Seine Scenes

May seems the perfect time of the year to visit Paris. If you are lucky, you might enjoy great weather, and if you are a photographer, you might come home with more shots featuring Parisians than tourists. Go in July or August, and all bets are off.

That peculiar afternoon, after splurging on a whole box of Pepitos (French cookies most excellent), I atoned for my gluttony by taking a vigorous walk on the “Quais de la Seine.”

Velo Quai du Louvre

The bicycle you see on the photograph is a Velib. In July 2007, the City of Paris for ecological and health reasons inaugurated a new service of bike self-service. It offers stations located about every .2 miles and more than 20,000 bikes. The service is free for the first 30 minutes, then you pay a modest fee. Owning a bike in Paris exposes you to the following hazard:

Velo sans roues

Unfortunately a very common scene in Paris: the remains of a bicycle dutifully chained to a sturdy structure. Renting a bike seems more reasonable now, doesn’t it? Tourists may also use the service under the form of short-term subscriptions. I, myself, had to walk to expiate the Pepitos but the whole idea seemed lovely anyway.

Le lecteur du Quai du Louvre

Why on earth would you read the paper at the office when you can do so Quai du Louvre? Really.

Le musicien

A musician Pont du Carroussel. Notice the couple in the background. The beer in the foreground.

Mammy tricote

Why restrict your knitting activities to the fireside when you can produce a Seine-inspired sock?

Peniche a deux mats

And why wouldn’t you convert your barge into a beautiful two masted sailboat?

Bookseller sur les quais

A timeless sight

Marche aux Fleurs

The flower market on Ile de la Cite


Impossible to circumvent: Notredame

More Notredame

The attention to detail in Paris is fascinating.

Lovers behind Notredame

Nothing better in the world than to make out behind the Cathedral

Metro La Cite

By this time, I am so pooped from atoning for my sins that I allow myself to take the metro. There is just about enough time to go buy another box of cookies…


15 responses to “Seine Scenes

  1. Gaaawwd, who says a photographer can’t be an artist?
    OK, an artiste.
    Tu, mlle. est une artiste premiere.
    Reply s’il vous plait en Anglaise as I’ve forgotten most of my high school French.
    Anyway, not at all about me but entirely about YOU-
    Gorgeous photos, yet again.
    The conga player, the newspaper reader, the two mast barge that looks lifted out of a time warp from the Sun King, and that final cookie confessional.
    Oh, lest I not forget the flower market.

    What is it that’s so beckoning about the B&W’s?
    Nostalgia, perhaps? They really grab me.
    And that crazy depth of field you wield so well. You do that voodoo that, oh well………

    If someone didn’t love Paris as you do, after viewing your photos, they’d be taking Berlitz and buying a ticket.

    I am soooo crazy about your work. Really.

  2. WOW Nathalie! I just had a chance to look at your pics with more time and they are superb!! you are such a great artist!

  3. nathaliewithanh

    Oooh thank you guys! Talk about confidence boosters… Furthermore I take your praise as an encouragement to go travel the world and bring back photographic testimonies. You can all live vicariously through me. A public service of some sorts. Perhaps I could get an endowment: The Endowment for Nathalie to Make Up for the Weak Dollar for all Americains.

    Thanks again. You two made my day. Really.

  4. Wow, great photos. Do you have a Flickr site? And how do you do that really nice soft edge on your photos? Is it a photoshop thing?

  5. Great shots… nice use of DOF… you are correct… I had some typos in that post… I just started posting yesterday… I have plenty to update.. Thank you for the feedback

  6. thanks for checking out my blog. I am fairly certain you aren’t getting any pity numbers here. Your stuff is amazing!!!!

  7. A beautiful serie of photographs. I especially like the 3rd and 4th. And thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog. Do you mind I add your blog to my blogroll?

  8. These are fabulous! Your images are beautiful! Thank you fo sharing

  9. I am SO happy to have come across your blog! Now I want to go back to Paris so bad it hurts… but not as much as the weak dollar would hurt.

    You do really beautiful work and I love the subject matter. I’ll be back again often!

    BTW, I found you via your post on I AM THE CHEESE, just in case you were curious.

    Really though, beautiful photos.

    Turkish Prawn

  10. Excellent work as always, Nathalie. These images really do bring out the life and soul of a place so far away, making it palpable and familiar…and very human.

  11. Hi nathalie, thanks for commenting on my blog. you’re such a great photographer and looking at each photo makes me want to visit the place. we’re back from Puerto Galera and I’ll post our account soon with more pics. ciao!

  12. Hi, again!
    I wanted to give you the URL of an illustrated blog that ran in the NY Times for a year and ended this past year. It was my inspiration to try and marry word+image+art in my blog. It was made into a book as well. But, for me, it was looking forward to the first of the month to view this blog online that was the secret of its beauty. It’s called “The Principle of Uncertainty” and her name is Maira Kalman. When I looked at your photographs and read your words for the first time, over the weekend, I thought of this woman. You are very different artists, but I think you might see what I mean. Here is the URL: You can click on the icon on the upper right to see every previous month. It begins with her last column. I’m not kidding, I was totally bummed that it ended. I think there is a thirst for some online blend of image and word which a book simply doesn’t slake. I’m tryin’ but I think you have a chemistry that works as well.
    Let me know if you agree. All the best. Pat

  13. Thanks so much for your comment! I’m extremely excited to go to Paris for the first time — especially after seeing your beautiful photographs! Thanks for the heads up about that exhibit — I will definitely try to make it.

  14. Pat! I’m honored that you thought of her while reading my silly stories. I had never heard of her but when I clicked on the link, it was love at first sight! I instantly ordered her book. Her tone reminds me a bit of Kay Thomson’s Eloise.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  15. I love, love, love these images. The most evocative for me were the photographs of the musician on the Pont du Carroussel and the bookseller reading the newspaper. I also really love the variety of deckled edges and frames you used for these images. I spent a couple of hours trying to replicate some of them with mixed results. Perhaps you’d like to publish a tutorial sometime!

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