Okay okay! Here are some of the Paris pictures, sheesh 🙂 We went to the normal ‘must see’ sights in Paris, and I am very happy with what we accomplished, picture wise. Mell and I had a picnic with fruit and pastries from the Rue Claire Market near our hotel, and we sat on the Champ de Mars and talked and took pictures.
Fun fact: On Mell’s little compact Canon Powershot camera, the “Night Photography” setting actually has a little picture of the Eiffel tower as its icon. Photographers need to stay on top of their game because these little consumer cameras are getting good.
Fun fact 2: All these night pictures were shot hand held with a 5D and a Canon 24-105 F4.0 IS Lens at 1600 ISO. No Photoshop applied (I’ll do some more noise reduction on the final print versions).
So let me say that though there are those who would scold me (Ed Pierce) for shooting so much with greater-than F2.8 lens, I love my 24-105L F4.0 IS lens on my 5D! Its maximum aperture of 4.0 limits what you can do with depth of field and Bohek (that buttery background blur in photographs). So I’m not crazy about it for people portraits and weddings, but it has been perfect as a versatile, tack sharp, go-to lens on this portfolio-building trip. The image stabilization more than makes up for the slow max aperture, and during the times that I’m shooting architecture, landscapes and artifacts, I’d rather have the IS than the faster aperture anyway. I’m getting sharp images at 10th and a 6th of a second shutter speed hand held. The 24-105 range takes away the need of lugging around my usual assortment of lenses when it is inconvenient (like on long hikes or in the subway). It’s even turning out better then my trusty 24-70, which I left at home due to travel weight and size constraints.
Soon to come: many night and low-light images (Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame) taken with the Canon 24-105 F4.0 IS on my 5D.
Mell and I are now in the Vallee la Marne area in preparation for the Wedding. We met Louise (the bride) and her father today, and Alexander (the groom) just got into town. We are meeting with everyone tomorrow to visit the reception site and finalize picture plans for Saturday. I’ve been working on the rest of our Paris and Germany pictures, as I know many of you have been emailing us for updates. Stay tuned for more pictures 🙂
Tuesday started with a bike tour of the city that provided plenty of great scenes for photography and satisfied any need to be a dare devil by biking on the bustling streets of Paris. The day ended with what else but the Eiffel Tower.
The Tower is currently lit with blue lights and is decorated on one side with yellow stars, which represents the European Union. Around 10pm, the Tower sparkles for 10 minutes every hour on the hour. It was breathtaking.
Wednesday has been filled with the Louvre–the world’s largest museum. We got to see and were allowed take pictures of the famous Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and more. We then visited some other little places you may have heard of like Notre Dame, St. Chapelle, and the Orsay Museum. Better and more pictures to be posted soon. All the pictures in this post were taken with Mell’s little point and shoot camera.
Only 3 more days until the wedding! The groom was supposed to fly from New York today, so we hope the computer glitch with the airlines has been resolved. Tomorrow, we leave to get acquainted with Jossigny France (just outside of Paris), where much of the wedding celebration will be held.
We made it yesterday to Paris with great ease thanks to the amazing train systems they have here in Europe. Our hotel is only blocks from the Eiffel Tower and the Seine river. We can’t wait to share with you some of the scenes soon, and we will have some more Germany photos up later as well. Only 4 days until the wedding!
On Sunday, we had such a blast photographing Mellisa (our host), JR, Jeannene, and TJ (family), and Sean and Bronna (engaged since December). They were so kind and fun to shoot. The nearby German villages offered such great spots that are foreign to and reminiscent of downtown Charleston.
Our weekend in Germany was jam packed. Saturday morning, our host, Mellisa, walked a block to her local bakery in Quiedersbach to make us a traditional German breakfast. Then, we were off to downtown Kaiserslautern for the morning market where we saw flying overhead a C-17 from the Charleston Air Force base.
We then went back to Quiedersbach to hike to and photograph the castle’s ruins that overlook the city.
Then, it was time for lunch (bratwurscht and beer, of course) and the car race that started about a block away from where we stayed. The cars (all hatchback size) did several time trials up and down the twists and turns of the mountain road. We also got some great pictures of the huge alternative energy wind mills and fields that surrounded the race.
On the 21st we caught the train from Venice up to Porderone, Italy (near the Alps) and took a taxi to a little town called Arba to visit our Wedding and Portrait album publishing company, Graphistudio. We met with Alessia there who showed us around.
What we learned:
- The leather that Graphi uses for their Classic covers is actually produced by a local leather craftsman and cattle farmer near Arba.
- The varnished cover options are actually varnished by a local mechanic the same way he varnishes a coat of paint on a car.
- There is a great new line of suede covers coming down the line, as well as some new ‘the-print-is-the-cover’ options.
- The books are assembled entirely by hand by a workforce of over 250 (300 during Christmas Rush).
- The owner of Graphistudio recently purchased a castle. They have a book full of very nice pictures.
- The actual printing and binding machines contain trade secrets, so we weren’t allowed very close or to take pictures of them >:(
It was great to see where these albums are actually produced and to put some faces on the names. the link below to see the pictures!
So Mell, Mellisa and I toured Kaiserslautern and Quiedersbach today, but more on that later. Here’s a more extensive gallery of Venice! The blog gallery function didn’t like so many pictures, so I did it as an adobe lightroom gallery.