Thursday, December 29, 2011


Well, this seems as good as any photo to finish the year out – although it doesn’t hurt that it might be my favorite photo that I made this year. The story of this one is the intersection of planning and luck – mostly the latter. When checking lighting information for my trip to Paris this last May, I realized that I was in for some luck – the sun would be setting directly down the Champs-Élysées and if I could get on top of the Arc d’Triomphe at that time, I might be able to get some interesting shots of the city.

Of course, it wouldn’t be that easy.

Walking up the Champs-Élysées, I realized I was in for a great day of shooting as the sunset was spectacular (as you can, well, see for yourself). But as I walked up the road, looking at the Arc, I was curious: shouldn’t I be able to see the people on top? Ah well, first time in Paris. What do I know? Well, making my way to the base of the Arc, I was in for some Karmic Irony as my favorite French word was staring me in the face from the ticket office: grève.

Well, now what? I’m burning a great sunset and I’ve got to figure something out. I made a bunch of images of monument from the base – to include the tomb of the Unknown Soldier – and while some were good, I wasn’t really thrilled with what I had. Since I already figured this evening was blown, I decided to experiment. I went back to the other side of the Place Charles de Gaulle and tried to see if I could eliminate all traffic on the street through a combination of long shutter speeds, a circular polarizer and an ND filter. I thought it might make for an interesting shot. As to whether it worked or not, I leave to you to decide:

Paris Sera Toujours Paris 050
Happy New Year Sports Fans. More of the same coming in '12. So you've got that going for you.

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