Bordeaux, Athletics, Horseplay and Penny-wise …

I feel like doing a long blog entry with lots of photos today so that’s what I’m going to do.

As it always does, my shooting schedule will start to slow down in the coming days. But before it does, I got to take a day trip to Bordeaux to shoot Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz as well as cover my first track and field event.

Cruise and Diaz in Bordeaux for the French premiere of Night and Day

Cruise and Diaz were in France for the French premiere of their new film “Night and Day”. The event was held in Bordeaux instead of Paris because there was a grand opening of a new cinema as well as the Tour de France arriving there that day. The event organizers flew 12 of us down from Paris to cover the event, which meant I got to spend part of a day exploring Bordeaux. The experience started with us arriving at an airport just outside Paris called Le Bourget, which is only used for private business travel. It was a phenomenal experience getting from the front door of the terminal to my seat on the airplane in less than 5 minutes! That really changes the whole travel experience and makes it so much more tolerable. Boarded a rather old looking plane that had 2 propellers and 1 jet engine but was thankfully big enough to carry 50 people or so. I hadn’t flown on a prop plane in years so I was a bit apprehensive but the weather was perfect and the 1 hour and 20 minute flight was really nice.

View from the plane

Spent the first half of the day like a tourist, with my camera just exploring what I found to be one of the most beautiful small cities I’ve ever seen. Extremely picturesque and architecturally coherent.

Lovers in Place de la Bourse

I didn’t get to see certain areas of the city due to them being blocked off by the Tour de France arrival but the huge pedestrian center through to the riverfront is very impressive. The organizers laid down a long red carpet which covered much of the Cour de l’Intendance and fans came in droves to see Cruise and Diaz walk along it through their city.

Laying down the red carpet

In the end, it was just like every other premiere … nothing special. We headed back to the airport and caught our flight back to Paris, leaving from a terminal where we were literally the ONLY passengers in the entire terminal. It’s such a civilized way to travel. 🙂

Usain Bolt and the other sprinters

Earlier in the week, there was an international track and field competition held at the Stade de France with world class athletes in competition, the highlight being a 100 meters race between Usain Bolt (world’s fastest man) and his fellow Jamaican teammate Asafa Powell. I ran around the stadium trying to figure out how the hell to shoot all these events that happen simultaneously.

American Derek Miles vaulting

I came to understand that to cover track and field you need 3 or 4 photographers because things happen at the same time. I did the best I could and made sure not to miss Bolt flying down the track (he won of course). The pole vaulters and triple jumpers were particularly fun to shoot.

World Champion Croatian high jumper Blanka Vlasic reacts after clearing the bar

Just found out about something that happened here in Paris last year but I felt was worth mentioning even now. During a routine morning outing last February, one of the horses used by the Republican Guard to patrol the President’s Elysee Palace threw its rider off and just took off running. The horse ran through the Place de la Concorde and instinctively headed back towards his stable near the Bastille. Imagine seeing a horse by himself running through the streets of Paris! Thankfully somebody in a car saw him and shot some video. They eventually ended up catching up to him but not before he ran about 2 miles.

Here’s the video. Only in Paris.

And finally, another new hero emerges. Some guy in Quebec, evidently pissed off with his increasing property taxes, put more than 213,625 pennies into a children’s swimming pool and carted it down to city hall to pay his bill. I love the spirit of what he tried to do but unfortunately he forgot to check the Currency Act, which mandates that nobody is obliged to accept more than 25 pennies as payment for any product or service. He ended up having to write a check.

Some photos of the week:

Man peeing in Place de la Bourse - Bordeaux

Pedestrian center - Bordeaux

Soft Landing

Sky Painting


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