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Bastille Day

By Ian-Jones
Here are 14 images taken in Paris on Bastille Day, 2009. I'd decided last minute to watch the parade en route to the Loire Valley, so I packed my fold-away step ladder, and the then new telephoto lens, parked in Les Halles underground car park and carried my kit to the Champs Elysées. The French are very tolerant of photographers and the ladder didn't get too many comments except "Are you a professional photographer?" and one wag who asked "Are you a painter and decorator?" Smile

Having got my shots of the massed foot soldiers, I wandered down to the Jardins des Tuilleries next to Le Louvre Pyramid, just in time to catch some of the the L'armée de l'air fly-pasts. Then, I hurried over to the Pont des Invalides to catch the military vehicles parading past.
At the end of the parade I got some candids of the troops waiting to be picked up. After that I walked along the Seine taking some long range candids of people on the opposite bank and the river.

It had been a long day full of pomp and circumstance, running around, and walking long distances, so I headed back to the car via Notre Dame pausing to take a few more shots. Just as I'd mentally put the camera away, I spotted a homeless man asleep in front of a fountain at the back of Le Louvre.

Like London, the numbers of people sleeping rough on the streets in Paris has been growing in recent decades, and here was a very graphic reminder of the contrast between the wealth and the power on display that day, and the lost souls that society chooses to ignore or forget. I guiltily took a couple pictures of him, and slipped some money into his carrier bag, before heading back to the comfort of my hotel room...

Lighting changed drastically through the day so I decided to present a more coherent set of images by converting them to monochrome. They appear in chronological order with the homeless man last...but not least.

Tags: France Photo journalism 2009 Paris Monochrome Bastille day

Voters: boov, danwhite11, RysiekJan and 11 more

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boov Plus
5 2 United Kingdom
20 Aug 2013 4:29PM
Fabulous series and record.... great in B/W

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Suzicoo Plus
6 481 United Kingdom
20 Aug 2013 5:37PM
Excellent set of mono images, just the place to be on Bastille DaySmile
7 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
20 Aug 2013 7:29PM
Informative, interesting and very well written foreword supported by a fantastic set of high quality documentary photographs. My particular favourite being image number 10. A delightful candid, very well observed and such an interest and thoughtful expression on the face of the young Airborne Captain's face.

Regards Nathan
Richsr Plus
10 91 223 England
20 Aug 2013 10:07PM
Good set of images from here Ian
21 Aug 2013 12:15AM
What a wonderful story of your day in Paris wished i had been there with you, these are fantastic images and yes mono works so well here.

Regards Gary
Ian-Jones Plus
14 129 2 United Kingdom
22 Aug 2013 7:51AM
Thanks for all the comments guys. Ta for pointing out the rank and unit on number 10 Nathan Smile

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