Things to consider while taking night photographs in Paris?

JNE_Photos

TPF Noob!
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
25
Reaction score
9
Location
North Carolina
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I'm headed to Paris soon for a business trip. My days will likely be packed with work-related stuff but there's a decent chance I'll have some time in the evenings to shoot (hotel is a few hundred meters from the Arc de Triomphe). However, I don't speak French. I've never been there before. Any suggestions for sites/cityscape shots near the Arc de Triomphe? (Hotel is a few hundred meters away) Also, does anyone have suggestions on how to keep a low profile for would-be camera thieves? I don't mean to imply that Paris is this super dangerous place, but I'm pretty sure it will be obvious this North Carolina boy "ain't from around here." Thanks in advance.

On a completely unrelated note: If anyone knows a sports bar in the area that will be showing Sunday's UNC-NC State College World Series game, you get super props! :playball: Go Heels!
 

cgipson1

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
17,143
Reaction score
4,350
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
One issue you may run into is that the local police may ask you not to use a tripod when shooting... unless you have a permit to do so. This is what I have read anyway... I haven't been to Paris myself. I do believe they allow monopods, though. I just thought I would mention that, since I have read of several issues with using tripods (and have also read that some do it with no issues). The other info I can't help with...

CurrentRutledge: Paris
 

sashbar

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Dec 13, 2012
Messages
3,044
Reaction score
1,183
Location
Behind the Irony Curtain
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Making photos of people without their permission is illegal in France as far as I remember. It is worth checking to be sure.
 

The_Traveler

Completely Counter-dependent
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
18,743
Reaction score
8,046
Location
Mid-Atlantic US
Website
www.lewlortonphoto.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Making photos of people without their permission is illegal in France as far as I remember. It is worth checking to be sure.

Totally true - and sometimes the police will proactively warn you.

Paris is totally beautiful, metro is complex, noisy but convenient.
Food is expensive.
Champs Elysee is just packed all the time.
We were out at night all the time with no problems in the center of Paris; the suburbs are quite chancy but it isn't probably you'd end up there.
Everywhere is scenic.
 

ph0enix

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2009
Messages
1,085
Reaction score
213
Location
Raleigh, NC
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I haven't run into any issues photographing people or using a tripod in public places in Paris (and I used it a lot). Cops would actually pose for me on a couple of occasions and didn't seem to have any issues with people taking photos whatsoever. Maybe something has changed in the last few years. I don't know.
Don't worry about standing out like a sore thumb. I guarantee that wherever you go, you won't be the only tourist there. :D
There are tons of attractions pretty close to the Arc. The grand palais, the petit palais, the tower and the louvre are all within 2 miles. The Notre Dame cathedral is ~3 miles away. If you don't like to walk, take the metro or rent a city bike for a couple euro. There are bike stations marked Velib all over the city. The trick is to return the bike to another station within 30 mins or so. Otherwise the price goes up significantly. 30 minutes is usually plenty of time to get from one place to another. You basically get another bike to go back or to the next spot.
A lot of people there speak English so you should be able to get by just fine.
This is all I've got.
 
OP
JNE_Photos

JNE_Photos

TPF Noob!
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
25
Reaction score
9
Location
North Carolina
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Thanks to everyone who has weighed in so far. I am planning to bring a tripod, but no 600mm prime like the person in link above. ;) I'll let you know how it works out. Oh and thanks ph0enix for the suggestion about renting a bike!
 

lechwe

TPF Noob!
Joined
May 21, 2013
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Location
Michigan
I would recommend trying to get up to Basilique du Sacre-Coeur. It sits up on a hill and if a fabulous cathedral. It may even be lit up nicely at night (been a while since I was there).

Enjoy the trip.
 
OP
JNE_Photos

JNE_Photos

TPF Noob!
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
25
Reaction score
9
Location
North Carolina
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I just wanted to follow up on this post after returning from my trip. Paris was awesome, although I spent most of my time at the Paris Air Show. I did manage to take a few decent photos (mostly at night). I'm including some below and would welcome any feedback.

I did encounter some problems using a tripod - most notably underneath and on top of the Arc de Triomphe. They kept telling me the tripod wasn't allowed and I needed a permit. When I asked for more details, they told me I needed to buy a permit. When I asked where one purchased said permit, they only spoke French from that point on. I was there on business, so I certainly wasn't going to push my luck. However, I thought it was funny that on the other side of the street I was able to take dozens of tripod shots of the Arc de Triomphe - right in front of 20+ members of the Gendarmerie (the blue light in the lower left hand corner is from a gendarmerie squad car). Again, this was my first trip to Paris, so I'm certainly not an expert. But my experience was anytime I used a tripod directly on monument grounds, I was told to stop. I still somehow managed to get a few photos in "non-sanctioned" areas, too.

My only advice would be expect to get some pushback if you use a tripod at the super touristy spots (Eifel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, etc). I don't speak French, so I didn't have the ability to ask the police for clarification as to what's okay and what's not. I've searched the topic since returning and found that I wasn't the only one. Some folks have even mentioned it in this thread as well.

Thanks again for the suggestions. @Lechwe, I didn't get a chance to check out Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, but it's definitely on the "to do list" if I ever make it back.

Here's a few night photos:
$Early evening outside the Arc de Triomphe.jpg$Eifel Tower at night.jpg
 

Dikkie

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
Messages
846
Reaction score
222
Location
(near Brussels)
Website
linktr.ee
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Also, does anyone have suggestions on how to keep a low profile for would-be camera thieves? I don't mean to imply that Paris is this super dangerous place, but I'm pretty sure it will be obvious this North Carolina boy "ain't from around here." Thanks in advance.

Well, in the touristic areas, lots of tourists are out there with camera's in their hands... so no problem there.
But the thieves know those areas too, so keep in mind for pick pockets when beïng busy photographing and you feel someone too close to your bag to find your wallet. These things happen.

Paris is beautiful, if you look at the beautiful things, ... Paris can be dirty aswel, if you look at the dog poo on the streets or graffiti-tags on buildings etc...
Depends on how you look at Paris.

Have fun !
 

Most reactions

ClickASnap

New Topics

Top