Tag Archives: Gisela Francisco

My Paris Photo of the Day

I love the café culture in Paris. In particular when the sun is out and we feel like we have all the time in the world.

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My Paris Photo of the Day

#206 - Choux at Pâtisserie des Rêves

Last weekend some friends and I went to “Pâtisserie des Rêves” (literally, “Dream Pastries”) to have some french pastries and tea. I loved it. My life long love of baked goods tells me that I need to go back again.

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First photos using two polarizing filters as a neutral density filter

Aka “Homemade” Neutral Density Filter

Pont Saint-Michel

View of Pont Saint-Michel, Paris.

In the beginning of the month I wrote about Neutral Density Filters and how expensive it was to get them shipped to France so I decided to follow this article that talked about creating your own with two polarizing filters. I ordered the filters and they arrived safely to my door last week. Yay! for post office efficiency!

Île de la Cité

Woman walking in Île de la Cité, Paris.

Last weekend I tried them on and this is what I learned:

- You will need a “Circular Polarizing Filter” and a “Linear Polarizing Filter”. I got mine at eBay for about €29 from 2 different vendors. The “CPF” was €20 and if from a German brand named Hoya and the “LPF” was €9 and is made by Rowi;

- You have to screw them to your lens in the correct order -> First the “CPF” and then the “LPF”, or else it doesn’t work;

- Mount your camera in a tripod – You will need this because you’re about to do very long exposures;

- Focus your camera, switch it to manual focus after, if you use Auto Focus;

- Turn the filters until you get your viewfinder black, like you would get if you had your lens cap on;

- Switch the camera to manual and start experimenting. -> For these first photos you can see here I used 30 seconds exposures with a small aperture. I could have opted to do shorter exposures with a wider aperture but that would defeat the purpose, which was to have the buildings in focus while the movement of the people (and the water, in the Saint-Michel bridge) was captured and did a sort of “swoosh effect” (this is a technical term, “swoosh”…);

- As expected, the color aberrations where severe. I had to apply a black and white blue filter in post processing. Surprisingly though, not much more needed postprocessing. I’m very happy with the first results!

#193 - Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris filled with people walking by.

Alas, it started to rain so I had to pack up my gear. Next time I’ll try to do it on a dryer day.

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My Paris Photo of the Day


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Weekend in Belgium

One of the great things of living in Paris is the fact that you feel that Europe is your playground. Because Paris is in the middle of the EU you can just drive to very cool places in three or four hours.
This time we went for a little drive to meet our friend I. in Belgium. Although it was raining relentlessly and the sky was cloudy and I had to cover my camera because of the humidity it was a great weekend and I got some cool photos. Not as much as I hoped for but still, great weekend.

#136 - Gent, Belgium

in Gent, Belgium

The first two photos were taken in Gent, which is in the Flemish part of Belgium. To the untrained eye it almost looks like the Netherlands.

#137 - Mons, Belgium

Mons, Belgium

The next day I snapped some photos in Mons which is in the Walloon part of Belgium.
Belgium is a weird and fascinating place, I tell you what!

Mons, Belgium

** I’m having a hard time with the auto focus on my camera. I need to do some tests to see if the problem is in the camera or in the old 50mm lens. Rats! I really like my old lens… I hope I can fix this soon. **

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My Paris Photo of the Day

Strangers in the Metro

I love the metro because it always gives wonderful opportunities to be creative and see things in a different way. By using the ever changing publicity posters and the movement of the train I try to capture the banal in a new point of view.

This little girl was restless. The metro was taking too long to get to her destination and she was looking everywhere for entertainment. She was a bit bored.

This photo is part of my “Strangers in the Metro” series. You can see all the photos here.

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My Paris Photo of the Day

Sequins in Paris

I love the way reflections work so well on giving us a surreal feeling. Normal everyday life can look shiny and bright though a reflection.

Have a great week!

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Paris’ Little Secrets

Statue of Liberty Replica

#116 - Statue of Liberty Replica

The Île aux Cygnes (Isle of the Swans) is an small artificial island in the river Seine between the 15th and 16th arrondissements. In it you find a one-fourth scale replica of the Statue of Liberty given to the city by the Parisian community living in the USA. It was inaugurated in 1889 and it’s facing New York’s own Statue of Liberty. I mentioned it here.

Every time I ride the train I see this statue and I was curious to see it up close.
It is worth it. The little isle is a nice leisurely walk and a new way to look at the city. It has a tree-lined walkway called Allée des Cygnes and it has some benches where you can have a picnic or enjoy a leisurely summer afternoon in the shade.

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Flying Horses

carrousel horses in Paris

carrousel horses in Paris

carrousel horses in Paris

I love the carousels in Paris. They are such a constant presence in the city. Everywhere you look you see one and it’s almost reassuring that the Summer is here and you are going to have a great time.

This one is located at the bottom of Montmartre right at the beginning of rue Steinkerque. The dramatic poses of the horses’ are striking. I find amazing how colorful they are and how scared they look. Such a contrast in concept leaves me quite melancholic.

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My Paris Photo of the Day


This photo shows a fairly typical Parisian café sign typography.
I took this one while walking around the 18th arrondissement between metro Pigalle and Blanche.

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