Tuesday, February 7, 2012

At the Galleries Lafayette

Paris Sera Toujours Paris 030

This is not the Paris Opera. Lots of people think that, but it isn’t. It’s a department store. Just a department store. It’s also not even the shot of a department store that I really wanted – it’s a safety shot of a department store that I took after I thought that the shot I really wanted wasn’t really going to work. And it didn’t. Let me start at the beginning. Doing my due diligence before going to Paris, it seemed the Galleries Lafayette (Paris’ answer to Marshall Field’s – or is that the other way around?) would make for a good subject. I made a note and made sure that I managed to find my way there during one of my wanderings around the city. And, it was a good subject – as was obvious as soon as you set foot in the place. But the shot I wanted would take a little work. This central atrium area is covered by an enormous dome which looks down on the cosmetics department which in turn is dominated by a giant black Christian Dior monolith. I set out to capture all of this in one frame – get to about the fourth floor, slap on the 16mm lens, shoot on the diagonal to get the monolith and the apex of the dome and…well, it didn’t really work. I mean, I was able to get all of the elements in the frame, but it was just too crowded. Now, I would have shot the shot above regardless – the detail and color of the place was fantastic – but I really wanted the first one. I even edited that one – full HDR, the works. But it didn’t work. And since one of my goals coming out of Paris was edit tighter and be more honest with myself, I knew I couldn’t put it up. So, plan B. Which, to be fair, has become one of my more popular Paris photos. And it is nice. But it’s not what I wanted. It’s also not the Paris Opera. But lots of people think that.

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