Storm Arrives in Paris

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The best photos have everything to do with timing.  Maybe it’s waiting for the precise moment for your subject to be in the perfect position; maybe it’s a case of waiting for the best lighting of the day.

In this case, it was when a storm arrived.

After four days of searing heat and bright sunshine, Paris’s uncharacteristically warm spring reverted to its usual finicky personality.  The sky grew cloudy, then slate gray clouds began to roll in.

Gold and Gray

At the time, Mario was photographing Melissa of Paris blog Prête-Moi Paris.  Melissa suggested that we meet on the majestic Pont Alexandre III.

I had never been there before — but it was a very impressive bridge, ornate in black and gold.

Pont Alexandre III

This gold was absolutely magical against the increasing dark gray of the sky.  I have never seen anything like that before.

By this point, we finished Melissa’s portrait and immediately realized that neither of us had packed an umbrella.  The sky looked like it was going to open at any second!  Still, though, I had to photograph the Hôtel des Invalides.

Hotel National des Invalides

I ran onto a tiny island in the middle of the street and photographed it from there, both with cars and without.  I actually preferred the picture with the cars.  I’m not sure why.

Mario and I picked up and ran to the Metro, escaping just before it started pouring.

While Paris is brilliant to photograph on a sunny day, don’t discount the dark clouds.  A city this golden was made for storms.

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15 thoughts on “Storm Arrives in Paris”

  1. Great pictures!Contrasting color are always magical. I don’t know you, but i find really frustrating that some times even the most spectacular picture can not totally recreate the real atmosphere.
    I found a spectacular sunset in Indonesia, took around 200 pictures, from every possible angle and light. They are amazing, but nothing compares to the real thing. Am i aiming for the moon here? Should i give up expecting the perfect picture? 🙂

    1. I was just thinking the same thing! I’ve taken hundreds of photos of the same sunset/sunrise/mountain/etc. and I know it will never look as perfect as it does in the moment, but that will never stop me from trying 😉

      1. Megan, i know…but he keep trying! Maybe one day we will gave the perfect shot! I was pretty close to it once (a red moonrise in indonesia), i was in seven heaven! It’s so rare 🙂

  2. The dark clouds really bring out the gold highlights on the buildings. Sometimes bright sunny days aren’t the best for photographs because there are too many shadows. When it is a bit overcast I can be easier to bring out the brightness when editing than it is to lighten up the shadows.

  3. Kate, you said: ‘ I actually preferred the picture with the cars. I’m not sure why.’

    I say, I think it’s because the cars provide a bit more authenticity to the pictures. The make it look less staged.

  4. You are so right, the dark gray sky really makes the gold in Paris pop! While visiting Paris recently we had only gray gloomy skies to work with for days and we found the photos actually came out surprisingly well. Your photos are lovely and the photo with the cars gives the image life and scale, I really like it. Good job!

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