Driving to Monaco is something I did on many many occasions, either for shopping, music gigs or the unique Christmas market. But this time we set off for a complete day in Monaco, just for a long walk and taking pictures as we move along the shores, up to Monte Carlo. At this time of the year, Monaco is very quiet and the workers are already busy at dressing up the town for Christmas. The result is very unique and always a must see happening. Most summer tourists will never see that. I think it's always a great idea and experience to visit places off-season, taking advantage of different setups, quiet places and enjoying superb photo opportunities. Even the weather is different. The only downside is that many shops and restaurant are closed for the season. But still, it's part of the quietness.
We left home with the intent of spending some time outside, breathing, relaxing and simply enjoying a couple days off from work and family obligations. Also, we both had new cameras to test. A Canon Powershot S110 for my wife and Sony CyberShot DSC-RX100 for myself. These little cameras are expected to be our "take everywhere" cameras. DSLR's tend to be huge to carry, even the Leica is sometimes too much or inappropriate.
So we parked the car near the Casino, Café de Paris and Louis XV, very central locations for any direction. We had lunch in the Condamine area and then walked through the Chinese garden and up to Monte Carlo where we found lots of people enjoying the sun, the sea and restaurants. We then walked all the way up to Le Rocher and back to the car. It was a completely different experience compared to all the time spent there in the past. Monaco is famous for its jet set life, port, big boats, nice cars and celebrities. But there is also normal people, family and kids, ducks on the beach and people feeding the fish with pieces of bread. What a refreshing perspective of life.
From a photographic perspective, this walk with a tiny camera was very interesting. Of course it's great to "travel light", but more importantly it allows to blend yourself in the environment, move around easily and have a different approach to subjects. But it has to render good quality for those looking for something more than mere snapshots. I'm quite pleased with the results from my camera, even impressed by the level of details it can capture. It's certainly too early to feel it as second nature, but all and all, it's a great camera, intuitive, compact, loaded with features, awesome built quality and a lot of fun to operate. You tell me what you think.
Oh, I forgot to tell you that for some reasons I went the monochrome route again. Don't know why, but it speaks to me.
© Normand Primeau