I failed miserably in my attempt to write about Paris. However, what I didn’t fail to do was to go out and photograph the city. I only had 4 days in Paris so I really had to make the most of my time and shoot the places I wanted to as quickly as efficiently as I could. I would love to go back to Paris because there are loads of sights that I didn’t get around to checking out, and even more places I wanted to photograph and didn’t. However, I am very happy with what I did come up with in the short time I was there.
Aside from London, I think that Paris was my favourite place to photograph in Europe. There are just so many different places to shoot. Moreover, I love the challenge of taking a famous place and trying to make it my own though my photos. I’d like to think that when you see my images of the Eiffel Tower, Arch du Triumph, and other famous locations in Paris, they stand out in their own way. And regardless, one of the most beautiful things about photography is no matter how similar one image can be to another, there can never be two photos exactly the same.
Anyways, time to get to the photos of Paris. I have chosen a dozen of my favourite shots, but I’m sure I could have added a dozen more. Which one is your favourite? What is your favourite place in Paris to photograph? I want to hear from you in comments below!
Getting this shot of the Arch meant me setting up the tripod low to the ground and getting as far into traffic as I could. I nearly got my head taken off checking for focus, but it was worth it.
I was trying to photograph two places in one night, the first was the Notre Dame Cathedral. It poured rain for about 15 minutes just before the blue hour which always makes for interesting skies once they clear.
I woke up at the crack of dawn to take photos of the Louvre. The only problem was that when I arrived I realized I had left my press pass at home and they wouldn’t let me inside the barrier without it. Thus, I had to get a little bit creative with my shots from outside the gates.
My Goal for photographing the Eiffel Tower was to try to put it in scenes that you don’t really see it otherwise. I definitely didn’t want to take a classic straight on photo. In this shot I used a nearby bridge to frame the tower. The shot was tricky because the bridge would bounce if there was foot traffic, so I really had to be patient.
I really wanted to get a shot of the Eiffel Tower from above so I climbed up the Basilique du Sacre Coeur and found a little slot in the fence with a view. I then tossed on my 200mm lens and got a couple shots like this one before moving on.
This show was a bit of a tricky one since the lights on the Eiffel Tower kept flashing wildly messing up my exposure. Moreover, the moon in the background was creating problems. However, in the end, the photo came out quite cool.
I really didn’t know anything about the Basilique du Sacre Coeur other than it was elevated, and that I should be able to shoot the Eiffel Tower from up there. However, the basilique itself probably made for a better photo than the Eiffel Tower. Plus, it was such a buzz with activity that it was lots of fun.
This, again, was at the Basilique du Sacre Coeur. There were loads of people up here for sunset, it had a great energy to it.
As I gave up on the idea that they were going to light up Notre Dame Cathedral, I started walking towards a new place to photograph. As I was walking away, I heard a cheer and turned to see what had happened; they had turned on the lights. I stopped and took a couple pictures before sprinting to my next scene.
Unfortunately, after taking too long at the Basilique I was a little bit late getting here, my second scene. Moreover, it started pouring rain and the wind was knocking drops of water on my lens. I managed to get this one shot before I gave up for the night.
Again, I wasn’t allowed to go into the grounds of Louvre because I forgot my press pass. I made due on this shot by putting my camera and tripod on the other side of the gate and shooting like that. I think it came out pretty well.
And you can always wash down a day in Paris with beer and pizza!
Author: Brendan van Son
Author: Brendan van Son is a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. He has visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than he has the desire to count. Check out his profile on Google+. for a little bit more about him.