Train Station Stretch

Photography, Street, Travel

One fantastic aspect of Europe is train travel. A chance to relax, watch country side whisk by, and wonder if you going the right direction. Some of the most magnificent sights are seen on trains, and people often present a more relaxed persona. Though much like any long transportation so much sitting can ache the legs – ergo it was perfect one of my first sights riding a train was companions doing a hamstring stretch in the station. 

Taking time to stretch at a train station in Versailles, France, July 15, 2013.

Taking time to stretch at a train station in Versailles, France, July 15, 2013.

Palace at Versailles: Hall of Mirrors

architecture, Black & White, Photography, Portraits, Travel

Above: Le château de Versailles as seen from the gardens. 

In continuation with Palace at Versailles Part One, it’s time for part two.

There’s more Palace de Versailles then a person could fathom to tour and document in one day. Between hordes of people and long walks with minimal refreshments or restrooms the end of the tour was welcome.

One of the highlights was the hall of mirrors, also known as la grande galerie. The hall of mirrors was the utmost symbol of power and vanity from a time when mirrors were were only for the wealthy. Perhaps the most well-known story involving the hall of mirrors – if not the entire Palace – is the Treaty of Versailles. The armistice that ended WWI on June 28, 1919, also often credited the leading cause for WWII, was signed in this hall. WordPress.com has a detailed and succinct post about the treaty. 

Historyplace.com has a photo credited to U.S. National Archives of the absolutely packed hall during the signing.

treatyofversailles

Here’s the hall of mirrors from a not-so-high vantage point I shot July 13, 2013. The similarities and differences between the amount of people but their purpose for their visit are shocking. Chandeliers and much decoration have apparently been since added. 

Lots of people.

Lots of people.

Decoration and mirror closeup.

Decoration and mirror closeup.

And for good measure an image from the other end of the hall of mirrors.

Versailles, France.

Versailles, France.

The Palace at Versailles – Part One.

architecture, Black & White, Photography, Travel

Above: The private cathedral at the Palace of Versailles.

Chateau de Versailles is unlike anything I have ever seen. Enormous, gaudy, deluxe, extravagant, historical, overwhelming and beautiful, all barely begin to describe the centerpiece of the Paris suburb of Versailles. 

Originally built as a hunting lodge for King Louis XIII, the Palace at Versailles was the official seat of power for courts and the government from 1682 until the French Revolution in 1789. Indeed, Chateau de Versailles played a large role in the anger French citizens had directed toward the aristocracy – and the resident King Louis XVI and his wife Marie-Antionette were forced to flee the palace, before both being executed. 

Louis XVI was preceded by his grandfather, Louis XV, who allegedly foresaw the revolutions, as legend says he proclaimed “Après moi, le déluge,” which translates to “After me, the flood.”

This is first in a series of three posts with pictures from the Palace at Versailles. 

Beginning the tour of the Palace, July 12, 2013.

Beginning the tour of the Palace, July 12, 2013.

Every square inch is decorated, and ceilings become canvases for colorful paintings. As well as the cause of a sore neck.

Every square inch is decorated, and ceilings become canvases for colorful paintings. As well as the cause of a sore neck.

Statues and busts fill any available spot, often portrayed in classical greek style.

Statues and busts fill any available spot, often portrayed in classical greek style.

Statue, Palace of Versailles.

Statue, Palace of Versailles.

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour, Versailles, France.

Photography, Street, Travel, Weekly Photo Post

The golden hour is the current weekly photo challenge. Around sunrise or sunset the sun’s low angle causes more diffusions in the atmosphere and casts long shadows. The result can be spectacular light. I used to strictly time my photography around this time, until one day a teacher asks when the best time to take a photo was. I replied “the golden hour” to which he responded, the best time to take a photo is anytime. While I still prefer catching the dramatic and soft lighting prone to the golden hour, that piece of advice has stuck with me and greatly influenced my photographing habits.

These two images were recently taken in the town of Versailles, France.

Apparently weary of my camera, a dad plays with his son during sunset.

Apparently weary of my camera, a dad plays with his son during sunset.

Pedestrians cast long shadows walking by packed cafes.

Pedestrians cast long shadows walking by packed cafes.