Quai des Orfèvres : reflection photography


I took a series of photos of Quai des Orfèvres in Paris at sunrise. The tower of Hotel de Police reflects in the calm waters of the Seine River.

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Parisian sunrise

Le Quai des Orfèvres in the early morning

When I first arrived in Paris about a year ago, one of my favourite places to take pictures was the bridge between Châtelet and L’Île de la Cité. There, I could admire the massive and yet magnificient towers of Le Palais de la Cité reflecting in the Seine river. This place, along with Le Marais district, is a legacy from the medieval times in Paris : it gives you glance at what Paris used to be before Napoléon III asked Haussmann to rebuild most of the districts of Paris in order to make the capital city of France one of the first modern cities of Europe, able to compete with London, the eternal rival of Paris.

However, these days, when I go to L’Île de la Cité in order to take some pictures, most of the time, I will go to the opposite banks of the island, the famous Quai des Orfèvres, which host the Préfecture de Police of Paris. I first didn’t like these banks that much, mainly because the tower of La Préfecture de Police was under restoration, which prevented me from taking pictures of this otherwise beautiful place.

I’ve found that in the early morning, the Seine river is rather calm there, and when the sky is cloudy, the pink shades the rising sun creates in the clouds perfectly reflect in the still waters of the river, along with the medieval buildings and the bridges crossing the Seine river. Maybe the most romantic place in Paris, provided your loved one doesn’t mind waking up around 6 a.m to come with you and take a walk on the banks of the Seine river.

Hôtel de Police, Paris

The tower in the pink clouds

A few minutes before sunrise

A minute before sunrise

4 thoughts on “Quai des Orfèvres : reflection photography

  1. This is one of my favorite spots for early morning photography in Paris as well, and it always astounds me how quiet and tranquil it can feel before the city wakes up (a mood your images capture beautifully). But I’ve seldom seen colors like these, you lucky guy! What a stunning sunrise — and what stunning framing to match it. You’re making me homesick for Paris, Pierre.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahah ! It’s not always like that. Only when the clouds are low, and not too many. It sometimes look pretty unnatural 🙂 Thanks ! And don’t despair : Paris is the easiest city to get to in France, so you can come whenever you feel too homesick 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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