Contre-jour

Contre-jour

produces backlighting of the subject. This effect usually hides details, causes a stronger contrast between light and dark, creates silhouettes and emphasizes lines and shapes. The sun, or other light source, is often seen as either a bright spot or as a strong glare behind the subject.

Entrance to the Pyramid - Louvre a

E for Eiffel Tower

frizztext hosts a weekly A – Z Challenge

A_Z logo

Event Type: General Blogging

Start Date: Tuesdays, recurring weekly

Description: Every Tuesday I offer the “A to Z challenge”, walking step by step through the alphabet.

If you would like to join in then please click here.

E---eiffel-tower

The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Wikipedia

A Word a Week Challenge: Context

THE SAYING “A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS” is never more true than with a photograph. Photographs have tremendous power to communicate information. But they also have tremendous power to communicate misinformation, especially if we’re not careful how we read them.

    • Who or what do you see?
    • When was this photograph taken — what is happening in the photograph?
    • Where was this photograph taken?

and finally

    • Why?

context

So how do YOU interpret the context in this photograph? I’d love to hear what you think.

Lost

A tale about getting lost might involve taking the wrong train, having a lousy navigator beside you, or leaving the compass at home. It could also mean losing one’s mind in the moment, being absorbed in a stunning painting or architectural style, momentarily forgetting who you are and where you are. There have been many moments in my life when that is true. Getting physically lost can be exciting, frightening or frustrating, but generally if you keep on going you always arrive somewhere. Getting lost spiritually however can be a similar journey of discovery.

chateau and marina at Yvoire - FranceIt was hot. The last week in September, but feeling more like mid-summer with the sun kissing my skin and a soft breeze floating offshore. The lake was like a mirror reflecting the clouds and the boats bobbing in the little marina. The majority of the crowd disembarked from the ferry and made their way to one of the two nearby restaurants on the quayside. I watched them melt away before making my decision to explore first and eat later.

In immense anticipation I made my way through the narrow streets of the beautiful medieval village to “Le Labyrinthe Jardin des Cinq Sens,” (the Garden of Five Senses) and my “raison d’être” for visiting Yvoire.

astersIn an oasis of tranquillity you can smell, touch, contemplate, listen and taste. The garden is divided into rooms where you can connect with flavours, fragrances and textures. Gently touch the furry quince or spiky heads of the teasels; smell the chocolate cosmos and rub the apple-scented pelargonium leaves between your thumb and fingers; study the glacial-blue of a clematis, the considered planting of deep pink asters amongst paler pink Japanese anemones; nibble spearmint, chocolate mint or a sprig of rosemary and listen to the birds splashing cheerfully in the bird bath in the centre of the maze of hornbeams.

sparrowsAs I relaxed on a bench, undisturbed, the sun burning two copper discs onto my retina, I drifted into another world:

lost in the moment

My senses reaching out to the sensations around me, aware only of what I could hear and smell and feel – the babbling water and the incessant birdsong mingling in the background, the perfume of the flowers and the light soft breeze on my face.

Walking the Right Bank Passages in Paris

I had come across references to “Les Passages” in a Paris guidebook and decided to take a closer look at them during my last visit to “The City of Light”. So on a very wet and chilly spring day I set off on my Passages Walk. Between the late 18th and early 19th centuries the Right Bank included a network of 140 covered passageways – the fashionable shopping arcades of the time. In a city without sewers, pavements or sheltered walkways, these arcades allowed shoppers to stroll from one boutique to another protected from the filth of the city streets. Today there are fewer than 30 left, some well-preserved with their original mosaic floors and neoclassical decoration. It was time to check them out and find out what it was like living in 19th century Paris.

Galerie du Passage Véro DodatStarting from the Metro station Palais-Royal I headed east on Rue Saint-Honoré towards Place Colette and then turned left into Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau to enter the Galerie du Passage Véro Dodat. This is one of the prettiest and oldest passages, built in 1823. It has mahogany panelling and an old-fashioned floor of chequered black and white tiles, Corinthian columns and gas globe fittings (which have been converted to electricity). There are 38 identical boutiques with narrow arched windows surrounded by gilt edging including the beautiful window display of musical instruments in Luthier. Don’t forget to look up at the ceiling either as you will be rewarded with beautiful gilt framed 19th century murals.

metro comedie francaisRetracing my steps towards the Louvre I took a detour through the Louvre des Antiquaires as it had started to rain heavily. It is a most extraordinary store of antiquities on three levels, with goods ranging from Eastern carpets to Baccarat crystal and delicate Sevres tea sets to incredibly ornate porcelain decorated grand pianos. A very interesting complex to while a way a few rainy hours, but definitely not a place to take children! Being a little too expensive for my pockets (and anyway, where would I put that enormous baby grand?) I exited onto Place Colette and retraced my steps towards the Comedie-Francaise (interesting metro design) next to the Palais-Royal with its Revolutionary history (another story entirely) and entered the Jardin du Palais Royal where elegant 18th century arcades (1786) surround a very peaceful garden. Although not strictly passageways they are considered to be the prototype of what was to come. Continue reading Walking the Right Bank Passages in Paris