Many things have been said about Paris and when you get there for the first time, you realize that what you could say about this myth-city will never challenge the force of classic literature, which analyze the architecture, the history, the charm and the pulse of this city.
Speaking of analysis, I realize, as a tourist-photographer, that there’s so much truth in that saying – a picture is worth a thousand words – even thou I won’t hide behind a cliche. But it’s true, the photos of places, people, glimpses of Paris streets and architecture can better shape the subjective image of this magnificent city.
How can you describe the feelings and sensations that come from long walks, if not in the most personal and subjective way?
As a traveler, you go on your route with a bunch of information, rumors, preconceived impressions about the people and the places you’re about to visit. In a way, it’s like a mind game, trying to define one or more possible scenarios, where you, as main character, are involved in different environments, trying to anticipate your own reactions. And once you get there, all your mental formations are discretely replaced by the perception of the present moment. You start to digest the reality, globally and through each pixel that leaves a mark on your retina and soul, creating a specific flavor on your experience as a traveler.
This is exactly what happened to me, first time in Paris. The city is supercharged with too many sensations, emotions and you cannot be emotionally enough prepared for what you’re about to feel, experience, visit and photograph. Every day, on every street, there’s a micro-universe you have to face, but everything happens in the most pleasant way. You have to activate the „reception mode”on yourself, tune yourself to the local scenery and fill you up with French charm.
Along the Seine walkways, the walks are long, but you never feel like they should end somewhere. History rich sites and landmarks like Notre-Dame de Paris, The Eiffel Tower, Alexandre III Bridge, Dôme des Invalides, Louvre, Place de la Concorde, L’Arc de Triomphe, L’avenue des Champs-Élysées, l’Opéra Garnier and the Sacré-Coeur Church from Montmartre are waiting for you, to visit them. I’ve been to all those places and each one of them has a magnetic force you can’t resist. But why would you try to resist?
Paris is full of historical greatness, mixed in a special way with modernism, the metropolis where you feel you can connect yourself to many social and cultural aspects, even thou you’re in front of the Eiffel Tower or on a side street, sitting at the terrace with small, round tables, enjoying your coffee or some Bourgogne wine, as a tourist or sitting close to you loved one, in which case the romance will rise to a surprising level.
And the photographs you make are just glimpses of French life, but surely they will emphasize your need for freedom. Paris is not just „another place” or city, it is a world where you can feel more free and more rich inside, than in any other place, even if it’s just for a moment.
All photos and text – © Sebastian Boatca 2015 / www.sebastianboatca.com