Blue, White, and Red

Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck
Paris is the fourth most photographed city in the world, but does that make it an easy place to photograph? Quite the opposite, I believe.

How do you get a purely unique shot of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, or Montmartre? Is there such a thing, is there an unseen angle yet to be discovered? A few months earlier we had our romantic introduction where I took all of these iconic shots. On our return, with a three week house-sit in Paris, I wanted to push myself to do more and find a new point of view. I brainstormed with Dalene over a bottle of red and to come up with some original photo shoot ideas.

With a few to choose from I finally decided on a theme of searching for the colours of the flag of France across the city. Every single photo would have to contain one or more of tricolours from the flag.

There are several interpretations of the meaning behind the colours on the flag. One theory has the white band in the middle representing the king and the blue and red bands for the revolutionaries who wore blue and red ribbons on their hats when storming Bastille. Other interpretations attach the colours to the nobility, clergy and bourgeois, another that they represent the values of the French Revolution (liberty, equality, brotherhood).

For me, they meant new inspiration. So I set off to some lesser-known neighbourhoods which I had yet to discover, and got to clicking.

There are several interpretations of the meaning behind the colours on the flag. One theory has the white band in the middle representing the king and the blue and red bands for the revolutionaries who wore blue and red ribbons on their hats when storming Bastille.

Red books
Velo
Bleu Street Art
Red stools
Red Suitcase
White 3
Blue White Red

Red faced
White-Statues-482x723
Promenade Plantée

Blue door
Red Door
Ride in Peace
Red cafe
Blue and White Flower
It was a challenge to look with a “blue white and red” filter on as there were intriguing scenes I had to ignore because they didn’t have any of these colours. But in the end, besides being a lot of fun, it pushed Paris in a new direction for me. And it caused me to push myself.

I think I’ll do these themed shoots more often.

15 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • September 22 2014

    That’s a great idea for a shoot! I like how you purposely had something in mind before you went out with your camera. As I result I think you captured some great shots that show a different side to Paris. Thanks for sharing.

  • September 22 2014

    What a great idea for a theme. Pictures are great as always. I will be there in one month for two weeks. Can’t wait to take
    some photos and write about it on my blog.

  • September 23 2014

    Nice! Theme shoots are a good way to keep motivated. I love that building on the Coulée Verte, I have the same shot.

  • September 23 2014

    Such a great selection of photos. Do I recognise some a shot or two taken from promenade plantee? I love that walk.
    Megan recently posted..Outback Sunsets Unedited

  • September 23 2014

    It’s not easy to find a fresh way of seeing Paris. Mission accomplished!
    Shelley recently posted..The Liebster Award

  • Mom
    September 22 2014

    What a unique & awesome idea Pete.

  • September 23 2014

    I love this idea and the result. It’s like a writing prompt for photographers: a looking prompt! Bon travail!

  • September 23 2014

    Paris, a camera, a theme. That’s all you need 🙂 You’ve got some gems there! It’s refreshing to see Paris in colour. Usually you see it in monochrome (B&W or Sepia mostly). Nice work!

  • September 24 2014

    That is such a unique idea for a photo shoot! And you have done full justice to it, lovely captures. Shows an unseen picture to Paris 🙂
    Arti recently posted..My Bus Journey from Pathankot to McCleod Ganj + Other Options of getting there

  • September 24 2014

    Woah, that Mini shot is such a money shot! Love it. I find Paris quite hard to photograph at times because there are so many people going about their business, but it’s nice to see something so refreshing.

  • September 24 2014

    This is such a cool idea, and your photos are gorgeous! Definitely shows a different side to Paris than most photos show… But this is the France I love!

  • September 25 2014

    Fantastic shots. You’re right, it’s not easy to find original ways to photograph Paris. I like “collecting” pictures of all the doors though. We’ll be heading to Paris on Saturday, actually. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Michelle C recently posted..Preparing for a Budget Trip to France

  • September 26 2014

    Great photographs, an interesting take on the city. Thank you for sharing this.
    Stephen & Jess recently posted..Kayaking to Penguin Island

  • September 28 2014

    Pete, You have truly become an awesome photographer! Seeing the changes and fabulous talent grow over the last couple years is wonderful. These photos are truly fabulous.

  • October 7 2014

    Very interesting project, and you literally painted Paris in new colours. As a street photographer I believe the trick is indeed to push yourself to come up with new assignments for yourself that make you look for the most unlikely angles.

    Loved going through the photo essay.

Join the conversation…

CommentLuv badge

css.php