Book review: Bridges of Paris by Michael Saint James


Book Description:

Bridges of Paris is a large-format coffee-table book, with over 350 original color photographs, which casts new illumination on the City of Light. The 37 bridgesover the Seine River emerge as beautiful, historic destinations rather than unnoticed thoroughfares. The book features stunning portraits of each bridge as well as intimate riverside moments. Once you’ve experienced this river tour, you will never see Paris the same way again.

Living as a Parisian for a year, author Michael Saint James left his American lifestyle and spent his days and nights capturing images from over, on, beside and under the bridges of Paris. With over 30 years experience as a photographer, educator and world traveler, Michael immersed himself in French culture to search out his authentic artist self. The result is a visual treasure to share with everyone.

​About the author:
​Michael Saint James’ artistic pursuits include award-winning book design, film editing, and sound recording, as well as his first love, photography. Saint James is a world traveler, having visited more than 50 countries – doing everything from photographing penguins in Antarctica to trekking the Himalayas. As an educator with California teaching credentials, he has taught media production and technology arts as well as photography, art history and visual storytelling. He is an expert speaker on Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. Indeed, he walked in Vincent Van Gogh’s footsteps through the Netherlands, Belgium, and France in order to immerse himself in that troubled master’s vision.The father of two grown children, Saint James once owned a café in Berkeley, California. He has bicycled from Las Vegas to Washington, D.C. and is rumored to play a mean blues harmonica.

Connect with Michael:  Website  Twitter  Pinterest

Buy his book here:  Amazon   Author’s Website


I’ve been to Paris over a dozen times but, after reading Michael Saint James’ book Bridges of Paris, I now realize how much I’ve missed.

Michael and his wife spent a year in Paris learning French and exploring the different sets of bridges (there are over 300!)  As a result, he was able to showcase the bridges during different times of the day and seasons.

His book is separated into sections, according to where the bridges are located in Paris, i.e. island bridges, palace bridges, downstream bridges and upstream bridges.  As I was examining the photographs I tried to imagine the different neighbourhoods surrounding these bridges.

I found the layout of this edition to be practical and easy to follow.  Each bridge has it’s own section featuring photographs (taken from different angles, seasons, depths of fields as well as closeups of the art and architechture of each bridge), history, facts about the bridge (dimensions etc.) as well as a satellite map with a yellow arrow pointing to the bridge’s location.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book so meticulously prepared, it is indeed a labour of love. As a photographer working on my second book on photography, I understand the massive amount of work that went into the preparation of this gorgeous book.

I love the covers (both back and front) (in addition to many of the lovely images).  The penultimate image of the Eiffel Tower in the sunset is simply stunning!  I began to write down all the images that I loved but found the list was getting too long!

This book would be ideal for French Tourist offices around the world as well as libraries, schools, museum shops and private libraries.


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