Writing with Light

Un Tableau Vivant – Patisserie

I’m sure that you can tell by some of the pictures that I’m posting that I’m attracted to these type of scenes when I travel. This is another one from Paris and I love capturing a scene of everyday happenings in a place that I’m visiting. I was visiting Andy’s LensScaper blog the other day where he posted some images taken from a train. Someone made a comment that described one of the images as a Tableau Vivant and then it hit me….those are the scenes that draw me in.

A Tableau Vivant is a “living picture”, an image that forces the viewer to stand back and take in all the details of the tableau. This type of photographic art draws you in to the picture and holds you’re attention as you studying the individuals at the tables. I know it makes me ask certain questions or make certain assumptions. The gentleman in the forefront is checking his mobile phone. Is he on a break from work? Who is he chatting with? What are the two ladies in the far left talking about? Look at the body language of the man and the woman in front of the restaurant. Did they just have an argument?

Question for you….does the image elicit the same types of questions from you?

Click on the image to see a high resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Paris, France, patisserie, street photography, restaurant, sidewalk cafe, travel photography, Tableau Vivant

31 responses

  1. I love these types of pictures! I wonder if it is a warm summer day with a nice breeze. Are they on vacation or the locals? Two girls are intensely discussing something – maybe a date or a new job opportunity. Great pic!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 25, 2014 at 12:37 pm

  2. I love people watching, so yes these types of shots really appeal to me as well. I have been really enjoying your Paris shots :).


    August 25, 2014 at 12:57 pm

  3. Street life nicely captured… 🙂


    August 25, 2014 at 1:39 pm

  4. May I say, this is Paradise!


    August 25, 2014 at 1:52 pm

  5. klaasfidom

    Nice capture, one cappuccino please 🙂


    August 25, 2014 at 2:20 pm

  6. I love these types of scenes too, Edith, and this one is especially wonderful. I love the pink chair in the foreground. Just perfect!


    August 25, 2014 at 4:59 pm

  7. Emilio Pasquale

    I would love to have been sitting at this patisserie when you came by. Having a mid afternoon snack with my wife and you asking yourself what we were discussing, whether or not we just had a fight, etc. I want to be in someone’s photo! I’m always behind the lens! 😦


    August 25, 2014 at 7:12 pm

  8. Such a fine story telling image. Great shot Edith.


    August 25, 2014 at 8:07 pm

  9. Yes, but I hope you got to enjoy the scene too. A coffee and a cake would have been nice. 🙂


    August 25, 2014 at 8:31 pm

  10. Was this in a village or a quiet corner of a larger city? The way people are sitting and dressed makes me think it’s in a city. So many details to ponder.


    August 26, 2014 at 4:05 am

  11. LB

    I’m so glad I enlarged the image. The body language of the couple … boredom? With each other? certainly not of that lovely Patisserie!


    August 26, 2014 at 9:55 pm

  12. Len

    I really love these scenes too Edith. They do seem to be more inviting in Europe for some reason. Great shot.


    August 27, 2014 at 7:00 am

  13. I hadn’t heard of a ‘Tableau Vivant’ either until Linda Leinen (shoreacres.wordpress.com) made her comment. Thanks for the mention by the way, Edith. Yes, this is a Tableau Vivant. A moment frozen. And yes, this image causes me to rove over it, imagining or guessing what is happening. It’s a complex story, a set of inter-relationships that are unique and will never be repeated. I love it!


    August 27, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    • Thank you so much Andy. I was so excited to read Linda’s comment as I was trying to describe, in my own mind, the images that I was creating from my trip.


      August 28, 2014 at 10:39 am

  14. I feel like I am standing there about to walk into the Patisserie, Edith. Fabulous detail, textures, composition and colors that captures the essence of your Tableau Vivant. Thank you! I hope someone is writing a story to accompany your image.


    August 29, 2014 at 1:47 am

    • Thank you so much Jane. Hmmm…maybe I should think of a story to go with the image.


      August 29, 2014 at 10:19 am

Leave a Reply to edithlevyphotography Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.