I’ve often been in Paris in November – like many involved in photography visiting the city around the time of Paris Photo, the largest of the annual shows of the photography art market – and I knew that many people I knew would be in the city when I heard the news of the terrible killings there on Friday.

I’d heard the news late, having been busy working on a new book and not keeping up with the news and was on my way to bed when my wife told me about it. She phoned her brother who lives just outside the city with his wife first thing on Saturday to check they were OK. They were; though he had been at a bar on one of the streets where one of the attacks took place most of Friday afternoon, he had left for home several hours before the shootings.

It was a relief too to turn on Facebook and see updates from many of my friends in Paris assuring us all of their safety. Of course it is still a great tragedy but it is good to know that those that you know are safe, though as I write only around 30 of the 129 confirmed dead (with another hundred or so in hospital with various injuries) have been named and there could still be shocks.

Although most reports have said that the attacks occurred away from the tourist areas, there were in the areas of Paris I know best, and where I have often stayed and photographed on my visits there, particularly around the Canal St Martin where the attacks on Le Petit Cambodge, Le Carillon, La Casa Nostra and the Bataclan theatre took place.

One of the pictures hanging above my living room mantelpiece shows a corner of Rue Bichat, though the shootings there took place a couple of blocks south where it meets Rue Alibert. It’s a street I’ve walked down many times and the same picture is also on the front page one of my more neglected web sites,  Paris Photos. Although it has quite a few of my pictures from Paris, particularly my pictures from 1973 and 1984, there are many more I should add.

My thoughts – like so many others around the world – are with Paris and those who have been killed or are suffering and their grieving relations and friends.

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