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Photographer's Note

Philately, the collection and study of postage stamps. Here, an intense discussion between the seller (right) and her customer, in a philatelic boutique in the Passage des Panoramas in Paris. With my lens extended to its maximum 80mm I was able to take this photo unnoticed from a point in the middle of the arcade, and later crop it by about 30%. There are several philately shops in this Passage, and I'm not certain which one it is; most likely it is Marigny Philatélie at number 9.

There are several old arcades in the 2nd arrondissement, and other parts of paris, known collectively as Les Passage Couverts. The Passage des Panoramas is the oldest, and opened in 1800, one of the first glass-covered shopping arcades in Europe at a time when most shopping had to be done in very narrow, gloomy, muddy lanes. Some earlier indoor shopping galleries have not survived. It runs between Boulevard Montmartre at its northern end and rue St-Marc, and is today known for its restaurants as much as for its philately trade.

Two other Passages are nearby; in fact one may walk northward and cross the Boulevard Montartre to enter Passage Jouffroy, and after that, Passage Verdeau. They represent one of the little-known delights of Paris, elegant galleries missed by probably 99% of tourists.

Focal length: 80mm
Shutter: 1/50
Aperture: f/5.0
ISO: 2500

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