Blue Hour over Notre Dame de Paris

Blue Hour over Notre Dame de Paris

The ‘Blue Hour’ viewed from Notre Dame de Paris.

After a Saturday afternoon spent working in the garden, I decided that this would need a little reward. So I picked up the cam and tripod and drove downtown to ND de Paris which is a good viewpoint over the city.  As one might think right the Cathedral is closed after 7pm but in July/Aug you can climb on the towers at night until 10pm. Costs a hefty 8,5€ but it’s worth the view.
The tricky thing consists in hiding the tripod because it’s forbidden as usual. This is something quite nerving in Paris and even Police sometimes enforce this asking for official authorizations. Kind of stupid thing… That said, there are other hurdles that prevent you from taking good pics up there. There is for instance a steel net that prevents people from bending over that renders taking picture quite challenging. Time is limited too as they send up people in waves.

To get up there, I stood in line at 8:10pm and was up at 8:50, 6min after sunset. Good timing to catch the blue hour right before it starts. A few pics around and then the blue night started setting in for 40 minutes. The gargoyles looking over Paris are kind of strange and inspiring respect for such an old construction. Integrating them in a few pics is a must here.

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The view is definitely nice. In 30 years in Paris, I hadn’t had time to get up here and it’s worth doing it at least once. I took a 24-70 and the fantastic Minolta 28-135mm from 1985. That last one is heavy like a stone but ultrasharp and compensates a bit the harshness of getting a still position to shoot good pics. Anyway, despite the tough conditions up there, I managed to make a serie of pictures I doubled & tripled to get a chance of a sharp one in each batch. It’s not perfect but ok. Enjoy the pics !

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So if you come to Paris and visit town in July/Aug, don’t miss out the view from Notre Dame de Paris 🙂

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