Towards the end of last year I was in Paris for the World Infrastructure Summit, not exactly the most romantic reason to be there but at least it was Paris. Most of the time was spent in a darkened room (well we don’t want folks to get too excited now do we) discussing the weighty and pithy matters of investing in infrastructure projects across the globe.
Occasionally however we were able to step out of the hotel, which was right by the Eiffel Tower, and actually see a little of Paris. Of course I was armed with my trusty Leica M8 and vintage 50 mm Summilux to capture what I could in the limited time and light available. Making the most of my two limited opportunities meant shooting at night or in misty low late afternoon light, neither of which are exactly ideal conditions with the M8. This meant I had to shoot wide open with exact focus and no tolerance for not quite nailing focus. Not so easy in lower light conditions on a manual focus lens, especially when shooting people street photography style. Did I always manage it? Heck no! I did get a few decent shots though and I’ll share these with you.
As I said the hotel was right by the Eiffel Tower and it’s illumination of at that time of year make it a beacon of iron and light.
It dominates the surrounding area and quite literally outshines everything else lighting up the whole plaza and the park around it.
Back at the hotel there were one or two restrained decorations to mark the time of year but nothing like the titanic light show outside.
My final opportunity came when the conference ended and we had an hour or so before needing to check in for the Eurostar at Gare du Nord. It was a cold, overcast, damp end of an afternoon with light starting to fail. I decided to head back to the Tower and this time explore the park and streets around it with the time and light that were remaining.
In the avenue as I approached the park this couple were deep in conversation and seemingly oblivious to what was going on around them.
As I made my way further into the park I came across a wedding party with the married couple being bossed around by a photographer’s assistant whilst the photographer waited for the right pose and arrangement of the bride’s dress. Both the photographer and her assistant were warmly wrapped up in coats, scarves and hats whilst the poor bride was stripped back to bare shoulders in her dress! I didn’t want to interfere in the shoot at all but found the juxtaposition of the warm comfortably dressed photographer and her exposed clients just too good to pass up.
As the light began to fail I started to make my way back to the hotel and came across these last three images which caught my eye and I hope will catch yours.