Paris Vignettes: Natural Beauty in Gardens and Parks

Paris Vignettes: Natural Beauty in Gardens and Parks

The Paris Vignettes series features the inspired work of street photographer William “Bill” O’Such in themed installments

Once again Richard Nahem of Eye Prefer Paris invited me to take an adventure. This time it was out to Fontainebleau on a beautiful Saturday after a rainy week. We started by first walking through the chateau which was so vast, we wondered how the former royal occupants could’ve possibly used all those rooms. Afterwards we ventured out into the adjacent park which was hyper green after the rain. Like many Paris parks there are boats you can rent to paddle around the lake (“les bateaux de Fontainebleau”) and admire the chateau and the pavillon (“Pavillon de Fontainebleau”) in the middle of the lake. As we walked further into the park we found a number of art pieces blending into the greenery. The most curious were two well-dressed statues (“les hybrids”) waiting to greet you in a curiously exotic way.

Another day I went on a mission to find a small lake, recommended by several friends, that’s hidden away within the vast Bois de Boulogne. After taking the metro to Les Sablons, I started with a short walk to a nearby lake where I found two ducks diving away (“les canards qui plongent”). After a walk around the lake, I grabbed a Velib’ and meandered through the park until I found the lake which I discovered has an island with a restaurant (“le chalet des Îles”). Do you have to rent a little boat to row your way out there?

Finally, I returned to Batignolles and joined people relaxing on Sunday (“dimanche dans la Square des Batignolles”) and then took a walk to Parc Monceau where I found both turtles sunning themselves (“j’adore le soleil”) and herons gracefully walking along the water’s edge (“heron dans Parc Monceau”). Even though Paris is a major city, the vast number of large green spaces gives you the opportunity to connect with nature anytime you want.

j’adore le soleil. Photo credit: William O’Such

dimanche dans la square des batignolles. Photo credit: William O’Such

heron dans parc monceau. Photo credit: William O’Such

les hybrides. Photo credit: William O’Such

pavillon de fontainbleau. Photo credit: William O’Such

les bateux des bois de boulange. Photo credit: William O’Such

les canards qui plongent. Photo credit: William O’Such

les bateaux de fontainbleau. Photo credit: William O’Such

Lead photo credit : le chalet des Îles. Photo credit: William O'Such

More in Batignolles, Bois de Boulogne, Fontainebleau, Paris Vignettes, photography, Photography by William O'Such, photography in Paris, William O'Such

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William was introduced to silver halide photography by his father, Chester J. O’Such, via the family’s Ansco reflex camera and home darkroom. After college, William worked as a photographic engineer at Eastman Kodak, where he began to learn the art of photography. With his first SLR, a Canon AE-1, he photographed his inaugural voyage to Paris in 1982. This early spark turned into full passion when William became a Kodak expatriate in Paris from 1995-99. Before returning to the USA, William and his future wife Ineke bought an apartment in the Marais district. Inspired by Bresson, William continues to visit Paris at least twice a year to wander the streets, camera in hand, looking for the next vignette. His photos are available for sale by visiting