I took French in high school over Spanish for a singular reason: West Laurens actually had a sister city in France, and did an exchange program every other year. In my junior year, my family hosted two French teenage boys in our home for a week, and then the people of Gerardmer, France returned the hosting favor half a year later.
It was my first time out of the country (besides an hour in Canada), and I was beyond excited. I had gotten my passport for this trip, and paid half of the $800 cost (split with my parents) with babysitting money. What I didn’t spend much money on was my digital camera, which would later be rejected by the student newspaper I worked for in college as being far too low of quality (at a whopping 3 mega pixels) to grace the pages of student-produced media. I bought the camera for the trip actually, and proceeded to play with the features, like sepia tone, which overran my France photo collection. Ben points out to me frequently (I know, Ben, I get it) that this is a dumb move, because you can always edit your photos to any kind of old sepia tone later, where as you cannot change it back to color after the fact. So, years later, many of these pictures exist, even in my memory, in their singular, sepia form.
But recently I went back and adjusted the white balance on many of them, which transformed them, becoming images of my journey that took on entirely new life, more than I had thought would be salvageable from these usually murky, low-resolution shots. I secretly love them all the more for being so low-tech. It’s like I was trying to edit them into vintage, when in fact, they already look that way.
These are some of my favorites from Paris. Gerardmer and Colmar posts to follow.
This is the abandoned carnival bit set up right across from the Eiffel Tower viewing point. It felt old.
I stayed on the bus to see the Tower, so my camera’s reflection in the window remains forevermore.
People-watching outside the Louvre, including the miles of park between it and the Champs-Élysées. Ladies, babies, boats, boys, and a wedding.
Paris from almost-the-top of the Eiffel Tower, and the graffiti-ed “Beware Pickpockets” sign in the elevator.
This was me, in Paris, only a few weeks after my 18th birthday
Chic lady and a Vogue Homme in Charles de Gaule Airport. I feel no one else likes this photo, but I do.