This morning we woke up a little early and walked east toward the Louvre. There we met with our professional photographer, Sophie for a photo-tour of some of the great sites of Paris. Since I already knew a bit about my camera and how to putz around with the settings, we didn’t have to spend much time with tutorials. We quickly started learning about composition, lighting, and being a smart tourist photographer.
Obviously we started taking pictures around the Louvre which, to me, is one of the coolest areas in Paris. The architecture is palatial (because it was a palace), and the recently constructed glass pyramids add some great lines and interesting views. So here are some of my shots from the Louvre.
This silhouette shot is much easier to get early in the morning because there are much less people. After an hour of shooting around the Louvre we looked at this shot again, and we couldn't get a good one. Too many people. Another example of timing means everything.
30 minutes later, the small line to the left was wrapped around in front of the small pyramid.
Sometimes people can help add to an image.
Or here. I like the shadows in this picture.
Sophie pointed out this cool perspective. The differences between old and new can be very interesting.
This is an example of why you don't need to include the entire subject to get a striking image. Here, I cut off the bottoms of the pyramids, but you still know what you are looking at. This is a technique I need to practice more and more.
After a good amount of time at the Louvre, we took the subway to the Arc de Triumph. Once at the Arc, our natural reaction was to snap snap snap pictures left and right. But Sophie told us to be a little patient and get closer to look for the cool details we were missing from far away. So we moved in under and around the structure and saw some awesome perspectives.
Looking through the arc from right to left (or left to right). I had no idea all of these inscriptions and details were here!
Angles, lines and light. Amazing what you can do with those three.
Standing in the center of the Arc looking up. Now if I had a sweet wide angle lens, or an uncropped sensor, this would look even more crazy. But, for my basic equipment, I love how it came out!
Sophie taught us to use other object and clues in a scene to help tell the story. In this case, you see a flame. What is it? Well even if you dont speak French, you can probably make out the inscriptions to determine its a flame for the Unknown Soldier. This is one of my favorites from the day.
Whoa! Somebody learned how to use his flash! The flash was used here, on a bright day, to clear some shadows from the sign.
From the Arc de Triumph we took the subway a short ways to the Eiffel Tower. Well, not exactly the Eiffel Tower, but to a bridge where we got a great, unobstructed view of the Tower. Very smart. While in the area we also got some cool shots of the surroundings.
The rails of the subway train with the background of a beautiful sky.
Blur shot of the moving subway train. This bridge was used a lot in the filming of Inception.
We got so lucky with the weather. The clear skies can be tricky with photography, but I think we did a great job of using them. We were also lucky that they were done painting the Eiffel Tower so there was no unsightly scaffolding.
Sophie was kind enough to take this great picture of Laura and me.
The phototour was a huge success! We got tons of great pictures and the tools to make the rest of pictures in Paris spectacular!
So now we were on our own, and we were hungry! So we walked over to Rue Cler, which seemed closer on the map, and picked up the supplied for a picnic. This included wine, cheese, bread, and a diet coke (aka Coke Light). We then strolled back to the Eiffel Tower, sat on the lawn and enjoyed each other’s company. If this is what Parisians do all day, I’m in!
Later in the day we went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, all 1062 feet of it! Even though we bought our tickets ahead of time, we had to wait a good hour and a half in line to reach the top. If we didn’t have the tickets, it would have been about 2 hours or more. Once at the top, we were treated to fantastic views of the city! It was well worth the wait!! Here are our pictures from the rest of the day.
Pastries from Rue Cler. If I had the time/money, I would have tried every one of them!
More gorgeous pastries along Rue Cler.
Open container laws are unheard of in Paris. Drinking wine anywhere you want is encouraged! This wine was terrific!
The Eiffel Tower through the class of the memorial at the opposite side of the lawn.
Looking somewhat northeast across the Seine River from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
I like how this view of the city and river turned out as a black and white.
Panoramic of the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower. Again, it was a beautiful day!
An example of not needing the entire subject to convey an image. I love how this one turned out, especially as a black and white. I might have to frame this one!
In the next post I’ll have some sweet shots of the Louvre at night. You’ll want to see them.