Watching Paris From Notre Dame

Paris (France). I posted a similar photo some days ago: in that case the lens – my beloved Nikon 105 mm Defocus Control – was on the so called “gargoyle”, one of the bizarre sculptures decorating the Notre Dame Cathedral. The image posted here has been taken from the same place, but with a wide angle Zeiss lens to capture a wide landscape of Paris under a beautiful cloudy sky.

I have been desiring to go to the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral for years, but every time I was discouraged by an incredibly long queue, with waiting times of some hours! When recently I finally had the opportunity of being in Paris on a Monday morning, I did not hesitate one minute and I went straight to Notre Dame around one hour before the opening. I wasn’t the first of the line – some Japaneses arrived earlier than me, of course! – but I could enter 20 minutes after the opening: still it was a success! “Such a long waiting time must be compensated by a gorgeous landscape”, I was thinking when I was climbing the tower’s steps: so getting closer to the top I was more and more nervous, because my expectations were very high and the biggest risk was to be disappointed.

However, at the end I can say that it was a successful experience: the landscape of Paris from Notre Dame is something of breathtaking, especially when the light is not too sharp. The entrance is regulated, so the downside is the long queue, but the upside is that on the top it is not too crowded and everyone can find the time to concentrate and shoot. One last but important advice: it can be bloody cold and windy over there, so bring an extra layer and be prepared…

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Paris (France). I’m not a photojournalist (I barely consider my self even a photographer!), but yesterday I was walking by chance close to Pont des Arts in Paris, and I remembered what I had read on newspapers the day before: a team of maintainers was there to remove thousands and thousands of padlocks – so called “love locks” – which were locked at the bridge’s railing by lovers from all around the world, putting their initials on the lock itself, and throwing the keys down into the Seine river.

Being there in the middle of a large group of photographers (professional ones) and video-makers was very exciting, and moved by enthusiasm of being in the right place at the right time, I took several photos. This first one published here is probably the most “symbolic”, with a last couple of lovers on the bench watching sadly all those love locks – probably included theirs – removed from Pont des Arts’ railing. Other photos complete the gallery.


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Melting Love Locks (Pont des Arts)

Paris (France). I just passed the Seine on Pont des Arts, the former “Love Bridge”, used by lovers to hang their locks to the railing and throw the keys into the river. The previous time I was here, the municipality of Paris was removing all the locks – I wrote a post about that event – and I was curious to see the bridge free from everything.

This is a piece of the railing: it’s funnily representing hundreds of love locks melting down. I found it quite ironic…


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Notre Dame from the Docks Along the Seine

Paris (France). Everyone traveling to Paris and photographing around this fantastic location, should try to find some places from where watching the city without the usual mass of people. It can be a tough mission, but it is worth the effort.

This photograph of Notre Dame Cathedral – for example – has been taken from under a bridge on the docks along the Seine River, and it is now one of my favorite images of my large portfolio of photos about Paris.

Of course, the wide angle lens exalts the general composition and makes the entire scene more “drammatic”, but the thing that I like most in this image is the sense of “intimacy” with the Cathedral that I can perceive, and which is the same one I was feeling when I was shooting this image. The reason – as said – I think is that in the entire scene there’s no anyone: a pure and genuine sense of relationship with the subject, without any obstacle or element of annoyance.

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Love Locks (at Passerelle Leopold Sedar Senghor)

Paris (France). Paris is widely recognized as one of the most romantic cities in the world, and this is something of easily understandable. What I honestly still do not understand, is why people declare their love putting a lock on the railing of a bridge and throwing the key into the river

Some months ago, Pont des Artes was temporarily closed to go under maintenance and to remove tons of so called “love locks”, which were compromising the stability of railings. Now, the new place where to hang love locks is the Passerelle Leopold Sedar Senghor. It’s the same situation: locks sellers all along the bridge (they also offer to their customers the possibility of writing their initials with a pen) and thousands of locks all along the railings.

My question is still the same: if love ends, does one of the two come, find and remove the love lock?

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