If you’ve lived in a major city, you know how annoying it is when a clueless tourist steps into your path, inadvertently jamming a camera in your face. But what happens when you turn the camera on tourists themselves? In his series “Down the River,” Paris-based photographer Adrian Skenderovic posted himself on a bridge crossing the Seine, and watched tourists float past, capturing them in their natural vacation state. “I was interested in analyzing the behavior of the tourists, the position of their body, the relation they have between each other and the emotion of the moment,” he tells us in an email. The results are actually kind of sweet.
All told, he visited a bridge near his house a solid 50 times, trying to snap photos of people on tour boats before they could see him (they tended to start waving, because tourists). “I’d point my camera at the sky or the monuments and at the last second I’d point the camera down at the boat,” he told Slate.
The series puts a different perspective on tourism in one of the world’s biggest tourist destinations: we, the viewer, see through the eyes of a local watching tourists watch Paris. Some people on the boats are clad in gaudily bright outfits, strapped to backpacks, holding giant cameras in front of their faces like shields. Old ladies chat in a circle. Inevitably, children fall asleep facedown in their parents’ laps. But mostly, they just stare, held rapt by the city around them.
Except the lucky woman whose boat features an on-deck jacuzzi. She seems primarily concerned with how awesome jacuzzi cruising is. Seriously, where do I book my jacuzzi tour of Paris?