I guess in a way my posts for Notre Dame de Paris are out of order, as I’ve presented the pictures of it from the daytime first in these previous posts.
The thing is, I first saw Notre Dame Cathedral in the dark. My flight out of Dublin was delayed by fog and by the time I managed to navigate the train, the metro, and the streets of Montmartre and settle into my home for the following five nights, it was dark. Given it was the depths of winter, little surprise there. With little on my mind other than a night stroll, I rode the metro to a station near Notre Dame de Paris, and only shortly after coming up from the station, the cathedral came into view.
I normally prefer night pictures that are taken right at dusk, when the sky has just a bit of deep color left to it and the city lights have come on. However, sometimes you have a moment like this when you really are painting with light genuinely. I’ve heard photography referred to more than once as the art of painting with light, and I think in the night, we can really appreciate just how much of a scene is painted by the light that reaches it. The cathedral is literally bathed in floodlights which are reflecting star like off its light colored stone. The light recedes as you move away from it, but includes the small group of young ladies nearest the camera. Their little huddle is only just in the fringes of the light reflected. And in all directions in the sky, there’s just an ebb of light reaching away from the cathedral and then disappearing into darkness. The photo has a really dreamy aspect to it with the soft focus used.
This was another picture taken on that same first night. I’ve actually featured this on a previous post which went generally into the art of mixing photos with other images to create something completely different and fairly unique. Having not saved the layers that created this, I’d be hard pressed to come up with this precise look a second time. I love the winter feel of this photo. The Christmas tree to those of us in the states is pretty anchored to just the month of December, but as it was nearly February when I was there, you can tell it’s more of a winter tradition here. The couple pausing with their bags may have been other tourists or locals stopping to admire the view. It’s hard to guess which, but they add a human scale and interest to the scene. I really just love the warmth this exudes. I’d be hard pressed to pick one photo of Notre Dame de Paris that’s my favorite, but this one is definitely up there, particularly for the uniqueness of it.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on these prints or your memories of Notre Dame in the comments! It always helps to connect with the people who are enjoying my work!
And in the event you’d like to see more of my Paris shots, don’t forget to check out my Paris Prints Gallery.