Monday, 26 December 2011

Sab's Top Ten Paris Wallace Fountains: No.1 ~ "Wet There Be Water"

POSTED IN:  ~ PlacesTop 10 ~ Wallace Fountain

Sab's Top Ten Paris Wallace Fountains
No.1: "Wet There Be Water" ~ Introduction 
by Sab Will,  wannabe offbeat Paris street guru

Me and Wallace, we're like that you know - practically brothers. Will - Willace - Wallace; you see, family, more or less.

It's true that as a Scot I feel more than a passing affinity with the so-called philanthropist who gave a bucketful of these fountains to my adopted city in a wild and utterly un-Scottish display of largesse if you believe the old cliché about the mean old Scots. My theory's that he'd had a few too many wee drams and was letting the whisky get in the way of wiser choices at the signing of the contract.

Whatever the truth of the matter, the fact is that there are now Wallace Fountains on practically every street corner.

They've now become so symbolic of the Parisian cityscape that they grace guide book covers and no Parisian photo essay would be complete without at least one picture of these emblematic watering holes, originally intended for the poor and thirsty in search of clean liquid refreshment.

They're generally green. But not always. There aren't enough colour variations to fill an entire Paris Top Ten, but if you'll allow me a little personal indulgence I'll try to supply you with ten Wallace Fountains which all offer you their own personal story, interwoven with mine. Santé!

Sab's Top Ten Paris Wallace Fountains
No.1) ~ "Wet There Be Water"

Why No.1? Because this pic represents a lot of nice things for me.

It was my first Wallace fountain picture published in a magazine (or was it the other one below..?).

It shows the early days of a partnership.

It oozes joy and fun and... water.

The darn thing's green like it was always meant to be!

This one's right next to one of my favourite Paris parks, the... Parc Montsouris, but this is looking down the Avenue Réné Coty towards Denfert Rochereau.

The young lady in the picture is also holding a special retractable plastic cup given out free at that year's Festival d'O, or something like that, one of its main aims being to promote the merits of Paris drinking water, so quite appropriate.

I can see from the quality of this picture than my photo manipulation and generally zapping up have progressed since, but you couldn't replace the magic of the moment.

The more I think about it, the more I think it was the second pic, with her face framed by the water arc, that was used in the magazine. It took us quite a lot of attemtps to get a shot reasonably pleasing without blobs of water obscuring her nose or eyes or something.

As a photographer, the human element, especially when photographing something which was specifically created with human interaction intended, is vital.

As I look through my Top Ten Paris Wallace Fountains, however, I realise that not many of them actually show this. There are lots of nice angles and details and whatnot, but very little human interaction of the thirstquenching kind. I hope this one will make up for that somewhat.

Discover all my Paris Wallace Fountains 

* Sab Will runs Photo and Curios Tours in Paris, and also manages a variety of Paris and photography-themed sites and blogs. He writes an illustrated Paris Chronicle every day, runs a Meetup group for Paris lovers, interviews Paris personalities and reviews Paris books (on this blog), and even contributes to the city's street art (shh), so feel free to browse some of the links below and in the right-hand column to find out more about what he gets up to out there...

© 2011 Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Suggestions, questions, requests and offers always welcome!

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