With a train ticket and a point-and-shoot camera, I left the gloom of a late summer storm in Paris, France. When I arrived at my destination, I emerged from the depths of the train station into the colors of a brilliant sun just going down on the turquoise Mediterranean waters off Marseille. I was enchanted. I set my suitcase down right there, took out my camera and started snapping away.
The Provence countryside is noted for its endless fields of lavender and herbs. Marseille acts as the region’s coastal anchor, providing endless opportunities not only for a peaceful vacation, but also for photography.
Marseille is different from Paris. With a history as a rough-and-tumble port town, accessibility to all points south brought the influence of many other cultures to the city. The architecture runs from the luxurious Longchamps Palace with its giant oxen fountains to “The Pajama” basilica on the waterfront, named for its striped marble. I used this haven of different architecture and materials to gather a portfolio of close-up shots, as well as some typical images of boats in the water and fish floating in bouillabaisse—a type of seafood stew and local favorite.
I rose early one morning to visit a market next to the harbor and I got some great shots of fish and flowers being set up for sale. The market had some real characters to photograph, both human and marine.
The seafront is lined with restaurants and the nightlife is rich. It’s also where you catch the boats for the island tour cruises, which are lovely day trips wonderful for travel photos.
Two tiny trains, basically a chain of pint-sized cars pulled through the streets, run tours around Marseilles. I had a lot of fun on them. One goes to an elevated point topped by the Notre Dame De Garde Cathedral. It’s a great place to catch a panoramic view of the city and bay. The other runs through the historical district on the other side of the city.
I got such a range of photos on my trip. I loved gathering photos of clothes drying on the line and other everyday things. If you’re looking for an interesting European city with a lot of variety for stock images, Marseilles is definitely a good choice.
Getting to hang out in the South of France was a lifelong dream come true. But because I took so many photos—including those of simple items—I got paid from my trip.
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