Walking the streets of Paris with an OM-D (a B&W tale)

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by Qiou87, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. Qiou87

    Qiou87 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 15, 2013
    Paris, France
    I used to shoot pictures on week-ends and holidays only. I used to think that my camera was heavy, cumbersome. I used to take photography way too seriously because I owned "a full frame DSLR".

    But not anymore. Now I just think taking photographs is fun. I do it a lot on my off-days, without even going to an exotic place. Paris is exotic enough if you believe the millions of people who come to visit here every year, so why should I go so far away? And here I have the home advantage. I just grab my trusty OM-D (E-M5, black, with a 12-35mm f/2.8 from Panasonic if you must know) and go.

    So I just go out with friends, and we walk around the city with our small mirrorless cameras. We rejoyce when we encounter another m4/3 or NEX user. In the last year since I have been a m4/3 user, I feel like my photography has improved quite a bit - and I've received a lot more positive feedback than I used to. It's not the camera per se, it's just the pleasure I have to use it, again and again, that might transpire in my shots.

    These days I set it to "Monochrome" so I can see in B&W through the viewfinder. This is such a refreshing and interesting experience. Of course the RAW files will still remain in colour, but the shooting experience is enhanced. This is something the die-hard fans of OVFs will never tell you: sometimes an EVF is not only on par, it can actually be better.

    So, on to the photos then. I'll welcome all comments as long as they are constructive. I'd rather you tell me what I could do better instead of a half-hearted comment of appreciation. Oh, and thank you! :wink:







    Added on May 2nd:



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  2. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    was in exactly your area a couple years ago. loved it. have often been to paris and think its the absolute best city for photography of any kind, but especially street photography. love it and enjoyed your set.
  3. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Real Name:
    I spent my junior year of college in France, and spent quite a bit of time in Paris, but oh, your pictures make me want to go back! I haven't been there since 1990. Thank you for this set.
  4. pykers

    pykers Mu-43 Rookie

    May 8, 2012
    Lovely photos! I especially like the photo of the statue, wonderful composition.
  5. Ares

    Ares Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 13, 2013
    awesome pictures! Paris is where street photography was born. Where was the second one taken, ill have to visit next time i'm there.

    are those pictures SOOC? Ive been shooting raw+jpeg recently and find that the monotone settings on the EM5 (i use B&Wy and increase contrast & sharpness) are so good i don't often touch the raw files.
  6. Qiou87

    Qiou87 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 15, 2013
    Paris, France
    @Wendy: you should definitely come back! There's a lot to see in Paris, as long as you're ready to get off the open-top tourist bus and walk a bit with a Lonely Planet in your hand. And almost all the Parisians speak english, contrary to popular belief. :wink:

    @pykers: thank you. It's definitely my favorite picture as well (gotta love the Samyang 7,5mm fisheye).

    Thank you! The second one was taken in the "Passage des Panoramas", in the 2nd Arrondissement (all pictures include a link to my Flickr page where you can see where it has been taken btw).

    Those pictures are all RAW (I never use SOOC jpeg), processed with Lightroom 5 where I usually correct the picture to make it as dynamic and contrasty as possible without looking too artificial (I'm guessing it's close to SOOC jpeg but with more creative control for me). I also add some clarity. #1 is as shot, #2 is the same, just straightened a bit. #3 has added vignetting, #4 has been corrected for perspectives (Photoshop wide angle tool), for #5 I boosted the statue with the local editing tool of LR (the statue was almost black against the light sky) but the rest is as shot, and #6 is as shot.

    Actually had two of those pictures selected for "Explore" in Flickr, made me quite proud (I know the selection is kind of random but still, the more people see my pictures, the happier I get).
  7. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Real Name:
    I actually used to be fluent in French (it's been 25 years, though!) and would love the practice. I was a French major in college but get no opportunity to speak it now. It's funny, I think part of the reason I haven't been back (beyond time and $) is that I'd like to explore alone and take pictures, and what interests me likely wouldn't be as appealing to my teenage son or even my husband. We get along well, but don't travel very well together. It may have to wait until the kid is in college.
  8. dogs100

    dogs100 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 12, 2011
    N Devon UK
    Real Name:
  9. Itchybiscuit

    Itchybiscuit Photon Mangler

    Dec 10, 2013
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Real Name:
    Okay, I'm no expert but you asked for constructive feedback so here's my personal take.
    1. DoF isn't shallow enough.
    2. The scene is too busy - I can't focus.
    3. Excellent although I would have cropped at the old lady's right arm, the top of the stone bridge pillars and kept the guy on his phone in shot on the right.
    4&5. For me, perfect.
    6. I would have moved the postcard up so the metal frame was where her hand is under her chin.

    But it's so easy to criticise after the fact. :thumbup:
  10. Qiou87

    Qiou87 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 15, 2013
    Paris, France
    Easy yes, but it also helps me to improve for next time! I don't know about you but I give myself a huge amount of criticism when going through the pictures after a shoot. Little by little, it helps me to become a better photographer. So, thank you for your feedback!

    1. Actually I find DoF too shallow. The two ladies are holding hands, which is a direct opposition of "l'amour est mort" (love is dead) written on the wall. So on the one side you have a darker wall where love is dead, and on the right two ladies holding hands in the bright sunlight... Here I fell for one of my usual mistakes: shooting wide open. f/2.8 on m4/3 is not that shallow for DoF but it certainly can screw up a picture, like it did here - if you have to explain a picture it just doesn't work.

    2. That was kind of what I liked about it actually. The whole scene has no particular subject and I feel like this "mess" is actually the subject. But maybe it only works for me. :)

    3. I shot this with the camera on my belly, barely aiming the camera using the rear LCD, so I do not have enough pixels to crop enough here. But you are definitely right, being closer would have helped this image. I'm still really shy when it comes to taking people's pictures in the streets, which is not really helped by the fact that I'm easily noticeable (I'm 6"5).

    4+5. Those two I'm definitely most proud of. Thank you for agreeing with me. :tongue:

    So again, thanks for your feedback, it's exactly what I was looking for. :wink:
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  11. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
    A lot of really great images there, so I won't insult any of them by trying to pick a favorite! thanks for sharing.
  12. charcoalblack

    charcoalblack Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 26, 2012
    2nd pic is my favorite one. Lots of interesting things to look at throughout.
  13. Qiou87

    Qiou87 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 15, 2013
    Paris, France
    Had a second go at the covered alleyways (or "passage" in French) in Paris with a couple photog friends today. I edited the OP with new pics #7, #8 and #9. I'm hoping for some C&C!
  14. Kalifornier

    Kalifornier Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 29, 2014