As Snapped From Behind The Parade Barrier

The “old days,” when you snapped a roll of film (12, or 24, or 36 exposures, or maybe even 48) and then sent it off to be developed. Or if you were lucky, there was somewhere nearby that developed them in 24 hours or so. Regardless, it was only after a wait that you would see how your photos came out.

That being the reality of life at that time, these 35mm photos I took of the parade on the Champs-Élysées in Paris on France’s “national day” back on July 14, 1995 on the whole came out pretty well, I think…

[Paris, France, July 14, 1995. Photo by me.]

Pausing while on parade.

[Paris, France, July 14, 1995. Photo by me.]

Motorcycle police.

[Paris, France, July 14, 1995. Photo by me.]

Gosh, how old that girl in the foreground must be by now. LOL!

[Paris, France, July 14, 1995. Photo by me.]

There are women in that passing group of gendarmes.

[Paris, France, July 14, 1995. Photo by me.]

French air force Mirage jets overflying the parade.

Seeing them incoming, I recall that I tried to time it and then I pointed up… and clicked.

How I got them between the trees with the Tricolor flag to the side STILL amazes me these decades later. (And as you see, in 2018 it ended up on a book cover.)

[Paris, France, July 14, 1995. Photo by me.]

The then president, doing what French presidents do on a 14 juillet.

[Paris, France, July 14, 1995. Photo by me.]

And he passed by and was gone.

And all of the years since have similarly passed by and are gone.

Wait, why no “selfie,” you wonder?

Given the limitations (compared to now) of most then cameras (in being unable to see just-snapped photographs, as well as the small number of possible pictures per roll of film), trying to take what would become known as a “selfie” starting in the early 2010s (thanks to the then recent invention of smartphones) never in those days as I recall ever even crossed my mind. LOL!

In 1995 taking photos was still in many ways “special.” They were snapshots of an environment and sights we wanted to mount on our walls and/or put in personal photo albums to enable us to remember the best way we could (so if they came out lousy, we were devastated; and good ones thrilled us). The web then – as most generally understood it – was still brand new and mostly for ”geeks,” and something called “Facebook” was still about a decade away, so only a few people (friends and family in person) besides ourselves ever saw our photos.

History lesson for today concluded, have a good one wherever you are in the world. 🙂