A Renaissance Trip in Europe

Bridge details in France, originally uploaded by Photomike07.

As I begin to embark on a bit of “Spring Cleaning” of my apartment so to speak over the next few weeks in preparation for my move, it seems only appropriate to start purging out some of my “ready to blog files” from the virtual world as well. With that in mind, I plan to post a few more than 1 per day for a few of my up and coming posts. I hope that this thinning out of my safety net of images will catapult me back out into the real world to capture more imagery and create better art.

Ah, wait Mike, before you ramble on….what’s this about a move?

Oh yeah, a simple one at that. Same building, 1 floor down, a 3rd room, same price, a no brainer actually…..more on that soon….

So, about this post. I was reminded of this feeling in a forward by Anthony Bourdain of a collection of travel stories that I am reading. Those of us, who either travel for work…..or more accurately, want and need to see more of the world, seem to suffer the same dilemma. There is quite often the empty feeling as you long for the comfort of home and loved ones, yet this feeling is never too powerful to keep you held back in the first place. As strong as the feeling might seem to get home, it is never quite as intense as the restless feeling while at home….in that comfort zone…. that propels us back to explore the unknown. I often wonder if this enormous compulsion to experience the unexplored would have sucked me in for good had I not began the relationship I did a few years ago. Even though that union failed miserably, I guess the real challenge for me now continues to be how to balance this insatiable appetite for exploring this wonderful planet and its wonderful mysteries with the remaining responsibilities I have created for myself back home. By the tone set forth in the introduction of this book I am about to read, it sounds like I am not alone in this feeling.

But for now, I’m gonna play it a bit safe with a few images from my last trip to Paris. For me, this trip was more that just a return visit….it was a personal renaissance. My passion for photography was in a way “reborn” on this trip. During previous trips here about 10 years or so ago, I always took pictures, but was never really “taken” by pictures. (credit for that line goes to Vincent Versace of course). Shortly after returning to the States….while on headset for a show actually….I began to tweek some faders and sliders in Photoshop from my captures from the summer and from that moment, was hooked on digital imaging. It’s funny, I still visit some of those files….2 years later, and the following images are the result of that process.

I have always, for some reason, embraced solo travel. For me, there is no better way to really sink deep into my own space. Memories of totally focussed thought and meditation on long train rides, Greek ferries, and motorcycle rides come to mind. Kind of ironic that a process that seems to position yourself to consume a broader and ever shifting perspective actually forces a more acutely inward understanding of yourself. That is of course if you let it happen!

Even as a solo traveler, especially throughout Europe, you are never really alone. There are constant opportunities to relate with other human beings…..as often as you care to. The freedom that you do have, however, is incomparable. The ability to create your own flexible journey is an incredible experience, and with my camera by my side, thats exactly what I did on this trip.

On the way to Ille de Cite
Having no idea that 2 years later, I would find a way to create my own individial feel for this scene, I still felt compelled to record it. There is a special place in Paris called the Ille’ de Cite. Two little islands in the Seine river with some of the oldest architecture, greatest cafes, and best places to rest your head. Located in the shadows of Cathedral de Notre Dam in the city that never sleeps, it was a peaceful oasis that welcomed me back after a long day exploring.
French Fountain

For me, Paris has always been a city to wander in. A walking city by design, its parks full of vibrant Parisians who have mastered the art of “Living”.

Around the Louvre
There is no finer place to find the artist in you than the Museum de Louvre. As you can see, even the details in the exterior can provide the art enthusiast with hours of appreciation for the celebration of creativity.
Louvre Pyramid at Night
Although my tripod was trapped in my luggage that arrived 3 days late, I was kind of happy to have the chance to slowly scout this wonderful city for locations without the endless and somewhat required need to record it from the start. Its actually best, I have found, to slowly immerse yourself into this environment to really appreciate its abundant treasures.
Tour le Eiffel from the Bridge

Knowing that the “City of Lights” will always be there as a bright welcome and convenient gateway for another European trip someday is somehow, for me, a very warm feeling indeed 🙂
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