A view on La préfecture de Police, along the Seine
I’m quite used to going out at nightfall in order to take advantage of the last glows of the sun, which some people call “the blue hour”. When the sun sets and falls below the horizon, the sky takes on a particular kind of blue shade that is highly sought by most night photographers. It only lasts an hour or so, so you have to be quick if you want to capture the atmosphere of the setting sun. Then, when the sky gets too dark, I generally try to do some black and white photography, since I love the high contrasts I can create between the different sources of light coming from the city, and the black night sky.
However, this morning, I’ve decided to wake up early (5:15 a.m, precisely) and enjoy the quiet atmosphere of the sun rising over Paris. Even though some photographers also talk about a “blue hour” and a “golden hour” in the morning, I find there are small differences though, the first of them being that generally, the atmosphere is much more quiet in the early morning.
This is very important in my opinion, since it means that the early mornings are the perfect time to catch reflections in water, and with the Seine, Paris is definitely a city where you want to take pictures of buildings reflecting their majestic facades in the water of the river.
The other advantage of sunrise over sunset is that in summertime, you have to get up early to enjoy a sunrise, so normally, you won’t find many people in the streets, which will enable you to take pictures of deserted places that would oftentimes be overcrowded during the the day.
In the end, I’m quite happy to have waken up so early, and changed my habits a bit. Who knows, maybe I’ll wake up a bit earlier from now on, in order to discover Paris in the morning, with its calm water, its empty streets, and, of course, its magic sunrises.
La préfecture de police, by night
La préfecture de police, at sunrise
Le Palais de Justice
The Eiffel Tower from Pont Mirabeau