La Place de la Concorde a la nuit

Travel Theme: Night

Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack, in proposing her Travel Theme this week, has set the bar high with her photographs of Washington DC in Independence Night splendour.   I’d like to present a few old favourites taken in 1976 (when R and i took to the road in our old VW Van for the first of our great adventures together), and of course, a couple from the East.

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79 thoughts on “Travel Theme: Night

    • You sure you can’t push it, Keira? The two newer pictures were taken with point and shoots – ‘night landscape’ setting, put the camera on a bench or something, to keep it still and g e n t l y squeeze the shutter. But we sure did have fun taking those shots in Europe with our old SLR – I can’t imagine how we got away with taking our little tripod into the middle of the Champs Elysees and other big city streets, dancing about while we aimed and timed …

      PS Just heard about the fire last night. No trees, burned, I hope?

      • Even when it’s a wee bit dark in the park, my little camera returns pics of shudders and shakes :-) I’d love to have had one of those old SLR’s :-) I have some night shots, but mostly of the cat or my courtyard. Nothing speccy.
        The fire? It’s terrible. That school had just celebrated its centenary. My brother went there, and for me, it was part of the landscape. It’s gone and will be replaced by something horribly and harshly modern. It looks as though one or 2 of the jacarandah’s suffered, but they probably won’t be allowed to survive the rebuild.
        It’s very sad.

            • I know what that feels like. I’m not sure why – except that living in the tropics is tough on everything – but my Nikkon is playing up badly. I’m hoping I can nurse it through till I get home. Thought, as a consolation prize, treat myself to a second hand digital SLR – people are always upgrading and needing to cast off only slightly used gear … Aren’t they?

              • apparently :-) One of my options is a Canon EOS of some description, 2nd hand & I know the owner. She’d like me to buy it as she knows I want one & she wants it to go to a good home. So,…
                And where would ‘home’ be? Sydney?

                • Have you seen what the Canon can do? I guess if you know her, that would be a good camera to buy – avoiding the shysters … as long as you’re happy with what it could do for you, and the flexibility you’d have to add different lenses, etc. over time as you make more money.

                  I’ve no idea where home will be. I think the city is unlikely – been there, done that – and had a ball (and soooo expensive to live in). I’ve a hankering for the country, but since this has to be my last move, it’ll likely have to be in, or close to a regional centre with a good hospital and social services for when I can’t waddle around and look after myself any more … I’m afraid of the cold (Papa said as he got older – he was just shy of 100 when he died – he felt it more and more, and I’m very like him, physically), and likely won’t be able to afford air conditioning, so extreme heat is also a problem … I’m thinking I might explore my options by house sitting for a while – several months, if necessary.

                  • that’s a gpood option, house-sitting. I’m afraid in Oz your options are going to be kinda limited. Hobart gets bloody vold but not extreme heat. Everywhere else gets extreme heat & fires. I’m aiming for Hobart eventually – as soon as I get some boodle :-) They still have hot days but teh summers aren’t as hot or as long as Perth and they tend not to get runs of 40 degree days – or not yet, anyway. And it still rains there.
                    You could try south-west WA – not as many hot days, Bunbury/Perth for regionalsocial services. Or I guess eastern south eastern coasts? Very wet there but up to a couple of years ago, they were in 12 year drought. Adelaide runs out of water….Darwin? Vile. You’d need the airconditioning to stay sane! :-)
                    And my current camera is a Canon. They’re good beasties. :-)

  1. Great photos… I bet a LOT has changed around these landmarks since 1976!
    Night photography is something that still eludes me, the few shots that are hits are random and usually there are plenty of “duds” so knowing how difficult it is, I’m very impressed that you seem to have mastered the art!

    • Hardly mastered it, Kiwidutch – the only thing I know for sure is you’ve gotta keep the camera still!

      i know we’d never be able to stand in the middle of a busy street taking photographs these days, that’s for sure!

  2. Wow! The Bangkok one is simply spectacular! One of our friends is Thai, and he keeps telling us to go… your photo makes me want to pack my bags today. ; )

    • It’s an extraordinary city, Anne! This was the first time I’d ever seen a city bedecked so – every tree and building was just dripping with fairy lights – it seemed like magic, with that warm fragrant air …

  3. I love these night time photos. Night time shots are often difficult to get and often don’t portray what we want them to. These are lovely. I also think it is wonderful that you travelled in a VW van in the ’70s…every free spirit’s dream. ;-)

      • They turned out great! Its been quite a weekend here. My mother in law had a minor stroke and three of my nieces and nephews were rushed into the ER with a need of stitches. Ahhhh….it would be better to be at the lake! But everyone has recovered and is doing well, including my mother in law who is actually visiting family and en route to see us this Friday. Wow.

      • Unfortunately, no. Our county canceled all shows because of continued power outages from a recent storm. Over 140 traffic lights were still not working, and too many people were without power. County officials didn’t want to overtax emergency crews, which was a smart precaution.

        If it wasn’t so hot, we would have gone down to DC, even though that would mean being on the Mall and not a roof terrace somewhere in Georgetown. ;)

        • It’s weird to think you have power outages that go on for days, creating havoc – just like we do here!

          As a way to pass a hot evening, a terrace overlooking Georgetown does seem preferable to being squeezed among the multitude on the Mall.

  4. Wonderful series of shots, the European ones are lovely but boy, the eastern ones are so intriguing. You’ve really had some adventures! :)

  5. It is amazing what you can do with a point and shoot…wow. What great images…including the older ones. I am busy transferring some of my old photos now…it is a big job

    • Yes, scanning all those old prints was a huge job – in fact i’m still not finished. Unfortunately the slides didn’t take that long – we were so poor back then each shot was rationalised before the shutter was pressed – was it worthy? Then all its details (what they now call Metadata) were carefully entered into the little book … Although we did get some great shots, it was little better than relying on post cards for visual souvenirs!

  6. Lovely – I remember a wonderful 4th July in DC five years ago when on a training program. It was a really good view of the fireworks from the Arlington side where the memorial is…

  7. “Bedecked” is exactly the word I was looking for. The dark & the light make for fairylight-fairy tales :) La Place de la Concorde… magnifique.

    • That’s always been one of my all-time favourites. We blew up six slides (can you imagine the process of elimination?) when we arrived in Sydney, to set up house – La Place de la Concorde was one of them.

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  10. These are lovely, Meredith. I particularly enjoyed “The King’s Birthday” All those lights . . would be impossible not to feel something magical among them.

      • Editing has ceased for the time being. Yay! I started a project a while back, a novella, and I am now going back and seeing what I wrote about. Turns out I still like it! Whew!

        More installments . . . hm . . . I wish I could give you a date; however, for the time, being chapter one is it. The brief answer: as soon as I am published. ;-)

        Happy Tuesday to you!

  11. Love them all, but especially the one of Kandy lake. You are really good with night shots, I remember some of the beautiful photos you posted for the reflection challenge.

    • Thank you Madhu – though your praise is not really deserved. Those old slides I took with the SLR required a little skill, and a tripod, but since that camera and R, ended up in the harbour as he was trying to shoot a giant turtle, it’s been point and shoots for me – so it’s the camera which must take the credit for whatever I’ve captured. I’m promising to buy myself a slightly used Digital SLR with a couple of lenses – as a reward (or is that incentive?) for settling down in Oz. I figure if my travel wings are to be severely clipped I’d better trawl the world around me!

      • I just bought myself one and can’t say the images so far are that much better than those clicked with my trusty point and shoot. Not the fault of the camera of course, I am still feeling my way around the manual settings.
        So have you decided where in Oz?

        • No, Madhu, I haven’t. Nor the timing, 100%. But I think I’m pretty well decided against going back to Sydney – too fast paced and anyway, I’ve been hankering after the country for years now. However, since this is to be my last move (into old age), I can’t live in isolation, and must be near a decent regional hospital, with good social infrastructure to help me when i get too old to look after myself! Train connection to Sydney, or Melbourne, or Brisbane, at a push, so I can go to visit friends, and get some ‘culture’ would be perfect. I’m afraid of the cold, and don’t want to tie myself into an existence that relies on air conditioning! These parameters have effectively cut my options by 90%. Where though, still remains a total mystery.

          I think a plan is emerging … Put my stuff in storage and house sit around possible locations till I find somewhere I like. I don’t have to make any long term commitments, and I can take as long as I need. After Ma and Papa died I had house sitters look after Nangi and the garden when I came here to Sri Lanka a couple of times (three months, and three weeks) – the Dutch couple said it was a great way to see the country, and the Australian librarian who was making a life change had been doing it for two years and just loved the freedom – so it appears to be possible to have almost continual assignments, if one manages things well:)

          Good luck with your (new) camera practice! You’re in the right place to get lots of advice, so you should be in a position to be enjoying it by the time you go to Lao later in the year.

  12. It’s me again! I didn’t know where to post this so I’m doing it here (and couldn’t find your email). My picture the world is up at: http://www.thedepartureboard.com/picture-the-world-project-guatemala

    I had earlier nominated your lovely blog for this challenge. Not sure if you saw it or not but the departure board asked me to inquire and see if you wanted to do your country. It is really cool and not hard! Check it out at: http://www.thedepartureboard.com/picture-the-world project. I bet you could do something great!

    • Nicole, dear, I’m so sorry. I’ve been a bit obsessed about what to put up to represent the whole country (Sri Lanka, of course!). My best shots are pre-digital and thus not eligible. I’m going up to Kandy for the Perahera at the end of July and thought I might be able to pick up something worthy while I’m out and about there. Can you relay this message to them for me?

      PS – Looking at your marvellous picture again reinforced my sense of inadequacy:)

      • Sure thing! Of course I’ll rely your message! You are a fabulous photographer and I’m sure they will be honored to have your work on the site. It really is cool. Kind of like a quilt but with pictures from all different people around the world!

        Thanks for the kind words as always! You flatter me to much! :) But it makes me smile so thank you! N

        • No, it’s not flattery. When they’re particularly good, I say so!

          It is a lovely concept – like a quilt, as you say – and I’d love to be part of it. Fingers crossed I can get a quintessential Sri Lanka shot when I’m in Kandy!

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