Bastille Day, Madonna, Temps de Merde and When One Path Closes …

Had a busy weekend of shooting. Amidst the threat of pouring rain all day, headed out early to the Place de la Concorde at the end of the Champs-Elysees and got my spot in the photographer pit across from the tribune where the President, Prime Minister and other dignitaries would eventually arrive. Spent the next 4 hours shooting the annual Bastille Day Military Parade, which always brings the opportunity for some nice images to be created.

Fly By – Place de la Concorde

Hollande arrives – Place de la Concorde

Blue hats – Place de la Concorde

Got lucky and despite the gloomy weather predictions, made it through the ceremony unscathed by nature. That’s more than I can say for the one poor paratrooper who, while trying to land on his mark right in front of the president, got caught up in a wind gust and crashed down hard enough to hurt himself. The president graciously went over to check on the paratrooper who seemed not too badly injured.

President Hollande checks on a French paratrooper who was injured after missing his mark

Later that day, again under the threat of stormy weather, took the RER-B train out to the Stade de France and photographed Madonna performing in concert. The show was outrageous. Visually pretty spectacular. I’ve never thought of Madonna as an artist (and my opinion certainly didn’t change after seeing her this time) but as a performer, she’s still got it. She appeals to the base things in humanity – sex, guns, drugs, killing, etc. – but those things still seem to sell records and make for entertaining shows. They were filming this show for her DVD so maybe that’s why it was particularly good (the lighting, sound, etc.).

Madonna – Stade de France

One moment of note was when I was leaving the stadium, I could hear Madonna performing “Express Yourself” and she intermittently went in and out of the Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”, just to prove a point that Lady Gaga copied her song I guess. And at least the way she performed it, those songs really do sound very much alike.

Madonna – Stade de France

Speaking of the weather, which everyone is constantly doing here, you might have heard how bad it has been here. After it rained almost EVERY day during the month of June, panic has set in that this will be a lost summer. That’s not a big deal if you live in a place like Southern California where sun shines all year round. But here, it’s horrible because everyone is aware that the skies are gray during most of the other seasons. To prove there are still a few capitalist among all the socialists here [ 🙂 ], someone has started a website that translates in English to “Shitty Weather” that is selling t-shirts and gear complaining about this summer’s weather. There are a couple of mildly entertaining t-shirt phrases like “Canada Dry, France Wet”. You can see the website HERE.

And finally, for those of us who love exploring Paris on foot, here’s some really good news:

AFP – Authorities in Paris have approved plans to pedestrianize a stretch of the capital’s historic centre along the Left Bank of the River Seine despite concerns it will cause traffic problems. The 2.3-kilometre (1.4-mile) stretch between the Alma bridge and the Musee d’Orsay will be pedestrianized over four hectares (10 acres) by the spring of 2013, Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe said in a statement. The area is close to many of Paris’s most-visited attractions, including the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre.

Some photos of the week:

Long Day – Place de la Concorde

Paratroopers over Place de la Concorde

Don’t Piss Off This Baker – Place de la Concorde

Officers – Place de la Concorde

Horn Thrower – Place de la Concorde

Madonna – Stade de France

Madonna – Stade de France

Madonna – Stade de France

Spring Onions – Marche des Enfants Rouges

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by me on July 16, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    VERY nice images! You just really have an eye!
    I’m glad the second one is to look at me 😉

    Reply

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