Paris from a Different Perspective

Paris is most likely one of the most photographed cities in the world. With the advent of smart devices, everyone can have a camera in their pocket.

I had visited Paris about five years ago, and security for photography was much tighter than it is now. Tripods are now allowed in public areas and places that used to forbid photography inside like the Musee de Orsay and the Louvre Museum has had to give in to the masses.

As a photographer, the challenge is to find a way to photograph the city in a different way than everyone else has. On my arrival in Paris, my first spot for trying to achieve this was go onto the Eiffel Tower with a zoom lens and capture the city from above. Ideally, being closer to sunset (which was at 10pm) would be better. I’ve also learned that the lines at night are nearly non existent as groups tend to visit the tower during the day.

On my second day of my week in Paris, I planned to visit the city via an open two-decker bus offered by L’Open Tour which has several routes that travel through the more popular areas of Paris. Ideally the first departure is the best one to take or later on in the evening around 6:00 p.m. for the light. Immediately getting upstairs I positioned myself with the seat next to the stairs in the middle so I didn’t have someone sitting in front of me. We took the green line which travels on the frequently visited stops in central Paris. Invalides, Louvre, Opera House, Notre Dam, Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower (not in that order.)

The longer I have been doing photography, the more I’ve learned that the more compelling and strong images are ones that are when you get close to your subject. The large wide sweeping landscapes are indeed wonderful but many of details of the scene get lost. I’ve also learned not to take pictures into the light, so scenes that I saw, like the Louvre Museum and the Opera House weren’t taken as I would have been shooting into the sun. But that didn’t stop me from getting some pretty awesome images on the bus tour.

When arriving to a new city as a tourist, taking one of these hop-on/hop-off bus tours is a great way to become oriented with the attractions and geography of the city. While we passed the Arc de Triomphe, I realized that I’ve never actually walked up to and visited it and vowed that I would return to visit it during this trip.

My second day in Paris has started off to a great start, but it’s time for a nice leisure two-hour Parisian lunch. Continue with me on this wonderful adventure. Next stop? The Musee de Orsay and then the Arc de Triomphe.

18 replies »

  1. I totally agree with you as to when and how to take pictures. And I’m still constantly learning – mostly by my mistakes. πŸ˜‰ But that’s where digital photography comes in handy: learning by trial and error, especially when there sometimes is quite a bit of error, is not as expensive as it used to be in the olden days with film.
    The obe disadvantage nowadays, though, is tghe spread of smartphones that can take pictures. You rarely find a view where you don’t have other people getting in the way of your own picture, especially as those smartphone have quite a wide angle and the people consequently need to get very close to the subject they are taking a picture of. Never since I have started photography have I stepped into the view of someone else. Well, maybe a very few times. But I usually am very careful, even if that coss me a good abgle/view.

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful and insightful comment Pit. It is so true, and not just in photography. Sometimes the best way to learn is from your mistakes. We are fortunate with digital that we get instant feedback on how our image is versus the film days.

      You’ll laugh when I get to the Mona Lisa – I ended up taking a picture of the people taking a picture of the Mona Lisa. I always do try to be aware of my surroundings and stay out of people’s way on both accounts. To not disturb others, and to avoid photo bombs in my images.

      Thanks and appreciate you much.

  2. I think you’ll be doing a book, right? You got some beautiful shots and you’re only on day 2… A book would be another great way to showcase these gems. So glad you’re sharing these!

    • This is actually not a bad idea Marie. There are travel books, and there are photography books on Paris. But a travel photography book of Paris does not exist. And imagine..these aren’t the best yet. πŸ™‚

  3. Thank you for these wonderful and beautiful photos. I love Paris and you’ve given me the opportunity to reminisce and tour through your camera’s lens. Wow!

  4. Those are some pretty beautiful photographs. Sad to admit, but I haven’t been to Paris since I was 9 years old. I’m 20 now, but I still remember how memorizing it was (especially when you’re a child, and do not have to worry about the stresses of travel procedures and what not).

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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.