Paris 2018 Workshop Recap – Days 1&2
In September, we held our first workshop in Paris. Given Angie’s affinity for the City of Light and Michael being French, it was only a matter of time before we headed to the French Capital. As with our New York workshop (see the workshop recap here and here), the workshop was 4 days to be able to see all that the city has to offer.
Our itinerary took us to many locations, both historic and modern. We had some touristy spots (Notre-Dame, Tour Montparnasse) and some locations away from the crowds. We had a great group with a majority of Americans, an Englishman, a French lady living in London and a lady from Paris. We’ll go through days 1 & 2 in this article and we’ll be back next week for days 3 & 4!
We started on Thursday morning in the 13th arrondissement, on the east side of Paris with some modern architecture. Our first stop was 11 Quai d’Austerlitz, a residential building with stunning balconies that change colors depending on the light, from yellow to green, to blue.
Our second stop was BEOPEN, an office building with a facade that is just amazing for abstracts. It ended up being a favorite for a lot of our students. By getting close to the building, you can get some interesting waves or dunes.
One overhang has some mirrors, so it’s fun to play with a long lens:
Next, was the Cité de la Mode et du Design, where we also stopped for lunch. The green structure is hard to shoot. The good light helped put some focus on the interesting railing.
After a short bus ride, we went back in time 400 years at the St-Étienne-du-Mont church. Angie focused on detailed shots of the spiral staircase while Michael was shooting wide.
Across the street is the Panthéon, a beautiful building with a lot to shoot. The ceilings are beautiful (a good exercise for symmetry) and there’s a good spiral staircase.
After a short stop at the Institut du Monde Arabe (Jean Nouvel) where the rooftop terrace was exceptionally closed, we headed to dinner. Then we shot sunset and blue hour by Notre-Dame de Paris, along the Seine River. Angie played with her zoom lens to create an interesting effect.
We started our second day by the subway entrance on Place Marguerite de Navarre (Châtelet-les-Halles stations). The ceiling and the curved walls are great for abstracts.
We then walked to Centre Pompidou (Architect Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, and Gianfranco Franchini), a postmodern cultural center in the heart of Paris. As you can see below, the architecture is unique as it places all utility components outside of the buildings. It makes for a complex, colorful subject.
We headed to the observation deck at the top of the museum, where you can see most of Paris, including the Sacré-Coeur.
After a break for lunch, we headed to the Louvre, stopping by the Ministry of Communication, a historic building with a modern cladding.
The Louvre was next, starting with the exterior. The modern pyramids (I.M. Pei) in the historic courtyard are the main feature of the space.
Then we went inside to shoot the pyramid and the staircase.
A second area inside is the Carousel du Louvre (a shopping mall), which has an inverted pyramid.
Just north of the Louvre is the Palais Royal and its great courtyard. The art installation “Les Deux Plateaux” by Daniel Buren is fun to shoot.
Palais Garnier, one of Paris’ two operas, was our last architectural location of the day. The interiors are absolutely stunning, especially the ceilings.
We ended the day at the Pont de Bir-Hakeim, to photograph the Eiffel Tower at blue hour.
As you can see, those first two days were packed with amazing locations! And we had two more days, which we’ll dive into next week.