Paris 1984


In 1984 we took the Hoverspeed hovercraft and express coach to go for a couple of weeks  – part work, part holiday – in Paris with Linda and our two boys, then 5 and 8. We were staying in a luxury self-catering apartment at the bottom of the hill in Montmartre. The luxury was a bonus, as we had paid a very basic price through the booking agency but had struck lucky – the normal room price was several times what we had paid.

© 2009 Peter Marshall

I was working on a more serious project (more in a later post) in black and white, but as well as having a family holiday I also found time to take some colour. By then I was shooting colour on Fuji film, and the colour quality was a distinct improvement (and they forced Kodak, who for a long while had been squatting on their Kodachrome laurels, to considerably notch up their game also.)

© 2009 Peter Marshall

By this time I’d also upgraded my cameras, and was now working with two Olympus OM bodies; I’d replaced the Russian Zenit with an OM1 in early 1974 shortly after they were introduced, added a OM2 a few years later, followed by an OM4 at about the time of this trip. (My Russian rangefinder had also been replaced over the years by a secondhand Leica M2, which had seen 20 years of rather active service before coming into my possession.)

© 2009 Peter Marshall

These colour images were probably taken with an Olympus OM4. By this time I’d got over a brief early affair with zoom lenses and was back to using primes, in particular a 35mm shift, 28mm, 50mm and 105mm (and at times also 200mm and 20mm.) All except the 105mm Tamron where Olympus lenses.

The OM4 was for me the more or less perfect SLR. Small, light, reliable and with the best metering system ever, particularly for those of us who had learnt to work with the zone system. If it wasn’t for the need to use digital I’d still be working with my pair of OM4 bodies now (and I kept the OM2 – at some point traded up to an OM2n – for backup.)

This morning I climbed the ladder to the loft again and searched through various boxes looking for the transparencies I felt must be there somewhere. Eventually I found a few boxes, though I think there may well be one or two more there.

© 2009 Peter Marshall

Despite a major setback, the black and white work I took on this trip eventually formed a show, and a number of the prints from it are still hanging on my own walls – and that’s something for another few pages of web site. The colour slides just came back from processing, were probably projected a few times and then all but a few went back into their boxes and were put in storage – until now.

I’ve put forty-five on them on the web now on my ‘new’ Paris site; for the moment the site is basically thrown together very simply in a very simple way, and I’ll add some more content and sort it out a bit later.

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