You woke up this morning and the sun is bright and warm. It is the time you have been waiting for to take photos of Paris. However, photographing with a bright sun has a lot of benefits but some counterparts. In this photographic guide of Paris, we make a list of some strategies to get the best out of your photo tour.
If you are thinking about doing great panoramic of the city, do not hesitate, it is a good timing. Direct sunlight will make your photos full of details and contrast that will assure a good deepness. You might want to visit some of the best terraces and roofs to photograph Paris from the top. It can be a good moment for photographing the Canal Saint Martin and the Canal de l’Ourcq - La Villette area as you can get stunning reflections in the water.
When photographing architecture, a special care must be taken as windows and metal structures can be easily overexposed. If you like contemporary architecture, a great variety of works are spread out all over the city or you can try visiting the -in construction- area of the Bibliothèque National de France (13th district), the large postmodern towers in the 15th district, or La Défense skyscrapers.
When sunset arrives, it is a good timing for exploring with reflections of windows, the long shadows, and, above all, the Seine river, its colors and its bridges.
If you are photographing daily life and portraits with great contrast, a sunny day is definitely your ally, especially if working black and white. Pay a visit to some of the pedestrian streets: Rue Montorgueil, rue Mouffetard, some open air markets, the flea market or some crowded areas as Les Halles, the square facing the Centre Pompidou, les Champs Elysées, Barbes or in La Rotonde de Stalingrad. All these spots are well know for being dynamic and full of life, all representative of the multicultural life of Paris.
Photographing sculptures and details
A sunny day is maybe the best moment for photographing sculptures and give them a living expression. If you are down town, try visiting the Tuileries garden, the Louvre façades or the Jardin du Luxembourg as you will discover many sumptuous art pieces, both ancient and contemporary. Take advantage of the sun to enlighten your photos of Parisian façades.
When photographing portraits in a sunny day, the best would be tu use either early hours in the morning, or just before the sun goes down. This way you will avoid a too strong natural light that will accentuate shadows or burn your models faces. If you can not chose the timing, try placing your models in shaded areas that will use the reflections of surrounding objects to soften sun light. Search for one of Paris gardens as tress and foliage will filter light. Otherwise, choose northern façades for urban portraits or photos next to the Seine. During sunset, use natural back light to give a more romantic tones to your portraits.
Finally, if you like high contrast backlit photography (between sunrise and sunset), try visiting one of the arcades that lead to the Louvre Museum or the Pont des Arts. For urban subjects, visit the Liberty Statue in the Pont de Grenelle or the Eiffel tower.
For portraits, during sunset, try photographing in the Seine river.