My 36 hours in Paris were dedicated to photography; it was my only goal.
Photography is still very new to me; I bought my first SLR camera in 2006 and took lessons to learn how to use the camera. Therefore my first travels never really had a photography element to them. Therefore, when I found myself near Paris 8 years after my first trip there, I knew I wanted to capture the city photographically; making up for the lack of pictures I took 8 years prior.
I arrived in the late afternoon from Brussels and decided to forgo a hotel reservations in Paris and instead stay with my friend Audrey and her adorable cat Eros, I was off and clicking with my camera. I started in Audrey’s neighborhood and went to Pere LaChais Cemetery on recommendation from Mark at Travel Wonders. Visiting a foreign cemetery may seem strange, but this cemetery was more like a park; gorgeous landscaping, rolling hills, interesting tombstones, and famous people were put to rest there. A truly unique travel experience that shouldn’t be missed in Paris.
View all Pere LaChaise Cemetery photography
That evening I took a long metro ride to get some shots of the Eiffel Tower at night. I wasn’t subject to the new blinking light show at the Eiffel Tower thankfully as I prefer the traditional over the new age light shows any day…or night!
Thanks to some great advice I received on Twitter and on Facebook, I started the next day early; sunrise at Sacre Coeur and a walk through Montmartre neighborhood before anyone was awake.
I picked up a picnic lunch and hopped on the subway riding towards Place de la Concorde. Here I sat in the park by one of the large fountain pools and soaked up Paris. I took off my shoes, sat in a comfy chair, ate my baguette, and relaxed. After my picnic lunch I walked through the park towards the Louvre. This was my first chance really seeing the controversial pyramid at the Louvre entrance. From a photography perspective, I loved the pyramid, from an architecture perspective, I’m still a little ‘iffy’ on the pyramid.
I walked along the Seine River towards Ile de la Cite and quickly view Notre Dame amongst the thousands of tourists. My pristine blue skies seemed to be disappearing fast as dark clouds started taking over the blue sky. I crossed over to the left bank and hopped back on the metro towards the Eiffel Tower in hopes to catch the famed tower with a nice blue backdrop. However, by the time I got off the metro and walked to the Eiffel Tower, the dark clouds had settled in. However, no matter what the backdrop, the Eiffel Tower is always elegant.
I went to a café to rest my feet and get a jolt of espresso and then continue across the river towards Trocadero in order to get shots of the Eiffel Tower from the other direction. Luckily, as I sat by the fountains at Trocadero The clouds slowly gave way to blue skies again. This had to be one of the strangest photography weather days I had experienced! After getting my landscapes of the tower with a blue background, I then continued walking to the Arc de Triumph. I passed on the expensive ticket to go to the top and decided instead to stay on the ground.
My day was quickly disappearing so after a quick walk down the Champs Elysees I hopped back on the metro, picked up my backpack at Audrey’s and said goodbye to Eros and made my way back to Gare du Nord. I sat in my train seat gently rocking with the train movement, reviewing my day of photography. The trip was quick, but completely worth it as this time, I had digital memories which would last forever.