Louvre

A couple of nights in Paris…

Louvre

SONY f/2.5, 1/60 sec, ISO-800

I’m back in the states, but I still have a lot of photographs I’m pouring through. On a free weekend during my trip to the United Kingdom, I decided to make a trip to Paris, France. Unlike living in Texas, everything is only a few hours away in Europe. Two and a half hours on a train and going underwater through a dark tunnel was all I needed to find myself in Paris.

I always dreamed about taking photos of this place, but never did I think I’d actually be able too. I had to force myself to just enjoy the sights and not look at everything through the lens of my camera. As a photographer in a new place. The first thing you want to do is photograph everything. Sometimes it’s best to just take it all in the first time.

The photo above was from my first night there and exploring the outside of the Louvre Museum. The Louvre, of course, is the most famous museum in the world. At night the glass pyramid that rests in the middle of this once fortress lights up in the Paris night.

That night, there was a concert, so I also was able to photograph rows of people watching the musicians performing.

Paris Streets

SONY f/2.5, 1/80 sec, ISO-800

The Louvre lights up everywhere at night, and you don’t even need a tripod majority of the time. A tripod will help, but there is so much light around the area, just adjust your settings accordingly and be still while you photograph the city. You’ll see some excellent photographs come out of your camera, like the one I took above, of a small restaurant. There are small restaurants everywhere, so enjoy the culinary experience that is Paris. I could do a blog on just the food I tasted.

Louvre

SONY f/2.5, 1/60 sec, ISO-800

The lighting at night at the Louvre and everywhere in Paris is spectacular. During the summer, the blue skies stretched out into the late night, and I still saw brilliant skies well past 10 p.m. It’s more like a golden two to three hour in the city of lights.

Paris Streets

SONY f/10, 1/1600 sec, ISO-400

While I could have stayed out all night, I did need to get some rest before starting my journey to actually take in the sights of Paris. The incredible architecture photograph above is one example of the buildings found around the city. This was near their art district.

Louvre

SONY f/7.1, 1/1250 sec, ISO-400

The Louvre was surrounded with statues inside, outside, and even sitting on the ledge. Since they didn’t allow visitors to go on the balcony, I had to take this one from a window and do some editing to make the water spots on the window disappear. This statue just looks down and stares at the hoards of people that visit this museum every hour of the day.

Louvre

SONY f/7.1, 1/1250 sec, ISO-400

Hanging out near those windows on the top floors gave me an elegant look around the Louvre. The area used to be a fortress back in the day, but over time it has become a mecca of art.

I know I’ve mentioned the Louvre a lot, but I did spend most of my time there. I even had a hotel nearby called the Hotel Prince Albert Louvre.

Hotel Key

SONY f/7.1, 1/125 sec, ISO-400

This is a quick reminder that a lot of places in Paris, as well as Europe, do not have air-conditioning units in their rooms. After a week in Europe, I was already used to not having it. All I did was open the big windows and let the air circulate. The hotel was quaint and resembled something from the 1900s. My favorite part was the key in the photo above. No card key at this hotel. It gave me that old-world feeling.

Next on my list was the iconic Eiffel Tower. I was only there for a couple of days, so I did the most touristy things I could.

Locks at the Eiffel Tower

SONY f/9, 1/160 sec, ISO-400

The locks were everywhere, and not just near the Eiffel Tower. I initially couldn’t find many of them on the bridges, but I did find them everywhere else. I snuck in this photo on stairs that led to the bottom of a deck before another couple obscured my view by placing another lock on the railing.

Eiffel Tower

SONY f/9, 1/200 sec, ISO-400

The Eiffel Tower is large and impressive, but I believe the view is better faraway. This is a personal preference, but I was able to do more with the Eiffel Tower and skies when I was farther away. I lined up the Eiffel Tower and managed this shot as the sun was going down. If you are photographing the Eiffel Tower, remember that at night it has to be pitch-black before the lights start to sparkle on it. It really doesn’t feel like Paris until you do visit the Eiffel Tower.

If you ever have a chance to visit this city, remember to take a bunch of camera cards. You’ll have an excellent photograph on every corner.

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View from the Hoxton hotel rooftop

Conference time in Portland!

Dragon Boats in Portland, Oregon

SONY f/10, 1/160 sec, ISO-100

This past week I was able to spend some time in Portland, Oregon, for my CASE Social Media & Community Conference. The conference was a lot of fun, and it allowed me the opportunity to enjoy Portland and everything it has to offer.

I saw Dragon Boat racing, a Pixar exhibit and photographed places from rooftops.

Wall-E

SONY f/6.3, 1/100 sec, ISO-1000

The Pixar exhibit was part of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. It was a separate exhibit brought in to show the science behind the Pixar movies. There were plenty of places to do photo-ops, and you were also able to experiment with the movie-creating method.

Toy Story sketches

SONY f/6.3, 1/125 sec, ISO-2000

The rest of the museum had a lot of activities for kids, and then you were able to see the back part of the museum outside, which included a submarine you could climb into. We didn’t have time for the submarine, but I snapped some pictures of the Dragon boats practicing and the bikers going around the museum trail.

Portland Bike Trail

SONY f/7.1, 1/640 sec, ISO-100

I also made time to visit Voodoo Doughnuts and a lot of food trucks. We went to Revolution Hall and caught a show titled “Terrible, Thanks For Asking” about a podcaster and some of her stories. It was funny and personal. I’ll need to start taking in Nora McInerny’s podcast now that I know of her.

Voodoo Doughnut Courtyard

SONY f/8, 1/125 sec, ISO-200

I didn’t just stay in the downtown city but also went for a morning hike at the Hoyt Aborterum. I’m not used to seeing such tall trees or being in a forest, so it was all a new experience. Was able to walk through a mini-bamboo forest too.

Hoyt Arboretum trees

SONY f/6.3, 1/100 sec, ISO-200

Other places I was able to experience was the Saturday Market, where I found a lot of great art pieces for my house. The arcade bar, known as Ground Kontrol, had $7 free play nights on Wednesday. I played pinball for over an hour. I also visited Powell’s book, a three-story bookstore that I could stay in forever.

Chinese Gate

SONY f/6.3, 1/160 sec, ISO-200

This city is known for rooftop views, and it wasn’t hard to find any. Staying at the Hoxton hotel gave me easy access to a rooftop. The guest service from the Hoxton was superb, and the views from the windows and roof gave me a great view of the city from any viewpoint. The famous Chinese Portland gate is also outside of this place for another great photo opportunity of an iconic landmark. Portland is not weird, but it is a lot of fun. Plus, it feels like the 90s never did leave it, and I’m glad that it hasn’t.

View from the Hoxton hotel rooftop

SONY f/7.1, 2 sec, ISO-100

Tasha at the Carnival

Some carnival practice…

Tasha at the Carnival

SONY f/1.8, 1/8 sec, ISO-100

When you’re learning a new camera, you have to put it through its paces. Find out what makes it tick and push it to the limits. I wanted to see how far I could push the camera at night, and I was not disappointed with these long exposures. For a while, these shots were only possible with my Alienbee system, but now with the new Sony camera, I have so much more freedom.

Tasha at the Carnival

SONY f/1.8, 1/10 sec, ISO-100

I recruited my friend Tasha. She’s a gamer and likes to cosplay. This would be our first photo shoot without a cosplay. We decided to go with a theme though. She dressed like a gamer girl who was taking a break from the games and having some fun at the carnival.

Tasha at the Carnival

SONY f/2, 1/25 sec, ISO-100

I had fun with her hoodie and experimented with the different lighting patterns from the carnival. I still used a tripod, but I didn’t have to lower my shutter any less than 1/8 of a second.

Tasha at the Carnival

SONY f/1.8, 1/30 sec, ISO-100

Tasha at the Carnival

SONY f/2, 1/25 sec, ISO-100

Fun set! Too bad the carnival is only here in Wichita Falls for only two weeks. Can’t wait to try some new stuff next time.

Tasha at the Carnival

SONY f/3.5, 1/30 sec, ISO-100