Friday, September 30, 2016

Parisian Panoramas

I don't fancy myself a photographer by any stretch, though I have always had an affinity for the art. My father worked in camera sales when I was younger, and I recall doing a science project circa late elementary/early middle school involving the function and construction of modern photography apparatus. I think I even submitted one or two photos to the Durham Country Fair back when we used real film and you brought your roll to CVS or some such place for developing. So I suppose I have always admired the artistic genre from the periphery, and now that we live amidst a technological revolution in which our smartphone cameras are far superior to the disposable kodaks we used to take on family trips, I find myself snapping and shooting all around town.

But if technology is the fuel that has propelled my photo taking forward, I must thank the Parisian panorama for inspiration. Back in my NYC days, I rarely walked around town in awe of my surroundings. Or at least, my awe was usually the byproduct of excessive annoyance, repulsion at the sounds and smells, or jaded tunnel vision as I navigated my way through a torrent of skyscapers. In contrast, the first time I came to Paris all those years ago while studying abroad, I was bowled over by the beauty. And that was still before smart phones and social media, and yes, before the pick up after your dog rules had actually been enforced (not that they are now, but a decade made a vast improvement.)

One of the reasons I finally decided to make my home in Paris (in addition to quality of life, love, and a rabid obsession with travel) was due to the stunning scenery. I adore the fact that there are laws dictating how tall structures can be built. The one skyscaper in Paris, Montparnasse, is considered a despoiling eyesore on the landscape. But other than that, there is a thick blanket of pearly white clouds and bright blue sky layered across the heavens. Well, when the sun bestows us with her magical presence that is, rather than hiding behind hazy grey sheets of rain. And apart from the weather or the height of buildings is simply the architecture and aesthetics of a city steeped in history and long since enamored with art. Everywhere I turn there are monuments and statues, apartment buildings or even schools that have centuries of stories and decoration. Particularly this summer when I was marathon training every other day, I couldn't help but stop and stare at the Seine and the tapestry of architecture lining its shores. As I walk around Paris, I find myself catching a glimpse of the cerulean sky and not being able to resist capturing as much of the moment as my amateur skills will allow. And since I don't have a photograblog to boast, I figured I'd write a post in honor of the images I've recently found.

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