Lessons Learned From My First Color Run Photoshoot In Paris

The Color Run is a 5 km fun race, where the participants (and photographers) get sprinkled with a different color powder after each kilometer before ending at a giant party. The race is neither timed, nor do participants actually need to run. Everyone is free to walk, crawl, jump, etc. The aim of the Color Run is to promote health and fitness in a colorful way.

Since I fully support ideas that get people out of their houses and up on their legs, I had a closer look at this year’s Color Run in Paris (April 16, 2017), specifically at the pink color zone. Here is what I learned while looking at “the happiest 5K on the planet” through my camera lens.

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Wrap your cam

Sure, it is fun to be enveloped in 💙, 💚, 💛 and 💗 powder clouds while seeing bright smiles on all the faces around you. But if you don’t protect your camera, you will quickly turn from 😊 to 😢.

To prevent any gear damage, you actually don’t need any expensive equipment or camera cases. A couple of ziplock bags and tape will do. I ended up following more or less the instructions given in this video to wrap my Canon 60D and my 18-250 mm lens in a freezer bag, sealing it off with some gaffer tape.

While wrapping, keep in mind that you still need to be able to control your camera, including the change of settings and zooming in and out. You also want to keep your viewfinder and preview screen free for a quick photo check during the race. That being said, it will be easier to do all of this if you use a “plastic tunnel” in which you can also wrap your hands rather than choosing a plastic bag which is closed on one end.

To complete your protection, get yourself a cheap filter that you can place on your lens and use your lens hood.

It goes without saying that a waterproof case would be the best protection for your DSLR. I only have a waterproof case for my GoPro. So this one was my camera of choice when photographing among the runners and volunteers who threw the color in the air.

Wrap yourself

Now that you got your cam in the clear, protect yourself and your clothes. For obvious reasons, dress in an outfit that can get stained 👕. While the color thrown on runners is usually not hard to remove, I personally wouldn’t risk to ruin my latest shopping treasures 👗.

And if you plan to photograph the complete race in one of the color zones, right beside the volunteers throwing the color, consider wearing a face mask over nose and mouth to avoid breathing in too much of the colored powder over a longer time 😷.

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Me among the pros

Planning ahead and wrapping up

The participants of the Color Run will start the race without color. Forget the starting location for fun photos.

The first color zone is set up after kilometer 1. The second after kilometer 2, and so on. On the official Color Run website you can probably find details and a map to know in advance were the course leads and color zones are set up.

The finisher zone is for participants only. So if you really wanted to photograph there, you would need to buy a race ticket and run, walk, jump there.

I recommend the 4th color zone though. You should have easier access as photographer and the participants will have been sprinkled in at least 3 colors already. Since it’s no professional race, many participants are actually no longer running at this point, but they will stop to take selfies 🤳 or ask photographers nearby to take their group photo 📷. This happened to me several times, even though I wasn’t an official race photographer.

Normally I would also recommend to get in touch with the Color Run team on Social Media, but I was disappointed by the answer of the team behind the French account as they couldn’t give me good advice with regards to photo locations in Paris. Feel free to try anyway. You might get more lucky 🍀.

Once you got all the colorful shots you wanted, start spreading your images on Social Media immediately and over a course of 2 or 3 days after. Anything lasting longer will stay unnoticed. For a chance to get some extra exposure on the official Color Run accounts tag your content with #colorrun #colorrun[cityname] #colorrun[year] #happiest5k.

And now it’s time for some photos and a short video of my first Color Run 💗

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Evident And Invisible At Once

The more often we see the things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds – even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.
~Joseph B. Wirthlin

Photo details (please click on the image for best quality):

Canon EOS 60D, 17mm, ISO 3200, F5.6, 1/160 sec.
Location: Notre Dame, Paris, France.

If you like this post please have a look at more Wise Words And Quotes In Images

Photo Essay: Maisons-Laffitte Parc Thoughout The Year

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You have to imagine the Parc de Maisons-Laffitte like an oasis in the concrete jungle of the Paris suburbs; an oasis to not simply stroll, picnic or play in — it’s an oasis to live in. Therefore, its preservation must be ensured.

A municipal association is deciding about each single construction project that could change the look of the park. You want a larger garage? Get the association to approve. You want to build a house? Get the association to approve (tough one!). You want to open a shop or restaurant? Deal with the immediate rejection. There are no commercial buildings in the Parc de Maisons-Laffitte, despite of its size: 7km². The park makes up for 60% of the surface of Maisons-Laffitte, while 40% of the city’s inhabitants live there.

Those 60% of Maisons-Laffite are a haven for castle lovers and horses (they have priority at all times and even better walkways than pedestrians do). The park is wild, lush, full of trees and birds (I have seen parakeets here) and undergoes an ever changing floral look. Maisons-Laffitte Parc is a great place to be for nature lovers, who seek a remote spot for living while being only a 20 minutes train ride away from Paris.

Spring

Summer

Autumn

Winter

Have a look at this city map, which puts the size of the Parc de Maisons-Laffitte into better perspective.

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Talent

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Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
~Michael Jordan

Photo details (please click on the image for best quality):

Canon EOS 60D, 50mm, ISO 400, F16, 1/500 sec.
Location: Montmartre, Paris, France.

If you like this post please have a look at more Wise Words And Quotes In Images

Prisma: Best Art Filters For Urban Shots

I am an art fan. I admire all the Picassos and Van Goghs in this world. And from time to time I try to be like them.

When I recently set out to find new inspiration for old photos in the App Store, I came across Prisma. Within minutes I was surprised I hadn’t heard of that photo filter app earlier. The results are stunning — real artworks.

What Prisma does, is to turn your photos into classic art, imitating the style of well known painters such as Picasso, Warhol, Munch and many more.

By the time I am writing this post I created around 30 unique pieces of art with Prisma. But it didn’t take me 30 tries to cull out my favorite filters, especially for urban photographs. While the app also works fine for any other photo genre, I personally think you can get the most beautiful results with city shots and the following 7 out of the currently 43 filters.

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Prisma filter: Mononoke

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Prisma filter: Mosaic

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Prisma filter: Daryl Feril

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Prisma filter: Tokyo

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Prisma filter: Theta Vaik

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Prisma filter: Curly Hair

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Prisma filter: Candy

Try Prisma yourself; you can find it on the App Store as well as on Google Play.

Which artistic style would you like to see added in the future? I think I could enjoy a Niki de Saint Phalle filter :-)

For which occasions do you like to turn your photos into artworks? Besides giving old photos a new twist just for fun, I think some of the above examples would make a great art calendar. And if the app creators decide to add more temporary filters like the current “Halloween” one, I could even imagine to make use of Prisma to style my Social Media profile and cover photos for special events.

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If you like this post you might also like RollWorld: Spin It, Warp It, Scroll It, Zoom It — Create Tiny Planets And Abstract Art On Your Mobile Device…

Free Entrance To The Paris Photo Salon 2016

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Paris: The three Towers

The Salon de la Photo will take place from 10 to 14 November in Paris, Porte de Versailles, Pavillon 5. 181 exhibitors are to be expected; photographers will show off their artwork and professionals will give talks.

I think there is no need to convince you that this is going to be big and beautiful. If you plan to come to Paris you can buy your ticket online for 9€ (instead of 12€ at the venue), or, and that’s what I just did, you can get a free entrance badge thanks to Canon France with the code CANN16.

All you need to do is to enter your code in the field after the sentence Should you be in possession of a document (invitation card, letter, e-news, advertisement…) with mention of an access code, please enter it here. Hit “Activate my Code” and print the digital badge they’ll email you over. That’s it — you’re good to go!

❤️ 💛 💙 💜 Canon!

You can’t make it to Paris for the Salon de la Photo? Follow the hashtag #SalonPhotoParis for live impressions and probably 1 or 2 photos. There should be someone with a camera there…

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Stravinsky Beat

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Reflecting life

Ever since I first visited Paris in 1998 I am hooked on the Stravinsky Fountain next to the Centre Pompidou. Back then I studied art and our professor insisted that we need to know the colourful art style of Niki de Saint Phalle. I couldn’t agree more. Her nanas are spitting images of life.

But when I recently passed the Stravinsky Fountain, I set my camera’s focus on the water reflections, mirroring a glimpse of Parisian life. Not a perfect one, but a beating and swirling one; beating like the pulse of a city that never sleeps and swirling like Igor Stravinsky’s “Feu d’Artifice” (Fireworks).

What can I say? ⛲🌊💙

Let’s put these reflections into context, shall we?

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Stravinsky meets Niki de Saint Phalle

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Stravinsky meets Hip Hop

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Stravinsky meets Paris

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