The City of Light
When the average person thinks of Paris, they have visions of the city of light. This is especially true when the person is holding a camera in their hands. Paris is filled with amazing photographic opportunities. You can play with the magical nights with light painting, use your flash to capture the brilliance of the Napoleon courtyard at night and zoom in for a spectacular portrait of The Arc the Triomphe du Caroussel. Breathe new life into the architecture of the Louvre with a wide angle lens and photograph the breathtaking skyscapes and panoramas with an ultra wide angle lens. Paris is a photographer’s dream. Control the light and focus with the aperture to create stunning and innovative pictures for sensational memories.
The History of Paris
The city of Paris was established by the Parisii Celtic tribe in the 3rd century BC when they created a settlement on the Ile de la Cite. The city was shaken to the foundation by the Hundred Years War of 1528. The city recovered and began to flourish. The 16th century was a bloody era as the Catholics murdered 2,000 Protestants in Paris. The French Revolution of 1789 brought guns and cannons to the city and the Bastille became a symbol of the royal power of the government. Paris escaped the damage of the First World War and prospered during the 1920’s and 1930’s. The Germans took the city in 1940 and Paris rose up in rebellion. Student riots caused chaos in 1968 but the city of lights lived on. Paris currently has a population of 2.2 million people and the history is woven throughout the city. There are many reasons people go to Paris such as the cuisine, shopping, architecture, art and the opportunity to experience a photography tour.
The Traveling Photography of Paris
You may just be starting to learn the art of photography or you may have a high level of technical experience. Either way, the photo tours are run by professionals who know the ins and outs of Paris. There are tours available to help you master the basics, increase your established skills and make certain your trip will be extraordinary. To the naked eye, the cars lining the streets of Paris are simply cars. Everything changes when you experiment with long exposure light streaking. The nights take on a level of mystery and enchantment when seen through the eye of a camera. Imagine seeing the city through the eyes of a professional, exploring the little known wonders of Paris, focusing on the rippling reflections of the waters of the Seine under the lamps. Imagine how glorious your photographs will be when you know how to play the light during every hour of the day and night. The tour will guide you to superb photographic opportunities while you develop your creative vision in one of the most exquisite cities in the world. Photograph the unique styles and cultures of the people in low light and capture the surreal beauty of a sunset with a long exposure.
Discovering Paris Through Photography
The attractions of Paris include intimate street scenes, famous monuments and sleek modern architecture. You can learn how to fuse your personality into your photographs by mastering the manual settings on your camera and capture scenic vistas of magnificence by using light metering and just the right exposure. You can take photographs with excellent composition, compelling depth and unique creativity. Every technique and style has a home in Paris. The evening skyline breathes fire with a flash sync and when the city is half in shadow and half in light your metering will ensure the perfect exposure. Use your shutter speed to take in the light and once average photographs become works of art. Famous photographers including Charles Marville, Eugène Atget, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Ilse Bing, André Kertész and Robert Doisneau were drawn to the photographic opportunities of the city of lights and their photographs awed the world. The charming cafes, views of the city and sea, churches, temples, street life and parks are waiting for you to capture their essence with the magic of your camera. Take photographs in every light during the day, the evening and the period of time the two seem to merge. This is the photo trip you have been dreaming of, this is the opportunity you do not want to miss, this is the chance to become a part of a city of beauty, charm, history and grace.
The Marais offers photographers unique architecture, crooked medieval lanes, old fashioned shops, boutiques, restaurants, bars, hotels, museums and art galleries sharing a very small area. A telephoto lens will capture the detailing of the architecture beautifully and your wide angle lens will showcase the glory and tradition of the crooked streets. Your photographs will reflect the history of the pre-revolutionary building because your photography tour knows exactly where to stand, what focus to use, how to time the lighting and all about those hidden treasures only the resident know exist. The Marias has encompassed the poor bohemians, the rich, the armies and the powerless. This is the Paris of the past with strong traditions, Parisian beauties, charming cafe windows that tell stories and the Jewish Quarter. The once neglected streets have been transformed into a vibrant and charming area of central Paris. You can photography the lively street scenes, traditional cafe terraces, hidden gardens and the history of the Jewish Quarter. This is where to come for golden memories and photographs.
The Palais Royal & Covered Passages
Your adventure will take you just a few steps away from the rue de Rivoli to the Palais Royal. This is a peaceful sanctuary from another place in time. The lush gardens, shimmering fountains and children playing beneath the trees are yet another perfect opportunity for incredible photographs. The covered passages have retained the picturesque charm reminiscient of the old Paris. A telephoto lens will capture the unique detailing of the glass roofs and the unusual wooden moulding. You will be removed from the crowds and bustle of the streets and free to experiment with vintage photography. This is where black and white photographs reveal the heart of Paris. The courtyard is referred to as the Cour d’Honneur, and an amazing sculpture of Daniel Buren dominates the scene. The year was 1986 when this large statue was installed and it is glorious when photographed under the light of the moon. There are 208 truncated columns with black and white striping. Zoom in to reveal the intricate detailing or take a panoramic shot to encompass the overall beauty of the scene. The Galerie d’Orléans is adjacent and offers two colonnades and the two modern fountains created by Pol Bury, the Belgian sculptor.
The Montmartre is an artistic village clinging to the northern hills. Sensational photographs have been captured of the romantic stairways, cobblestone streets, artists at work and small cabarets where painters and their friends met in the past. Travel photography takes on new depth in meaning in the fairly unknown corners and niches hidden within these hills. This is a historic area with charm and character absorbed from history. This is where lighting becomes crucial to capture the shadows and light playing on the hills. The Funiculaire provides a cultural feast. Renoir once lived in the mansion at the back and this is where Maurice Utrillo lived while creating spectacular paintings. The Montmartre Cemetery is where many great artists have been buried. This is where legends are immortalized by the camera. The funicular railroad will take you to the top of Montmartre. Make certain your camera is ready before your board the Montmartre bus because you will be stopping at notable sights and panoramic vistas that will leave you breathless. This is where the Basilica du Sacré-Coeur and Roman Catholic basilica with the white dome sit near the city’s highest point. The photo tours will show you just the right moment to capture the lighting for a photograph you will feel you can step into. Do not miss the opportunity presented by the artists as they set up their easels at the Place du Tertre. You can even have your portrait painted for another lovely memory. The Parc de la Turlure is a little park behind the Sacré-Coeur Basilica. The cascading fountain and gorgeous pergola photograph beautifully in the evening light. Thirty windmills once graced this hill.
Jardin du Palais Royal
The Jardin du Palais Royal will take you to the Jardin du Palais Royal or the palace garden. This is a formal garden with an incredible central fountain. This is a quiet and serene place located in the very heart of Paris. There are sixty buildings surrounding three sides of the park that now house galleries, deli shops and restaurants. A macro lens is perfect for photographing this spectacular fountain because you will capture every glorious detail as the shimmering waters spray upward in a small arc. The neoclassical Palais Royal is an excellent representation of architecture dating back to 1633. The lushness of the trees and grasses combine with the grace of the statues and vibrant colors of the flowers for a magnificient image. This is an excellent place for contemplation, long walks and soaking in the history of Paris. You will also take photographs here that recreate the history and meaning of the city of lights. Both panoramic views and detailed images of the flowers will challenge your photographic skills and provide you with exceptional keepsakes.
The Classic Site of Paris
Although your tour will include secluded, hidden and little know places in the city, you do not want to miss photographing the most classic sites. There are endless opportunities for photography presented by the pyramid of the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the river banks and Notre Dame. Notre Dame translates to Our Lady of Paris and is a gorgeous Gothic cathedral. You want to use your macro lens again to do justice to the incredible detailing of the stained glass windows and sculptures. This is one of France’s oldest cathedrals and the workmanship is beyond description. The architecture displays French Gothic, Naturalism and the Renaissance eras. This is the cathedral for the Catholic archdiocese of Paris. Notre Dame is filled with furniture and artwork reflecting the Neo Gothic design. Once you leave the cathedral, pay attention to the Parisian Hotels because they are stunning. You will want to capture a wide view of the hotels as well as shots of the individual intricacies unique to each one. This is an excellent shot to take at night because you will define the beauty of the lights of the city. This is the biggest draw for visitors, locals and photographers alike. Paris is filled with famous sites and you can take pictures to avoid the tourists or include them for realism. These are the images you will show your friends and family when you return home and begin recounting the excitement of your trip.
The Faubourg St Antoine
The Faubourg St Antoine is a side of Paris not seen by the majority of the tourists but photographers will always appreciate the beauty. This area reflects the furniture artisans and charming alleys of everyday life. This is the oldest street in the city of lights and links the Place de la Nation with the place de la Bastille. When you cross the street you become a part of the history of Paris. Take your camera to the back of the alleys where they dead end to photograph the extraordinary talents of the furniture and wood craftsmen of the city. Black and white photographs will reveal the history of this area while revealing the small details that make The Faubourg St Antoine a passion for the artists and craftsmen. This is the perfect example of one of the hidden gems the average tourist will never discover but a professional photographer will reveal during a photo tour.
When you want to see something other than the most famous sites, head to the west of Paris and you will find La Defense. This provides a spectacular contrast to the capital. The large Arche is located in the center of the business sector and represents the end of the historical axis beginning at the Louvre. There are a lot of photographic opportunities offered by the lovely modern architecture. This includes contemporary Parisian scenes and both minimalistic and abstract opportunities.
The Night Photography
You will take many glorious photographs during the day but do not miss out on the magnificence of the evenings. When the lights come on, Paris is a spectacular sight. You can capture the blue light around the Concorde, the Louvre, the Alexandre III bridge and Notre Dame. Make certain you bring along your tripod because you will need it for these magical sessions. The nights in Paris offer something different for every season. You will take home photographs that represent the history and glory of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.