Friday, July 20, 2012

Three great days in Paris: Day one at the Arc De Triumph, Eiffel Tower and Pont Alexandre III bridge

It has been a long time since I have been to Paris for leisure, and it sure is nice to tour around the city without having a bunch of meetings that I have to attend. And this is the first time that my wife has been to this beautiful city, so we plan to make the most of our 3 days here.

We arrived on Wednesday and had a couple of hours to kill before we could check into our room, so even though we were fighting exhaustion from not sleeping on the 13 hour flight, we decided to walk up to the Arc De Triumph.

We were very lucky to have a nice clear day since most of Western Europe has had nothing but rain for the last month.

Our hotel is right on the Champs Elysees, which makes it very convenient for short trips around the city.

After getting into our room and getting cleaned up and changed (into shorts since it was warm out), we walked down to the Eiffel Tower. Again, the clear skies worked to our favor, and the wisps of clouds made for some nice photos.

As I photographed the Eiffel Tower, I kept thinking about the millions of other people who have taken the same picture from the same vantage point. This was frustrating, since I wanted to get something unique and different. But I do like the shot above because I happened to catch this horse and carriage centered right below the landmark.

And then we came across this large pane of broken glass and I saw an opportunity to shoot the tower in a completely different way. I actually shot this image two different ways, one with the tower in focus and the cracks of the glass diffused and one (as you see it here) in the opposite manor. I really like this. What do you think?

Then we walked over to the Pont Alexandre III bridge and had some fun there. I saw this statue and loved the composition with the French flag in the background.

When shooting photographs in a large city like this, I always look for leading lines or patterns of objects. I moved to a location on the bridge where I could capture many of the lights, but also keep the gold statue in the frame.

After many hours of walking around, exhaustion kicked in and we ended up crashing at 8pm. But then we had a slight emergency at home and so we were woken up to a phone call around 10pm. All ended up fine, but at this point my brain was going again, and I thought to myself "10pm is just after sunset, this would be a great time to shoot night shots." So...I got up (with my wife thinking I was crazy) and left to go shoot for a couple more hours. It was well worth it! (Photographer's note: When shooting landmarks like this, try to find a strong foreground or background element to make your shot different. If I had just taken a picture of the Eiffel Tower, it would be less interesting and more like everyone else's photos.)

After shooting many image of the Eiffel Tower from the Pont Alexandre III bridge, I turned around to start my walk back to the hotel when I saw all these people trying to photograph the tower with their mobile phones. I knew that there photos would not turn out, but I was thankful that they gave me an interesting foreground for another night shot. :)

When shooting the image with all the spectators, I also noticed that I could take steps down under the bridge. And this is when I saw this cool walkway. I really liked the composition with the different lines and patterns and grabbed this shot.

And for my final shot of the night (and before I collapsed from lack of sleep) I captured this shot of the bridge from half way up the steps. At this point, it was almost 2 hours after sunset and I had lost all of the deep blue color in the sky, so I decided that it was time to head back to the hotel and get some much needed rest.

Stay turned for day two, and of course, London and the Olympics!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

in one of your presentations at B&H you mentioned that you have never seen image of Eiffel Tower through broken glass. Now I found two similar photos but I think you inspired the author :-)