Paris.
Thank you for those lovely words, James. Really appreciated.
You are more than welcome Otto
Aaah Paris through your eyes. 🙂 It’s definitely different, good different. I love the editing of the images.
Thank you, Nandine. It’s always nice to hear when your photos are regarded different, particularly from a place like Paris.
If you return to Paris, this Architecture Map may be useful to you http://goo.gl/maps/E9u5m
Thanks for the link. Much appreciated.
It seemed a very joyful place to me, Otto. Glad you enjoyed your time there with the boys. 🙂
Some day I must join one of your courses.
Yes, we did enjoy the time together in Paris. Thank you, Jo. I would be delighted to see you in one of my course one day. 🙂
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I miss Paris so much, sometimes there is an actual ache! Beautiful city, with lovely people.
Your pictures are stunning! When i look thru them they give me this inner feeling of peace.
Thank you, that is quite a complement. 🙂
Wonderful… Otto, the 3rd shot and the final shot are incredible! What impresses me most is the great diversity and perspective that you have in this series, covering what seems like a series of emotions. Beautiful work.
Thank you for those lovely words, Randall. I much appreciate.