How and where to take the best photographs of Paris

Hi Frugalistas!  In my recent post, I talked about the best places to photograph the Eiffel Tower.  This week, the Friday fotos considers where to take the best shots of other well known, and well loved Paris sites.  While these sorts of things are always highly subjective, here are my top choices for photographing your favourite Paris sites:

1. The best place to photograph the Arc de Triomphe

While the Place de L’Etoile gives you the best up close view, it is hard to take a good photo of the Arc de Triomphe without including large numbers of vehicles.  Try and take your photo as early in the morning as you can to avoid the traffic.  The corner of the Champs Elysee near the Franklin Roosevelt metro station is a good spot for morning visitors.

My favourite view of the Arc de Triomphe is actually a little further down the Champs Elysees.  Head along to the corner of the Champs Elysees at the Grand Palais.  Get your zoom ready, then wait for the lights to change and cross the Champs Elysees.  Take your photo in the pedestrian refuge area in the middle of the street.  If you are quick it is possible to get this shot in one change of lights – I promise.  Just pay attention to the crossing lights, please?  It’s not worth an accident……

2.  The best place to photograph the Champs Elysees

Turn your zoom off, and take your shot looking up towards the Arc de Triomphe as you cross the Champs Elysees at the Grand Palais.  Take one shot with zoom to get the Arc de Triomphe, the cross back again without the zoom to get the Champs Elysees.

Alternatively, head to the Place de la Concorde, and wait for the (very) brief breaks in traffic to get your shot.

3.  The best place to photograph the Pyramid of the Louvre

Anywhere in the courtyard will give you a good shot of the Louvre.  However, it is best to take a photo early in the morning to avoid the crowds.  If there is already a crowd queuing when you get there, head round to the other side of the Pyramid – as in my shot, the queue will be barely visible.

4.  The best place to photograph Notre Dame Cathedral

Head to the Left Bank side of the Seine, and you will have multiple opportunities between the Bouquiniste stalls for pretty shots including the river.  Afternoon is the best time to capture the Cathedral in its best light.  For a close up of the Cathedral the bridge right in front of it is best – you will have far fewer people in your shot compared to trying to take it from the Cathedral forecourt.  Because it faces the west there is no point getting their early to beat the crowds – your shot will be in shadow.

5.  The best place to photograph Sacre Coeur

My favourite spot to photograph Sacre Coeur is at the bottom of the stairs.  Yes, it is at an angle, but play with your zoom and you’ll get a pretty shot that is not full of tourists.

Where are your favourite spots to photograph Paris?



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3 Comments on “How and where to take the best photographs of Paris”

  1. Pointsandtravel 23/05/2014 at 6:39 am #

    And the best place to photograph the Eiffel Tower, I believe, is across the street over where the carousel’s area, crouch down below and shoot up where you get the Eifffel Tower and the top of the carousel in the same shot! PERFECTION!

  2. Suji Beckett 23/05/2014 at 2:38 pm #

    Try a series of shots at the Louvre Pyramid & Notre Dame as the sun sets. Few people & shimmering/changing light.

  3. frugalfirstclasstravel 24/05/2014 at 6:40 am #

    Great idea! The sun will be hitting the front facade of Notre Dame perfectly then

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