Spending a weekend in Paris is no doubt a luxurious experience. Of course we didn’t stay in a five star hotel nor did we dine in Michelin-starred restaurants, but we were so lucky to have the most beautiful weather for photography.
Paris is normally a very photogenic city, and especially so when we had bright sunshine and blue sky! This time, we took a Sony A850 + 35/1.4 G lens with circular polariser, and a Nikon D90 + 85mm/1.8 with us. The two prime lenses help us stay light weight and cover both a wide and a long focal length, giving two different perspectives to the photos. The fast apertures let us blur out background and shoot in darker conditions too.
Even though it looks sunny, the weather was windy and cold – between -5 to 10C.
Paris 1: The landmark of Paris—the Eiffel Tower! It is a magnificent piece of building in Paris. Build in 1889, it is no doubt the symbol of France and one of the most recognizable structure in the world.
The Arc de Triomphe
Paris 2, 3, 4, 5, 6: Arc de Triomphe— Standing in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, Arc de Triomph is another icon of Paris. Designed in 1803 but was not finished until 1836, the monument was build to honour those fought in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic War. The names of the soldiers and families were inscribed on the arc.
Paris 7: Crepe vendor on Champs-Élysées
Paris 8: Ice-skating on an outdoor ice rink outside Hotel DeVille in Paris
Paris 9: Sunlight coming through a streetlamp with mini sun-stars. For any photographer readers, this effect comes from stopping down to f16 and underexposing the image with 1/2000s, ISO100
Paris 10: Parisian parking is very challenging for drivers in Paris. Cars were often parked bumper to bumper with no gaps. And any small gaps would have a motorbike, scooter or bicycle parked in them.
Paris 11: Obelisk in Place de la Concorde – the old location of the guillotine!
Paris 12: Walking from Place de la Concorde to the Louvre
Paris 13: Musée du Louvre – the world famous art gallery with the iconic glass pyramid featured in the da Vinci Code.
Views from Montparnasse
Paris 14: Sunset on top of Montparnasse, the only skyscraper in Paris. If you want to go to the rooftop, you can book online (http://www.tourmontparnasse56.com/) or just turn up and queue in the lobby. Be warned that it can get very busy, especially around sunset time when you get the best view.
Paris 15, 16, 17: Looking down at Paris and Eiffel Tower from Montparnasse. Montparnasse is the skyscraper in Paris, and the view from its roof is spectacular. Personally, I think this view is better than the view from the Eiffel tower!
Paris Late Night Street Scenes
Paris 18: Food vendors are quite popular in Paris. It was very nice to have something warm when it was so cold. A cup of coffee let us stay out to enjoy the night view of Paris for a bit longer.
Paris 19, 20: Eiffel Tower at night time.
Paris 21: Souvenir stall selling the typical tourist rubbish!
Paris 22: A coffee shop and restaurant which spills out into the street. We noticed that chain stores, restaurants and coffee shops are a lot less popular in Paris compared to the UK. In the UK you find the same shops on most high streets but there were far more independent stores in Paris. If you want a cup of coffee, instead of looking for your familiar Starbucks, why not go to the nearest street corner for a more authentic continental flavor?
Chateau de Versailles
Paris 23: Chateau de Versailles. The Hall of Mirrors. The mirrors were a sign of decadence, as they were incredibly difficult and expensive to make in this size. It’s not hard to see why the starving peasants were so angry at the royal family!
Paris 24: The bedroom of Marie Antoinette, with the secret passage that she used to escape when the Paris mob entered Versailles.
Paris 25, 26, 27, 28, 29: Some more extravagance from inside the palace of Versailles
Notre Damn de Paris
Paris 30: Notre Dame de Paris by the river Seine.
Paris 32: A huge stained glass window in Notre Dame. They do allow photography inside, but they were very strict about no bags, no suitcases, large jackets etc.
Paris 33: Macaroons/macarons are a must-try in Paris. They come in a huge variety of flavours of fruits, chocolate and vanilla. They are very tasty and great when served with a cup of coffee and they cost around EUR1 each.
Along the Seine
Paris 34: Second hand book stalls by the river Seine. They definitely add a hint of arty feeling to the city.
Paris 35, 36: Pont des Arts – Lovers put padlocks on the bridge and then throw the keys into the river to symbolize the fidelity of their love. Though judging by the dates on padlocks, somebody must come and remove them every 6 months or so!
And finally, another view of the iconic Eiffel tower, from Trocadero.