image Paris – Montmartre

Mime, Paris Bob Grytten Photo
Mime, Paris Bob Grytten Photo

We’re  in Montmartre near the east side of Paris, near the end of a 17 day trip to photograph venues for the Winter Olympics. I recall being inside the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, then outside in the adjacent courtyard.

Dancer Momontre, Paris Fr.  Bob Grytten Photo
Dancer Montmartre, Paris Fr. Bob Grytten Photo

Costumed dancers floating in wide turns around the square. On the other side is a Mime doing what mimes do. Tipping his hat, and making the rounds. Then he’s approaching us. He stops, then gazes our way coming closer. Up comes my camera with 24mm f/2.8 lens. He stops and holds his gaze. Click, Click, Click!   …then he is gone.

When the film came back from the lab I noticed something I had not consciously seen before – the crowd in the background.

About the Film…

Eiffel Tower, Paris FR Bob Grytten Photo
Eiffel Tower, Paris FR Bob Grytten Photo

The blue (cyan) cast is not difficult to achieve in the digital environment; however, back inthe days when I was shooting film I found this Ilford product IlfordXP2 400, described as a “Black & White” print film, but was processed as a color film. As was explained to me, back then, the processor that had to assign a certain color, so you would end up with either a this type “cyan” overtone or a “magenta” or purplish red overtones.

I liked this film because it could be pushed with hardly any grain (digital noise). As an ISO 400 film, it was not uncommon to shoot at ISO 800, which was great for low light conditions. I even recall pushing it to 6400 for hand held shots of the Eiffel Tower at night.

Reading from Carol’s notes…                                                                                                         10/26 Market across from hotel.  Photo – back to room.  Bob did laundry earlier and almost dry.  Going to Montmartre today.  Breakfast in room – our coffee and hard roll, croissant Jelly.  Took bus to Montmartre – 11fr.  lunch & beer (sandwiches, at table) 68 fr. (less if stand outside);  Metro 11.;    Lunch in Montmartre, more to eat outside.  Drinks last night outside cost more;  Stopped for crepes 20 francs (at night);  fruit 23 fr.  Room 2 nights 500 fr. ($61.51/nite)  Total $224.83 (two days)

Notes: from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Montmartre (French pronunciation: ​

Montmartre, dominated by the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur. Wikapedia image
Montmartre, dominated by the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur. Wikapedia image

[mɔ̃.maʁtʁ]) is a hill in the north of Paris, France. It is 130 metres high and gives its name to the surrounding district, in the 18th arrondissement, a part of the Right Bank. Montmartre is primarily known for the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré Cœur on its summit and as a nightclub district. The other, older, church on the hill is Saint Pierre de Montmartre, which claims to be the location at which the Jesuit order of priests was founded. Many artists had studios or worked around the community of Montmartre such as Salvador Dalí, Amedeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh. Montmartre is also the setting for several hit films. This site is served by metro line 2 stations of Anvers, Pigalle and Blanche and the line 12 stations of Pigalle, Abbesses, Lamarck – Caulaincourt and Jules Joffrin.



  1. Good day to you.This mime is my husband… Beautiful picture, I research this, because it is very important for him… Alexandre worked at Montmartre many years. He was very known.
    This pic moves me… Marie


    • Bonjour Marie,

      Thank you for the note. We are so pleased that you contacted us. He was so gracious to stop before the camera. The crowd was very positive to him. Your note is very special to Carol & I. Montmartre was one of our special places in FR. We were married in Nice in 1965 and returned often.

      You are most welcome to use the picture as you please. Unfortunately, the original negative has been misplaced. The image in the post, was made from the 20X30 picture I have hanging on my wall at home here in North Carolina, USA. I thought it worked so well – especially with the admiring crowd behind him.

      If I can find the original I will be pleased to send a better copy of the image to you, if you wish. Your note to us touches our hearts.




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