Paris is a city of contrasts. Fiercely passionate republicans, humble locals, excited tourists, tired tourists, all can be found here. The architecture is also contrasting - the old, classic architecture of buildings like the Hotel des Invalides, the Opera, and even contrast within the same location - the Louvre. All of this makes Paris a great location to explore over a week and to document through photography. I do love travel photography, although it does sometimes feel silly to take a camera to dinner and catalog every last thing you eat (Instagrammers, I'm looking at you...).
One of the best experiences was visiting the Louvre after hours at twilight. There was a calm, quiet hush, with just a small number of people going about their business. There was a cellist playing beautiful pieces of music to add to the atmosphere, and with this calmness I felt more able to find shots I liked.
I seem to be going through a period of symmetry, and these are the images I keep being drawn to! Whatever your opinion, the Pyramid at the Louvre does look spectacular lit up at night, and contrasts wonderfully with the old lit up architecture of the old building. The lighting was so excellent, I had to do very little in Lightroom!
The Louvre is not the only eye-catching landmark lit up at night in Paris. When travelling, specifically with photography in mind, you do think about trying to avoid the cliche images. But, these images are popular for a reason, and there is still a challenge in trying to capture the mood of the city, a feel for what it is like - isn't that the point of travel photography?
This was the first trip away with my new* (*new for me anyway) Fuji X-T1. This is an absolutely fantastic, lightweight, high performance (in terms of IQ) body. I am consistently blown away by the quality of the lenses available, and with the autofocus being improved in the XT-2, this makes the Fuji X system a serious workhorse for travel and landscape photography.
Lets be honest, the weather was not exactly spectacular (as you might be able to tell from the image above). It was either clear blue sky (at the beginning and end of the trip) or overcast and cloudy, meaning the light was not that great for sunset/sunrise. The vista captured at the top of the Montparnasse tower was probably the closest we came to some colour in the sky at night, but I really liked the colour rendition by the Fuji with what was given to me at sunset.
During the day, often the best thing to do was go black and white - luckily the weather did produce some more dramatic skies for visiting the steel construction of the Eiffel tower. It is a shame that this landmark is so closed off with fencing and high entry costs. It would have been nice to stand under the great tower without having to pay an entry fee. We ended up giving it a miss!
With all that being said, Paris is an amazing city and is well worth a visit. The amount of photographic opportunities is brilliant, with so many buildings, landmarks and interesting people to capture. We were there for 6 nights, which felt like a good amount of time to explore the area, eat some decent food in different restaurants, and feel relaxed and refreshed, which is the point of a holiday after all, right?
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