French Impression Quiz

French Impression #32





Can anyone guess what famous and well known landmark is pictured here? When this picture was taken, I had climbed to the top of Notre Dame and was standing between the two towers.

Leave your guesses as comments, and check back tomorrow for the correct answer along with some background on the location.

Hopelessly In Love

French Impression #31




As a celebration for our 4th wedding anniversary today, I display this image for you. While ice formed on the pool, I stood at the Palais de Chaillot courtyard drinking in this unforgettable view of the Eiffel Tower. It was at this moment after my long day of touring the city alone that I missed my husband terribly. His companionship would have been the only thing needed to complete this moment.


So I share this photograph with thoughts of my sweet husband. I love you, dear!




Return to Me

French Impression #30




My sincere hope is to one day return to this lovely city and explore more of it's beauty and history.

In front of Notre Dame, there is a crest placed in the ground called "Point 0". It is the measuring point of all of Paris. Legend has it that those who stand on it will one day return to the city. As it was my lot, having not known about Point 0 until now, I am still holding out hope I will indeed return with my husband to this romantic place. We will see what God in heaven has planned.




Iconic Imagery

French Impression #29




These two icons so recognizable to the world are timeless and will always appeal as aesthetic images.



Deceptive Height

French Impression # 28



From below it is hard to take in the height of the Cathedral. In looking at the photograph, I am also amazed at the perspective I find in comparing the now tiny gargoyles at the very top to what I knew to be their size while I visited the tower.

Soon we will climb the narrowing staircase and view the city from above.









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Hidden Masterpieces

French Impression #27




Places where most people may never look displayed such sincere devotion to beauty and detail that perhaps their efforts were only made for an audience of One.

Pictured here is the outer door as I exited the Cathedral. Tomorrow we will walk out into the courtyard.




Interwoven Structure

French Impression #26




Everything seems to be connected as we walk around to the side of the cathedral and make our way behind the front platform. Each column touching the next by way of a complex system of lovingly crafted arches.



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Contrasting Warmth

French Impression #25


As I walked by the rows of candles, I was struck by this lone red jar. I am not sure if it holds special meaning, but it was a gemstone amidst an already beautiful site.



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The Warmth of Notre Dame

French Impression #24




In the midst of stone, winter, and a world of sorrow, the candles of Notre Dame give off soothing warmth.


Reverent Glow

French Impression #23




Lit candles provided visually what my ears were already telling me by way of the hushed reverence and soft music. Far above the tourist attraction and wonder of this place, this location holds sacred meaning to many who come.

Warm Stone

French Impression #22



The magnificent lighting was great in diversity. From gray stone to aquas and blues, to what we see here - fiery red and orange hues. It was a treat for the senses.


Historic Interior

French Impression #21


Although many interesting facts can be found at Wikipedia, here are the ones that caught my attention. It is remarkable to have been standing where these events once took place.
December 16, 1431 Henry VI of England is crowned King of France
November 7, 1455 Isabelle Romée, the mother of Joan of Arc, petitions a papal delegation to overturn her daughter's conviction for heresy.
April 24, 1558 Mary I of Scotland is married to the Dauphin François
December 2, 1804 Napoléon is crowned emperor by Pope Pius VII, then crowns Joséphine himself.


Rose Detail

French Impression #20




Here is but one of the many mesmerizing windows in the cathedral. It is the one you will see in the front between the towers, and it is amazingly detailed. The workers were no doubt passionate about every intricacy - what beautiful devotion.

Green Craftsmanship

French Impression #19




In front of each stained glass window there seemed to be an understood acceptable place for standing still and taking in the beauty there. I can't imagine what the cathedral might have looked like if it had been a sunny day.


Ornate Attraction

French Impression #18





The focal point of the cathedral was a complex arrangement of carved walls, statues, and columns displaying stunning detail. Dramatic lighting shows off each variance of shape.





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Dramatic Expanse

French Impression #17



While walking through the Cathedral in silent awe, there is much to take in. I wonder what great stories the walls might express if they would be able to.





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Stunning Light

French Impression #16




Lighting is so crucial to how any object is perceived, after all it is only with light that anything can actually be seen. The soft glow from the chandeliers reveals the staggering details in the columns and arches. These were true craftsmen.

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Feeling Small

French Impression #15


The expanse of Notre Dame's ceiling is amazingly high and softly lit with varying colors. The seemingly ordinary gray stone is brought to life with warm shades contrasted by hints of blue and teal. A true feast for the eyes and heart to be in such a place.


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First Impressions

French Impression #14





What I would see at Notre Dame, I wasn't sure. I had seen a few photographs, but not enough to compare with the sites beheld that day. Hushed crowds, soft choir music, beautiful lighting, intense worshipping. The atmosphere alone gave indication as to the reverence given this Cathedral.

Notre Dame at Twilight

French Impression #13



The Cathedral at twilight must be the most beautiful time to photograph.

That day was the coldest I'd ever been. I was outside all day long, and it had to be about 20 degrees made worse by the stinging wind. But at times I was very glad that it was winter for the bare trees allowed me more views like this.

Unexpected Color

French Impression #12



Yes, Runie, you are correct!!
It doesn't seem like the Cathedral of Notre Dame would be this colorfull inside, but there were a few parts with striking colors and patterns at the rounded front area. We will spend several days at Notre Dame, enjoy!

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Unexpected Intricacy

French Impression #11




To see the Eiffel Tower with one's own eyes is unforgettable and breathtaking. It is perfectly beautiful in its design - a pleasing and simple shape. And then we move closer to see another level of beauty, the intricacy of the structure bathed in amber light. Soft curves are drawn with harsh materials and angles. The Eiffel Tower is truly one of the loveliest structures I have ever seen.



Tomorrow, we will visit a different Paris location, and here is a hint for you.
Where in Paris specifically you think this design can be found?
Leave your guesses as a comment.

Amber Beauty

French Impression #10






My first evening in Paris, I headed out to see the Eiffel Tower after work. It was an unforgettable evening as I rode the Metro and saw the Seine for the first time, found my way through the streets past the cafes and toward the lights. I was soon approached by very persistent salesmen with their Eiffel trinkets. But then was able to find a quiet spot to photograph, sit and take the view in.



Winter Warmth

French Impression #9





When I looked out across the street from the building I was working in, I was taken by the colors and textures here. Again, the sense of age was present because of the stone and even the shape of the building added a quaint feel. The crowning touch for me is the rusty reds of the vine which gives just the right amount of warmth to the image. Even in the winter, it finds a way to bloom.




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Common Courtyard

French Impression #8





My stay in France consisted of very late evenings and very early mornings. There wasn't much call or opportunity for sleep. This photograph of the courtyard behind the hotel was taken probably around midnight or later - right before beginning my evening ritual of work and journaling. I was amazed to see off in the distance a hill with more buildings perched on top.

Tomorrow we will venture away from the hotel.



Blue Haze

French Impression #7





Roof tops curve downward and become siding in the courtyard of my Paris hotel. The weather is reflected perfectly in this cold, steel subject only warmed by touches of rusted oranges creating a beautiful abstract display of harsh shape and limited color.




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Aged Beauty

French Impression #6




As I sat in the hotel cafe enjoying the largest croissant I'd ever seen, I took in this view directly across the street. Striking wrought iron on a canvas of carved stone gave a sense of history and age. It was a unique experience to be in a country that was vastly older than my own.

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Parisian Perch

French Impression #5




While feasting on a croissant and various other carb-related breakfast foods, I enjoyed a quiet view of Paris from my hotel's cafe window. I was staying in Paris, however far away from any tourist attractions, thus embedded in true Parisian life. It was unbelievable to me that I was sitting there at that moment. so I simply watched and took in the view from my second story perch.


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Story in Stone

French Impression #4



For dinner, we ate at a restaurant right by this breathtaking fountain. I have since not been able to find any information on it, except what my client told me. It tells the story or allegory of the river nearby in Nantes. Each corner of the fountain represents a part of the river.



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Nantes Nightlife

French Impression #3






On my second evening in France, I was taken to Nantes to see their cathedral, get a look at the city, and try the best foie gras in the area. The purple lit banners you see are in celebration of the coming Christmas season. There were decorations everywhere, but strangely not much red and green. I was to soon see throughout my trip the many differences in our cultures and way of life. What wonderful diverseness.

Frosted Morning

French Impression #2


This was usually the sight we had every morning upon our arrival at the harp workshop. I am told that for the time of year I was there we had an unusual amount of sunshine. It was hard to tell from the morning exactly what sort of day it would be as it was quite foggy and overcast almost every day. But I believe on this particular day dispite all expectations, the sun remained out through the day. A blessed occurance for these French who shivered while I felt warm.

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Frosted Outlines

French Impression #1

This December, I had the privilege of traveling to France for a graphic design job. I now work for Camac one of the top harpmakers in the world, and I am honored to do so. My first stop was to the quaint town of Mouzeil, near Nantes, to photograph the harp factory for use in future advertising.






Each morning the president of the company and I took our half hour drive to the factory, and usually engaged in conversations if not about the company, or the town, then on topics revolving around the differences between the French and Americans, the metric system, road signs, . . . etc.

It was very cool in the mornings, and all foliage was covered in a unique frost that seemed to push everything into a pastel / white shade. It was rather mesmerizing to me. On the first day to the factory, I stepped out of the car and saw that even the leaves had outlines of frost on them. It was truly beautiful so, of course, I took a picture.




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