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La Tour Eiffel

I walked along the Seine towards the Trocadero, hoping to get there before the approaching storm blocked out the setting sun.  I fired off a few shots as I got closer and I think they turned out better than the ‘head-on’ shot from the Trocadero.

The clouds behind me had already started to shade the top of the tower and the light disappeared quickly after I took the shot below.

I sat there for a while watching tourists come and go, I took a couple of photos for groups too large for selfies and knocked back a dinner invite from a family after I taught them how to use burst mode on their phone (while the teen rolled his eyes at Dad for not knowing how it worked)

Hoping the clouds would break didn’t help and soon enough it poured.  A short Uber ride later and I was eating dinner while the storm passed, then I headed back for a night session.

For the record – I’ll never sell a print, a copy or any digital rights for any of these nighttime photos.  Under French Law, the lights on the tower are copyrighted and any commercial use of photos of the lit tower is illegal.  Showing them here, on the website that I used when I was photographing professionally could potentially be considered advertising and therefore commercial but it’s not the spirit of that law and I very much doubt anyone would ever come after me.  However, if you want to buy a print of the sunset photos, send me a mail.

Some of you with sharp eyes might notice that the building in the distance underneath the arch of the tower – École Militaire – looks a little bit weird.  It’s undergoing renovations and that entire middle section is printed cloth hiding the scaffolding underneath!  They’ve chosen to use daytime colours for ‘the sky’, hence it looks weird at night.

I think this might be my fave. at least I think it is for now…

This is a long exposure of the epilepsy inducing light show, each of the blue-ish lights rapidly flashes for a couple of minutes.  I guess it’s supposed to make it look sparkly but.. I don’t know… it just makes me think of Vegas.

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Arts et Métiers

This is track 11 of the metro station Arts et Métiers in Paris.  In 1994 it was fitted out in homage to (arguably) the father of science fiction, Jules Verne.  The gears and wheels descending from the ceiling are what would now be considered classic Steampunk, the copper and brass curved walls imitating the inside of Verne’s submarine from 20,000 leagues under the sea.

I set the camera up on a tripod and was taking long exposures.  The trains come from both directions at roughly the same time, every 4 or so minutes.  Passengers left and entered the train, giving me funny looks as they walked past, almost certainly wondering whether they’ve just been filmed of photographed.  After all that activity, I take my photos in the lull – a minute when the platform is mostly deserted, save for a few homeless, a few that just missed catching the last train, a few that walked one direction before turning around after realising they were headed to the wrong exit and there are others – I don’t know why the others were still there, maybe they were just checking out the station?  Even though my world was observing theirs, I was too entranced to know for sure.

In processing the image, I boosted the colours and lighting to emphasise the surreal atmosphere of the platform.  I may have taken it a step too far and I might reprocess it later, but for now, I love it and seeing it transports me back there  (the acrid smell of a carpark stairwell also reminds me of the Metro but that’s far more unpleasant and a totally different story)