Ah, Paree

I was reading through my copy of National Geographic Traveler magazine last week when I came upon a two page story about the Ile de Cite and the Ile Saint-Louis in Paris. These are two relatively small islands, linked by a bridge, located in the middle of the River Seine in the heart of the city. The Ile de Cite was the first part of Paris to be inhabited and includes such places as Notre Dame cathedral, the Palace of Justice and the Concergerie (the final stop for people just before getting the chop from Madame Guillotine during the revolution).

The Ile Saint-Louis, on the other hand, is smaller and more intimate, without the types of public buildings its neighbor possesses. I’d been to Paris a few times before my last visit there in 2001 but had never been to the Saint-Louis, so I decided that year to take a stroll there – and so the story reminded me.

Actually, it reminded me of both islands, so today I’m presenting photos I made of both. Up top is a photo I made from the Right Bank, looking across to the Ile de Cite. Yes, that tall building at the upper right with the two towers and the steeple is Notre Dame. (You know, the one with the hunchback – in the Victor Hugo novel, anyway.) When I make a photo like this, I often try to include something in the foreground to give a sense of space to the scene. I think that works here, and gives a sense of the city’s layout, too.

Next is a photo I made while walking along the banks of the Saint-Louis. This is an arch formed by the underside of a bridge spanning the Seine. I liked the strong graphic sense of it, and to my eye, when viewed two-dimensionally, the shadow and its reflection looked like an inverted horn.

The third image is one that I’ve titled “Two Bridges.” In the foreground is the Pont des Arts, a wooden-planked pedestrian span near the Louvre on the Right Bank and an old art academy on the Left. In the background, running (left to right) from the Right Bank to the Ile de Cite to the Left Bank, is the Pont Neuf. (The name means ‘new bridge,’ but in fact it is now the oldest bridge in Paris at an age of 400 years.) The small triangular area with trees at the upper right is the western tip of the Ile de Cite.

Those of you who’ve kept up with this blog know that I’ve been traveling to Asia lately. That’s something I plan to continue, but when I read about places like Paris, Rome, London or Stockholm, it makes me think of changing my plans. If only I had more time and more money…………

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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