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?"
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.
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