What if you had one night in Paris to take photos? Where would you go? What shots would you try to get?
This was my situation a few weeks ago. After a great week in London, I had one night in Paris to get photos; really about 3 1/2 hours from twilight, around 20:30, until the lights start to get turned out at midnight. In the afternoon, my wife and I scouted locations to visit. For the evening, she was content to stay at our hotel on Rue Cler, while I retraced our steps.
My first stop was a twilight shot of the Eiffel Tower before it became truly dark.
I then took the Metro to get across town to Notre Dame. From our scouting trip, I knew that they had erected a large grandstand in front of the front facade as part of their 850th anniversary celebration. I settled for shooting from a distance and using the trees to hide the structure.
Making my way along the Seine, this was my favorite image among the many that I made.
My next stop was the Louvre. There were many people despite the fact that it was closed. At one point, a bicycle tour group came through the courtyard, all wearing their reflective vests. I made a lot of images of the Pyramid, but the one at the top of the page is my favorite. I’d seen the reflecting pool earlier in the day, but it did not occur to me until that evening to use the reflection in the photograph.
Continuing my journey, the Tuileries Garden was closed for the night and dark. The fountains in Place du Concorde had looked interesting earlier in the day. I had commented to my wife that if it was well lit, then this could provide the opportunity for some great photos. It did not disappoint.
One of my goals was to get some of the classic Metro signs. I’d hoped to get some tiled signs in the stations and also some of the “metropolitan” signs as you enter the station. I did not have much time to find the correct stations or explore but as I walked back to the Eiffel Tower, I passed this station.
Finally, at about 23:40, I arrived back on the Champs De Mars to capture this last photo.
Arriving back at our hotel at 23:50, my wife met me outside. She’d enjoyed the quiet evening after ten days of running around. As we caught a few hours sleep before getting up for our flight home, I thought of all the places that I missed out on photographing and that I really did not have time to focus on photographing people or more mundane scenes at all…next trip.