April in Paris - A Trip Report

I spent 4 nights in Paris (my first time there) in April. I went alone, not on a tour, with my trusty copy of Rick Steves' "Paris". My primary goal as an avid amateur, was to take pictures. What a great trip I had!! Photos here: http://www.pbase.com/sdommin/paris2013 Some random notes - I fell in love with the city within hours. I didn't think I would, but there's got to be something in the air! - NOT ONCE did I meet anyone who was rude. I only know about 5 words in French, but if you use just one when you first meet someone, you're set!
- The subway system is easy to figure out and use. You can go anywhere. - Disappointments - I was not prepared for all the graffiti outside on the ride from the airport to central Paris (RER B train). I'm not exaggerating, every flat surface (and some round ones) visible to the eye had some sort of spray-painted lettering on it. Also, the Eiffel Tower has some scaffolding at the bottom (distracting, but temporary).

Posted by Sandy
Coraopolis, PA, United States
1 posts

Beautiful photos Scott! I'm heading to Paris on Thursday, hoping to get some nice shots myself!

Posted by Agnes
Alexandria, VA, USA
616 posts

Wow!!! Those photos are gorgeous!!! You're a great photographer. Can I ask what brand of camera you used? I saw a reference to "X20" but I'm not familiar with that reference. Oddly enough, I actually like grafitti art (not just lines/scribbles but images or representations). I go to Brooklyn partly to photograph grafitti, and I've seen some great grafitti in other places (Berlin Wall, etc).

Posted by Paula
Toronto, ON, Canada
38 posts

Hi Scott, These pictures are fantastic. You really managed to capture the feel and ambiance of the city. Thank you for posting them. Paula

Posted by Scott
Vermilion, Ohio, USA
7 posts

Thanks! Agnes, the camera I used is a Fuji X20. It's relatively new, but there's plenty of info out there about it. About the graffiti. I'm not a big fan of it. What I saw was all initials and (probably) gang symbols, no attempt anywhere at "art".

Posted by Susan
Sausalito, California
3209 posts

Enjoyed your report and your photos! Especially... "Boats on the Seine."

Posted by Jaye
Dallas, OR, USA
99 posts

Wow Scott! Are you a professional photographer by chance? These photos are awesome and so crisp and clear, felt like I was in Paris again (I wish)! Thanks for sharing them, wonderful!

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7828 posts

I have seen hundreds of peoples photos on trip reports and forums, and after awhile they do often seem to look the same,, but I have to say Scott, you have some truly amazing shots, lighting, set up , just amazing. Thinking you should go back and take some more!

Posted by Scott
Vermilion, Ohio, USA
7 posts

Thanks, everyone. Pat - I do believe you're right. I do need to go back and take some more!!

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17792 posts

Scott, I also wanted to compliment you on the great photos - good composition. I was surprised they were taken with a P&S Camera. Were you using mostly JPG or also RAW? I'm also somewhat of a photographer and pack a large DSLR on travels, as it provides a lot more flexibility. I've always used Canon but perhaps I'll take a closer look at the Fuji products (possibly the F900EXR as I prefer more zoom range than the X20 offers). Cheers!

Posted by Scott
Vermilion, Ohio, USA
7 posts

Ken - Thanks! They were shot in RAW. I didn't want to take a big DSLR because I knew I would be out walking all day. The Fuji X20 was just the right size and gives good results for a P&S.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17792 posts

Scott, Thanks for the info. How much post production did you do with the images, and what software did you use? I know what you mean about packing a large DSLR around all day when walking. I agree, it's a bit of a "pain", but I put up with it because that's the only way I can get some of the shots that I want. I did have a look at the Fuji F900 and Panasonic ZS-30 yesterday, but I'm cringing at the thought of dropping $525 for a Camera I don't really need. In addition to my DSLR, I also pack a Canon P&S, so it's hard to justify the money for a new Camera. Maybe I'll win the Lottery this week......

Posted by Alexander
Manhattan, KS
277 posts

I must say your Notre Dame Gargoyle photo is fabulous. One of the best I've ever seen! I wish I had your eye! Bravo!

Posted by ann
staten island, new york, usa
169 posts

I just loved your photos! Thank you for sharing. I have been to Paris a few times and it was great to see just wonderful photos. If you go back to Europe, please share your next set of photos. I looked up your camera on the web and will write down the information if I ever buy another camera. It would be my first choice. I am going to study your photos to see if I can understand how you took them and improve upon my taking photos. I am going to Istanbul and Rome this year and hope to take some good photos, but not as good as yours! Again, amazing photos and thank you for sharing.

Posted by Scott
Vermilion, Ohio, USA
7 posts

Thank you, again! I can't wait to go back to France and I will definitely share my photos here. Ken - I used Lightroom 4 to convert the images from RAW then I would do any final tweaking in Photoshop CS6. In my own tests, I found that LR4 seemed to do the best job of converting (even better than the software that came with the camera).

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17792 posts

Scott, Thanks for the info on your RAW software. I tend to use DXO most of the time, but may take a closer look at Lightroom. I'm on a Pension so no way I can afford CS-6. Hopefully I'll get some good shots this year. I'll have to try tweaking the settings in DXO to see if I can increase the contrast and saturation when I do the RAW conversion. Cheers!

Posted by Melinda
Ellicott City, Maryland
2 posts

Hi Scott, As everyone has said the pictures that you took were breathtaking! I wanted you know where you stayed while your were in Paris? Hotel or rental unit? Thanks Melinda

Posted by Scott
Vermilion, Ohio, USA
7 posts

Hi Melinda, Thanks! I stayed at the Hotel Muguet, in the Rue Cler area (recommended by Rick Steves - and by me!). It was a nice walk to the Eiffel Tower and very near the subway stations. Nice place. Scott

Posted by tim
phoenix
32 posts

Thanks for the report Scott. I too hope to fall in love with the city within hours(since I am unsure I will).

Your photos, especially the night ones, are amazing. The photo of the statue looking at the Eiffel Tower is my favorite. I definitely need to take a photo class or two before my trip in September.

Oh, the doll photo really creeped me the blank out :O But I forgive you.

Posted by Susan
Sausalito, California
3209 posts

What a treat to see your photos... amazing shots. So glad you fell in love with Paris and had a good time!

Posted by Diane
Westford, MA, USA
233 posts

These are the best photos I have seen on this forum. Amazing work! I love the way you captured the lighting and shadows. You covered a lot of ground…. I’m returning this May, sweet, can’t wait!!!
Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Margaret
Hollywood, Fl, USA
215 posts

Wonderful pictures
Thank you for sharing. I have a Paris screen saver that's dreamy