Week 27: Visiting the Château de Fontainebleu

This week the weather improved dramatically and I thought it would be pleasant to leave Paris for a day with ML to visit Fontainebleu. It is easy to get to the Chateau by public transport: it is just a short train ride from the Gare de Lyon, followed by a bus from the station to the Chateau. It was wonderful sunny day.

The Chateau is smaller and less imposing than Versailles. The interiors are all very well preserved and survived the revolution and subsequent purges. As well as that, many rooms have been periodically restored over the centuries. I was surprised to learn that Fontainebleu  is very old. French nobility has been coming here since at least the 12th centuries, when it started out as a hunting lodge. 

Here are some pictures of the front of the Chateau. You can see the wonderful stone staircase at the entrance: 

 Inside the first thing we came across was the “Napoleonic museum”, where there are personal possessions of Napoleon, amongst them his  famous hat and coat.  There is also a photograph here of the library.

 Outside, behind the chateau, there is a wonderful garden and lake.

 That’s it for this week. Next week: taking pictures during a video shoot at the IAP.

Technical note: for week 27 and 28 I have been testing “Fomapan action”. This is a fine-grained film but after all that TMAX in previous weeks I find has a very “old school” look. Look closely at the scans here you will notice they have a certain “glow” about them. No, I am not shooting with ancient uncoated lenses: this is simply because the “anti-halation layer” on the film, apparently, is a bit thin (about the same time I took these pictures this film was reviews on Emulsive.org, which also mentions this effect). This means that light scatters around inside the emulsion. A much cheaper way to get that ‘old Leica lens’ effect :-). Otherwise, it’s as ever a Leica M6 and a 50mm lens, developed in our old favourite HC110-B for 7mins.

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