A PICTURE OF PARIS

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Paris, the well-known ‘City of Love’, is known for its beautiful
architecture, such as the Arc De Triomphe, The Notre Dame Cathedral
and the Hotel De Ville. It is also the home to the Grand Palais, where the
Paris Photo exhibition was held last November. The international art fair
of photography is held annually and allows photographers, businesses
and publishers to exhibit their work.

Photo by: Louisa Wileman
Photo by: Louisa Wileman

Hosting 136 galleries including 1,500 photographers, 28 new participants
and 28 publishers specialising in photography books, the show
highlighted photographic talent from around the globe.

On 13th November 2013, 15 students from both Staffordshire
Universities Photography and Photojournalism courses visited Paris for 3
nights. This was a great opportunity for the students photographically
as they were able to explore the city and visit many of Paris’ historical
sites, such as the Eiffel Tower. The students had a two-day pass to the
Paris Photo Exhibition where they were free to observe all the galleries
and also were able to interact with professional photographers from the
world’s top agencies. This inspired some of the students in their studies
and it has also given them a goal to aspire to.

It also gave the students a chance to discover the culture of France;
meeting the people, enjoying the food and soaking in the French
lifestyle. The students were also advised to go to Chartier, a French
brasserie. The restaurant opened in the late 19th century and serves
traditional French food, such as snails, steak in black pepper sauce, and
wines.

Paris is also famous for its photographers: Brassai, Cartier Bresson and
Doisneau. Hungarian-born Brassai was a sculptor, writer and filmmaker
who rose to frame in France in the early 1930’s when he published his
first collection of books entitled Paris De Nuit (Paris by Night). He
produced photographs such as ‘Scene de Cafe’, which was taken in Paris
in 1932, and ‘Jean-Paul Sartre, cafe de flora’, taken in 1945.
Doisneau was famous for his photography in the 1930’s where he used
his Leica on the streets of Paris. He is known for his playful images of
amusing juxtapositions where he merged social classes.

Henri Cartier Bresson was considered to be ‘the father of
photojournalism’ thanks to his breath-taking photo essays. He, along
with Robert Capa, founded Magnum Photo in 1947. Staffordshire
University have an Educational partnership with Magnum, this helps
focus on the future generation of photographers and allows members to
share their knowledge and experience.

Paris is a great place to visit, especially for students due to the city’s
artistic history and its link with photographers. Magnum photographer
Raymond Depardon was also exposing his “Un moment si doux”
exhibition at the Grand Palais and a free Brassai exhibition took place at
the City Hall. The students also had the opportunity to share their ideas
with other students and professional photographers who attended Paris
Photo.

Paris has many photography exhibitions throughout the year so if you’re
a student able to join the next trip, a photographer, or just fascinated by
a city with a rich photographic culture, you wont regret a trip to Paris –
and you’ll surely return with some amazing photographs.

By Jo Kirkaldy & Ben Furst