This weekend sees the return and the 15th edition of Paris Photo; a collection of 135 exhibitors from 23 countries, displaying talents old and new. With so many photographers in town, Swide wanted to discover another perspective of Paris.
1. Willy Ronis, The Bastille Lovers (1957)
The Eiffel Tower, The Moulin Rouge, The Notre Dame de Paris are all very well known and the list goes on. These are the things the world thinks of when the capital of France is mentioned in conversation and, for those that visit, these are most likely the landmarks that feature in the photo album, no?
This weekend Paris hosts the international Paris Photo, which invites photographers and those that love them from all over the world to share their works. If you are one of the lucky people who will be dropping in for a day or two, then why not take the opportunity to explore the city and see what you can discover.
Paris has so much more to offer and, with a hint of insider information, Swide have trekked Paris to find the places that hold the hidden details or that, without a second glance, could be forgotten. Here are a few ideas sifted from a thousand that Swide want shed light on and help you to see the familiar anew.
2. Le Parc des Buttes Chaumont
3. A view of Monmartre
Firstly, Le Parc des Buttes Chaumont, located in the 19th Arrondissement from where gypsum and limestone were once mined, offers a flurry of treasure and activity. There is the darkly named ‘suicide bridge’ that allows access to the belvedere of Sybil, which sits atop of a 30metre high rock that overlooks a lake. With its bridges, rocky outcrops and mounds, Le Parc des Buttes Chaumont offers enough opportunities to capture images from multiple perspectives to excite even the most astute of photographers. And, with its mix of wildlife and manmade structures, a juxtaposition of elements to challenge the eye.
4. Evening air across a city
West of Le Parc des Buttes Chaumont, take rue Georges Lardennois, a zigzagging road, or choose from one of three staircases found at 52 rue Simon Bolivar, 19 rue Manin and 40 rue Mathurin (which are charming enough) and you will ascend into a quiet neighbourhood of Paris, Butte Bergeyre. Not often tread upon by tourists and thrives with greenery, which cascades down the sides of street housing or from balconies. Here, it is the mix of architecture and the solitude of the streets that beg for your attention. And, seeing as you have scaled a hill, turn around for yet more views of the city and you’ll note that it is Montmartre and the Sacré Coeur, which are seen in a new light.
Then, a stroll down Rue des Cascades offers you the Parisian quirks a photographer is looking for, even musicians have been influenced by this very street. This street is dotted with the essential features of a Parisian street; staircases, sporadic lamps and slim constructions. What you’ll also find here is a chance to find quirks in the norm, but this is something that you’ll have to discover for yourself.
5. The Eiffel Tower from Rue de Belleville
We obviously can’t forget that famous pointy structure that has become iconic of Paris known as the Eiffel Tower, but what about seeing it from a different point of view. No, not lying under it, dangling precariously from its top or from a hovering helicopter. Do as late Parisian photographer Willy Ronis did and capture an intimate moment from afar. His photograph, ‘The Bastille Lovers’ (1957), became one of his best-known images and inspired many after him, so why not try and shoot something similar. At Pyrenées metro stop on Rue de Belleville, descend the hill by roughly 20 meters and look out across Paris, and you are confronted by an industrial tinged skyline that tries to mask a proud Eiffel Tower in the distance with heavy air.
6. Eglise St Germain de Charone in Village de Charonne
Discover a village within a city and head for Village de Charonne where, if you start from the base of rue de Bagnolet from M. Aleandre Dumas, you’ll discover small cobbled streets culminating in the grandeur of Eglise St Germain de Charone. This area is wonderfully peaceful and gives those photographers amongst us time to snap up some history outside the main hub of Parisian activity.
7. Aux Folies
Aux Folies (8 Rue de Belleville, 75020 Paris) is a popular place for both tourists and the mixed-up art crowd, Edith Piaf was once a local, and it is also the perfect place to indulge in a spot of people watching. Grab yourself a cheap something from the bar to decorate your table with and subtly get clicking at those around you. With its mix of cultures, graffiti and Parisian nuances, you never know what your camera might find.
So there you have it, an insight into another perspective of Paris. Don’t think that this list is complete, we understand that a city this rich in history and culture has much more to offer. Why not let us know your finds?
1 - Willy Ronis
2,3,4 - Federico Cantù
6 - Ian Walton