Editor’s note: This is the fourth installment in the “Paris Vignettes” series by photographer William O’Such. 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. William continues to visit Paris at least twice a year to wander the streets, camera in hand, looking for the next vignette.
I’m happy to share my latest installment of “Paris Vignettes”. This set of photos is from my June 2019 trip. Early summer is full of verdant scenery and throngs of people outdoors along the Seine, capped by La Fête de la Musique.
Just next to the Mairie in the third arrondissement is a park always filled with people, regardless of the weather. It is particularly popular with retirees thanks to its comfortable benches and quiet atmosphere. Perhaps one day I’ll join them, watching the days pass by.
Dans Le Marais
At the corner of rue de la Perle and rue Vieille-du-Temple is a popular café called La Perla. The owner of La Perla also owns the wall kitty-corner to the café, and has commissioned artists to paint murals on it on a regular basis. High above this mural is a new restaurant with a beautiful view of Le Marais.
Devant Notre Dame
One morning I wandered over to Notre Dame to wish it good luck in its recovery. It was surrounded by barriers so it was hard to get a good view. On a nearby bridge was a musician bringing some positive vibes to an otherwise sad disaster scene.
Dimanche dans Le Marais
Sunday means pedestrian-only streets in the heart of Le Marais, with lots of street performers and eccentric characters alongside the shoppers and strollers. This gentleman brought some color to rue Vieille-du-Temple on a hot Sunday afternoon.
Fête de la Musique
I always enjoy the annual Fête de la Musique, with talented musicians in public squares and on street corners all over Paris. This band on Boulevard Beaumarchais got people dancing in the streets (or at least on the sidewalk).
Even after 20+ years of living in and visiting Paris, I always find new things to see. I came across these purple alliums in a well-kept garden just west of the Quai d’Austerlitz.
One principal of street photography is to find a scene with a narrative storyline. This photo captures a young woman encouraging a man to try his luck at the arcade games in this Paco Rabanne fragrance pop-up store on rue des Francs-Bourgeois. Who knows what happened next?
Along the Quai Austerlitz, I came across this woman writing a letter. The decorative metalwork on the bridge features the coat of arms of Paris, an architectural element you can find throughout Paris once you know to look for it.
Reflets dans la Seine
Le Seine continues to inspire with its beauty and charm. On this early Saturday morning, I was inspired by the reflections of the trees on the water.
I love the artistry of florists’ windows in Paris. This photo captures this store’s floral designs, along with a reflection of the handsome building across the street.
Dancing in the Streets
An LGBT event near the Open Café on rue Vieille-du-Temple had some colorful street performances.
A wistful last cup of tea at our corner café before heading back home to San Francisco.
Lead photo credit : Belle Journée. Photo: William O'Such