Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/07/06

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Subject: Re: [Leica] oops! Going to France instead....
From: Alan Ball <>
Date: Mon, 06 Jul 1998 09:54:25 +0200

Well Francesco, I'll make your life more complicated. I must disagree
with Ron's advice hereunder. Mont Saint Michel must be avoided during
the summer season. It is infested by trillions of tourists at all times
of the day, access is overloaded. There must be more artsy pics and
low-end snaps of that piece of rock than of the Tour Eiffel. You do not
want to waste time and film there during the holiday season. Though the
coast of Britanny can be very beautiful, it is maybe better to visit
France by going in land, against the tourist flow.

Regarding Paris, I see no reason to limit yourself to black and white,
except -maybe- for handheld night shots. You'll get the daytime summer
mood of the city better with Velvia slides. Though Paris crawls with
foreign tourists in the summer, it is relatively depopulated, and it is
quite easy to find spots void of Japanese or American bus loads. The b/w
HCB-style Paris is rooted in the Thirties/Sixties time frame. It seems
IMHO like a futile exercise to try to mimic that mood. On the contrary,
I'd recommend a trip to the quartier de la Défense for spectacular
modern architecture and great perspectives. The Seine is photogenic
early in the summer morning, before the hords of visitors recover from
their night out. I'd also recommend strolling in Barbès where strives
the contemporary multicultural Parisians. very colourful and not nearly
as agressive as one might think at first sight.

But France is also thousands of villages. if you drive around, avoid the
motorways. South, East and West of Paris you will be bound to drive
through very nice village scenery, that will bring you different and
rewarding picture opportunities. Even the North can be interesting.
Brussels is less than 2 TGV hours away from Paris. Brugge will take you
another 40 minutes. Here again, come in the very early morning, before
the canals get overcrowded...

Sorry if I blur your projects a little :-)

Ron K. Miller wrote:
> Francesco,
> In the north coast near Britanny/Normandy,  Mont St. Michelle is
> spectacular at sunset. This monastery on a rocky outcrop of an island
> has incredible gothic architecture, cobbled winding roads lined with
> small shops, sweeping arches, beautiful spires, etc.  Great for B&W and
> available light shooting indoors. Check the Michelin Green guide for
> details...
> I also agree with guido ridoli.. you definitely want to shoot Paris in
> B&W. HCB-like venues indeed!!
> regards,
> rkm