12th August 2015:
Barry, Tina, Mike and Fiona arrived in Paris this afternoon as planned.
During the evening I went through some suggested photo shoot sites with them. As the sun rises in the west (yes I know you all know that) all the photo locations have to have the sun behind us. The other major consideration is that we cannot be too close to the structures otherwise you won’t see the total structure. Over the last couple of days I have been carrying surveys of the best places: I chose the Eiffel Tower (of course), the Arc de Triomphe, and the Notre Dame Cathedral as sites that everyone would recognize as ‘Paris’.
Eiffel Tower: The best place to to photograph the Eiffel Tower is right in front of a Police bureau. The other problem with the site is that they are busy setting up barricades for the public holiday ‘Assumption of Mary’ ( The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is an occasion for Catholics to honor the belief that God assumed the Virgin Mary to heaven).
Arc de Triomphe: The best shots are from the middle of the Champs Elysees i.e right in the middle of the road, with heaps of tourists and police swarming around the ‘Arc’.
Notre Dame: There is insufficient room in front of the square and the front of the Cathedral faces east – so you photograph into the sun.
During the evening I discuss a suggested plan with Barry and Mike over a beer – it was just like in the movies – planning the ‘Italian job’ or ‘Gone in 60 seconds’. I’m sure if the Cops had walked past and heard the timing and the locations we were talking about they would have ‘clapped us in irons’.
The plan was too leave early, get to the locations before the traffic got too heavy, be quick, hope that there were no cops around and get out again – just like in the films.
Here are our results:
As we arrived the trucks were arriving with all the barricades. We sneaked past some witches hats to set ourselves up on the pavement. It was not too long before the straw boss arrived and started abusing the ‘s…’ out us meaning for us to get off the pavement. Off the pavement was fine.
Arc de Triomphe:
Arriving early I quickly laid out the plan with Mike taking up duty as shot photographer. Again we needed to be quick and shoot our shots between the traffic leaving the stop sign behind. We were in and out pretty quick but all three of us forgot to set out what shots we wanted (as with the Eiffel Tower) so we missed out on a couple of shots. Never mind.
Whilst is isn’t possible to get any shots with the Cathedral in the background from the square in front of the Notre Dame, there is one very small spot right on a corner on the other side of the Seine where it is possible to get a reasonable photograph; problem is the traffic – but worth a ‘shot’ for a ‘shot. Corny I know but what the heck…