Where-to-go wants to see your city through your viewfinder: Melissa Shanley shows you her city: Paris
Hi Melissa! Welcome to wheretogo.photo, please tell us a bit about yourself:
I am an artist currently working with detailed photographic abstractions. Lines draw me into a subject. When I am there, I explore texture and sensuality. I am often told by viewers that there is a silence which comes with the images. That is my ultimate goal.
I take digital photographs with a Lumix camera and Leica lens and avoid any editing. The image either works or it doesn’t. My photographs have led me to the European art market and I find myself needing to live here now. I am inspired by subjects here in a way that doesn’t happen in San Francisco and I am grateful for it.
So, what makes your city photogenic?
Paris is one of the most beautiful and photographed cities… I find myself not drawn to the big, known sites because there is so much which feeds me in small neighborhoods and everyday life. I find myself feeling alive on the streets in a way I don’t anywhere else in the world. I don’t look for things to photograph. I wander in various neighborhoods which feel good to me, then I follow my lens to lines and details which draw me. It is like absorbing a delicious feast. There is rarely any effort involved. I simply open to the details around me.
What is your favorite spot I should definitely go photographing when visiting your city?
There is an island on the Seine which is not far from my first apartment in Paris. I was drawn to it at first because it was a quiet place to be and to watch ordinary people with the dogs and friends. I don’t even know the name of it. It is the small, slender island past the Eiffel Tower, with the miniature “statue of liberty” at one end. Ironically, I don’t have any images from it. It is beautiful, but I suppose I spent more contemplation time there than photographic time.
What other things are there to do, any photo meet-ups, museums or shops you recommend?
I am a solitary artist and I have learned more about photography-related sites and groups from Europeans recently. I wander neighborhoods when I am in Paris. I think that is a good way to explore a city. Most of the pictures below came from the conclusion of an outdoor orchestra concert. I was so taken by the combination of lines and textures that it became a series. This are a few examples from Les Musiciens sur Seine series.
Thanks for sharing your spots Melissa, one final question where can we find you and your photography?
I and my recent work can always be seen at www.MelissaShanley.com. I have a few upcoming exhibits where my other photographs can be seen, as well: at Gallery Kunst aan de Kade in Delft in January, at Artsquare Amsterdam at the Hermitage in April, and at Huntenkunst 2016 in May in Ulft.