One can’t go to Paris without wandering the streets at night, especially during the summer. Paris is called the City of Light primarily because of the Enlightenment (it was also one of the first European cities to adopt street lights), but the lights at night are beautiful. The sidewalks are lined with restaurant tables where people chat until eleven or twelve. The walkways along the Seine draw groups of friends for picnics of bread, cheese, and wine. The bridges and buildings are wonderfully illuminated – but only until Midnight, I found out when I was in the middle of taking photos.
With only a few days in Paris, there is simply way too much to see to get it all in. Of course, part of going to Paris is for the food (even for a photographer – and I do like to eat). The French like to take their time and enjoy their meals, so dinner can last a couple of hours at least. That limits photography time even more. Ahhh, the hardships of a traveling photographer, right? Food or photos can be a tough decision at times.
Luckily, I’m a fast walker, so I can cover quite a bit of ground pretty quickly. Once you get used to the labyrinthian Metro system, that helps as well. I managed to squeeze in most of the highlights in three nights, though.
I found the walkaways along the Seine intriguing photographically, but didn’t have the time to get quite the shots I wanted. Things worked out so I could get Notre Dame at sunset and then make it to the Eiffel Tower for night shots – unfortunately, though, not quite early enough to go up it at night). We squeaked into being able to get on top of the Arc de Triomphe just before it closed. The only disappointment was the lights turning off on the bridges at Midnight – which happened to be right when I was just starting to get some shots with the bridge lights and the Eiffel Tower.
Getting shots like these is worth lugging a tripod around with me on vacation.