Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bastille Day! And Claude Monet

I was lucky enough to experience Bastille Day — a French National Holiday celebrated on the 14th of July every year to commemorate the 1790 storming of the Bastille to free prisoners, which marked the beginning of the French Revolution. I love the history I am learning here! So the French celebrate this day on the evening and the day of Bastille. On the night of July 13, they open thedoors of every fire station andthrow a ball. I had the opportunity to visit one a few metro stops up from my “home” and I was only asked for a small donation to enter. There were probably over 2,000 people dancing under lights and to music. The firemen were dancing around and the streets afterwards were filled with people, noise, and celebration. The following day there was a military parade that I missed unfortunately even though I ran in the rain to try to see it. I did get to see some of the aftermath and ran into some good photograph opportunities.

That night, after a few classes, some friends and I headed to the Montparnasse tower where we could see a 360-degree view of Paris. As we waited for the sun to go down, it got increasingly colder as we sat, talked and photographed. (It got so cold I purchased a hoodie). We had the perfect view of the Eiffel tower, where the fireworks were set off. When the fireworks began, the crowd that joined us on the tower were in awe of the show. My camera snapped, my eyes lit up and I enjoyed the celebration and appreciated Parisian history.

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to visit Givery, 50 miles from Paris, where the famous painter Claude Monet lived and created his impressionistic oil paintings. This was a fieldtrip with my photography class where I was supposed to, beforehand, pick a Monet painting and capture that panting in real life as a photograph. I chose 3-4 paintings to give me options and I finally picked a water lily composition that I feel that I capture quite nicely on film, as you see below. (Monet on top, my photo on bottom)

This week I also took a trip to the Sacre Coeur, a Roman Catholic church dedicated to the sacred heart of Jesus, where I scaled an infinite number of steps to reach the second largest point in Paris. Again, the view was stunning and the church itself was beautiful. I had myself a lovely crepe and a glass of wine and saw many recognizable places where the film Amelie was captured, which was exciting and added to the ambiance of the place.

Many amazing times here in the big P… can’t wait to come back one day already!

No comments: