Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reflections on Reflections . . .

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While walking and talking with James the other day in Paris, James of Weekend Reflections renown, we wandered into the Buttes Chaumont Park in Paris (where the crêpes of a couple of posts ago were sizzling), and got down near the edge of the pond in the lower part of that lovely Parisian park. Shortly before we had been up at the highest point in the park, the pagoda which overlooks much of northern Paris. We both realized that the reflection of the pagoda in the water could be fine subject matter for future Weekend Reflections posts, so we were both snapping away there by the water's edge. I will be curious to see what James came up with there, but these next are a few of my own efforts.
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The pagoda took on many strange and varied forms in the rippling water . . .
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But suddenly from across the pond the goose patrol swam up to investigate what we were doing there, so intently pointing suspicious black objects at their liquid property.
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One of them in particular was looking intently at me out of one eye, and with the other he was studying the reflection of the water there.
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Then, deciding that I was no doubt up to no good, with one quick splash of a webbed foot, shattering my reflections into hundreds of tiny islands, he calmly paddled away.
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And if you've been wondering all these weeks and months about who the man behind Weekend Reflections is, James very kindly gave me permission to publish these two portraits of him, which I took in Père Lachaise Cemetery an hour or two earlier that afternoon. He is intently focused when taking pictures, highly observant, total concentration, which may explain why so many of his photos on Newtown Area Photo (where Weekend Reflections resides) and on his other photo blog, Something Sighted, are such a pleasure to look at. Thanks again James for a fine day in Paris !
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56 comments:

...louciao... said...

Chinese pagodas, Canada geese, an American tourist, and a camera-toting toad convening in the middle of Paris all combine to produce one fine kettle of fish...or should I say bouillabaisse? Tasty little potage there; much needed after that heavy turkey dinner you laid on the other day.

Anne-Ma said...

Un bel effet ces reflets. Superbes photos

Je ne parle pas très bien l'anglais, mais je crois avoir compris que c'est James sur les photos.

Pour James : Coucou, enchantée de faire votre connaissance.

:-)

James said...

Ah more great photos that bring back great memories! The reflections look even nicer than remember. Do to low memory space on my pc I still haven't loaded these pics yet. That will change soon hopefully. :)

Thanks for the mention and the kind words!

mythopolis said...

Nice reflections, both in the water, and in the words. I suppose water was the first mirror people gazed into long ago.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Beautiful reflection series. Anything in France, reflected or otherwise, is always of interest.

:-)
Gina

Owen said...

Dear Louciao,
Maybe it was a bit of ratatouille... yes, lighter fare for our fair readers. Indeed indeed, sometimes the plain truth can sit rather heavy and is quite hard to digest. A fine Canadian film presented that thought rather well, imho, in "The Decline of the American Empire"...

Clytie said...

Darn those geese anyway - messing up your fine surreal reflections!

And thank you for the portrait of the Reflections King - James himself! Weekend Reflections was the first meme I ever discovered, and I have learned so much from participating. It's a privilege to meet James in person. So to speak.

P.S. the 'lighter fare' sits delightfully on my mind ... but I'm still digesting your previous post, which weighs heavily on my heart and conscience. Which is what it was meant to do, right?

T. Becque said...

Great reflections! Neat to see the man behind the blog too!

Owen said...

Bonjour Anne-Ma, et oui, tu as bien compris, c'est James en chair et en os... au travail. C'était un réel plaisir d'avoir eu l'occasion de le rencontrer...

Owen said...

Hi James ! You are very welcome... that day will remain a shining moment in memory...

Oh, and it just came back to me, the couple kissing in Père Lachaise, which you posted recently, and you wondered if I had seen them... I found that I even have a photo of them, which I'll post one of these days soon, linking to yours of course. Caught them from another angle... with something else in the foreground... you'll see...
:-)

Owen said...

Mythop... Narcissus ?

Owen said...

Hi Pagan Sphynx, indeed, indeed, France is a magical place, the more one scratches the surface, the more magic one discovers...

Owen said...

Hi Clytie,
Weekend Reflections is one of the best ideas out there in realm of getting photographers to communicate and come together to touch base once a week, so it was an honor to have the chance to actually meet the guy who made it happen, and in such a setting as Paris at that...

And perhaps we should open a bottle of white wine, sometimes a little extra liquid refreshment can assist with diluting subjects hard to digest. But yes, you are right, it was not meant to go down easily. Certain hard truths are rough around the edges and tend to stick in the throat.

Be well Clytie, we can't go back and change the past, as much as we might like to. But we can ponder it...

Owen said...

Hi T.Becque, many thanks, a pleasure to serve as an intermediary in introductions...
;-)

Amy said...

It always makes me feel better to see others poking their cameras into odd places. When I'm out and about with friends, I am always the only one doing so. :)

I love the reflections you captured. Though you really must watch out for those meddlesome ducks!

Stickup Artist said...

A great testament to the power of blogging to form many kinds of productive and uplifting relationships and produce artistic exchange. It will be interesting to see two different photographer's interpretations of the same experience, time, and place. Great candid shots of James doing his thing and the reflections are gorgeous. You really know how to keep it lively!

tattytiara said...

With the ripples pulling at the reflections it looked like glass was painted on the water with a brush. How beautiful.

ρομπερτ said...

Said that for water every single moment is anew, not knowing time.

Always a safe eye above you both. Great detail in the background of the last picture. Chapeau. Please have you all a good new week.

daily athens

Owen said...

Amy, one should always be ready and willing to photograph those fleeting moments of life which are worth remembering... even when in the company of non-comprehending non-photographers. Many moments cannot be repeated.

And yes, those avian visitors there were a calamity !

Owen said...

Hi StickUp; making connections is what it's all about I guess. Connections and kindness. I can't wait to see more of James work from that afternoon. The pagoda for example was dancing on the water. James was clicking away at that for quite a little bit, while I was over sniffing the crêpe's vapors...

Owen said...

Hi Tatty !
Water is truly marvellous, magical stuff, the way it handles light, reflecting, refracting, taking on vivid dyes of color... and all that with only three atoms, H2O linked together. Phenomenal ! Was just looking at your shopping list... wow, dangerous to go to the store with you !
:-)

Owen said...

Tag Robert, water, the most magical of elements, liquid, vapor, ice, oceans, rain, rivers, snow... and reflections on ponds... surrounded by all this magic we rarely think about.
Be well...

Nathalie said...

Great fun!
I love reflections, as you know.

Thanks for your comments on my post processing experiment. Oui la première est également ma préférée. J'ai changé la troisième image pour mettre une version un peu plus poussée de la fonction "trait à la sanguine" pour que tu voies la différence avec l'original.

Quand à la fonction 'négatif' elle ne donne vraiment rien d'intéressant sur cette image...

Deborah said...

Wonderful images, Owen. I do enjoy living your life vicariously. Seems to me that despite the hectic and stressful nature of part of your life, you never forgot how to have fun.

Steve said...

Love the chaotic pattern elements of the reflections... like they are on the cusp of becoming fractal.

Peter said...

Yes, it's nice to meet other bloggers! Often they can even teach you some nice things about blogging and (in may case easily) photography.

I guess the geese were just hungry and left you disappointed! :-)

the fly in the web said...

I liked the two shapes together...the goose head on and the pyramid reflection alongside..a smaller version of the goose shape.

TechnoBabe said...

Did you get any tips from James on his successful reflection photos while he was with you in Paris? How fun for you two to meet up and wander and take photos. Super.

secret agent woman said...

Those are very cool. Something so beautifully metaphorical about reflection photos.

You might like the second-to-last photo in this post:
http://undergroundagent.blogspot.com/2009/09/narcissus-eagle.html

Catherine said...

City council replaced green area keepers by gooses, in an intention of respecting the environment (and saving of course). What you ignored, Owen, is that these new winged employees are paid in kind.
The backhander is hard bread. Economical, as I told you. What do you think the crèpes are made for ?
They are luxury backhanders, for the free big stroll acompagned and commented with the gooses.

K'line Bloom said...

Owen, je vois que tu fais un concours d'oiseaux avec moi ? ;)
La pagode des Buttes Chaumont, de jolis souvenirs également...
En parlant de pagode, j'ai quelque chose qui pourrait t'intéresser sur TmLG...
En tout cas, je constate que tu continues à tisser des liens avec les amis blogueurs pour des sorties shooting à Paris. Il y a tant de choses insolites à saisir et de personnes intéressantes à découvrir !
Bises

Elisa said...

You catch very beautiful reflections, even with a birds ;) Photographing is so fun, even better it is with friend. Like almost everything ;)) If you wanna go and see my reflections go here
http://elisankuvat.blogspot.com/2010/06/kuvajaisia-vedessa.html

Elisa said...

BTW - we have -27 degrees now ;))

The Sagittarian said...

beautiful reflections, I love the warped pagoda very much and it almost had a Dr Seuss look to it! Well done, now where's that Sauvignon Blanc you promised me??

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Stunning!

Nice piccie of James with the flowerbeds behind too. I often think portait photos work best with stunning props like that!

Margaret Pangert said...

The golden reflections around the geese shimmer like mercury! and the reflected pagoda reminds of going into a fun house with distorted mirrors.
Owen, to answer your question, I spent some time trying to make a book blog work. To no avail! I just couldn't commit to the reading and catering to the booksellers... it was called What the Owl Told Me. This genre is much more interesting and fun!

Owen said...

Hi Nathalie,
My goodness you either stayed up very late, or got up very early ! A night owl...

I think I liked the watercolor version because it actually did look like it might have been a watercolor. Anyway, it certainly is fun playing around with all the possibilities out there... infinite ways to modify images... can be very time consuming though...

Owen said...

Ah, indeed Deborah, if we forget how to have fun, our goose is cooked ! Oops, better not be saying things like that around here, or the goose patrol will be back in force !
:-)

Owen said...

Steve, going fractal indeed... fractals are fabulous. Sometimes I think my mind is on the verge of going fractal, but that's another story.
;-)

Owen said...

Hey Peter,
Yeah, I think that goose was mad that I didn't buy a crêpe for him... they are very demanding, these parisian geese, one can't expect to do portraits of them for free !

Owen said...

Hi Fly, it's wonderful what water can do to reflected light...

Owen said...

Hi TechnoB., we talked shop for a few hours there, it was great to meet him, he led by example..., and I'm sure we are going to be very pleasantly surprised as more photos emerge from his recent trip in Europe...

Owen said...

Hi Secretive Agent,
Many thanks for the classified information about a certain bald eagle, I did indeed go and look and was most impressed, especially with the reflection of it in the water... wow, you nailed that one !
Could be trouble though if Wikileaks gets there hands on your secret archives !

While down by the Chesapeake Bay for a day in September I saw a bald eagle, and photographed it, but from a much greater distance...

Owen said...

Dear Catherine,
No wonder that goose was so mad at me, I didn't even buy a crêpe with Nutella for him, now I see why he went off in a huff with a hundred indignant honks... I'm lucky I didn't get pecked to death !

Headline : Tourist Drowned in Buttes Chaumont by a Gaggle of Ghastly Geese and Goslings !
:-)

Owen said...

Ah K'line, mais ne ne pourrais jamais concurrencer tes oiseaux dans leur bleu profond de minuit sous la pleine lune...

Et j'ai adoré la danse des ombres que tu nous as présenté comme cadeau de noel en avance.

Jusqu'ici les rencontres avec d'autres bloggeurs ou bloggeuses ont été des moments sublimes... quand je pense au fil d'hasard qui anime ces connexions, des fils de soie dans une tisserie magique... qui tiennent à si peu, mais qui peuvent devenir forts, si l'on essaie, si l'on permet le lien de naître.

Un jour j'espère rencontrer d'autres encore...
:-)

Owen said...

Hei Elisa,
OMG -27 ?!? Wow... that is cold. I saw on the news where Moscow was -15, and thought that sounded bad, but -27, that is seriously cold. Hope you have plenty of firewood !

Love your reflections from last summer... nice to think back on that, when the water was liquid, and not frozen solid... ice makes fewer reflections.

Bon courage ! Stay warm !

Owen said...

Saj,
Some of Dr. Seuss's beasties would have been right at home in that shape shifting pagoda... and the sauvignon is right here where it belongs, in the cooler, waiting for you to show up and claim it !
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Laura,
For sure, in Père Lachaise I don't think there are any bad backdrops for portraits, the whole place is magnificently photogenic... many thanks ! Good luck with the libraries battle. My Mom was a librarian, so I have a soft spot for libraries, always have...

Owen said...

Margaret,
Well, it's good to see you out and about again in the halls of cyberspace, many thanks, I like the notion of mercury, or quicksilver by another name. Do let me know if you start another blog up...

Lydia said...

Thank you, Owen.
Thank you, James.
:)

JM said...

I have never been to Père Lachaise and I had no idea about the kissing on Wilde's grave, which is absolutely amazing and somehow reminds me of all the writing on Juliet's house entranceway in Verona. Great post!
And of course, nice to meet you, James! :-)

Roxana said...

so lovely and witty! :-)

there are some reflections on the Bridge as well, echoing you and Lynne :-) though, unfortunately, no ducks!

Jilly said...

Your reflections are absolutely beautiful and thanks for the intro to James. His photography is beautiful.

Ed May said...

Hey Owen,

You have so many great pictures of so many different things. Now many people are you? Ha! I don't where you find the time. But while you're out exploring the world, do you ever hang out around marinas or harbors with old boats, such as old wooden fishing vessels, sailboats, tugs and other workboats? If you do, please feel free to post some cool photos of same. I'm a lover of old boats, and I'm not impressed with modern fiberglass margarine tubs.

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

Ed

Owen said...

Ed, Thanks so much for this marvellous comment ! In fact there are four of me, but don't tell anyone, ok ? It must be from listening to Quadrophenia as a teenager.

Umm, sure, I love old boats, here's one post that I recall :

http://magiclanternshowen.blogspot.com/2010/10/homeward-bound.html

But there are some other posts, but I think I need to go back into the blog to find them, and label them better, there was a pair of abandoned boats posted a while back... just have to find them in over 1000 previous posts.

Many thanks !!!

Susan Kornfeld said...

Beautiful work. I would really like to use one of the Pagoda reflection pictures in a post on my Emily Dickinson blog. It's a very good fit. I'll understand if you'd prefer not to grand permission, but I hope you will! The particular post is at

bloggingdickinson.blogspot.com/2012/12/taking-up-fair-ideal-just-to-cast-her.html