Photo Daily: Waiting for the City of Light, Paris

Waiting for the City of Light, Paris ©2008

Waiting for the City of Light, Paris ©2008

This photograph I made at the Place de la Concorde in the 1er arrondissement was one I waited for. I had been photographing Paris in the late evening and middle of the night for weeks and had been taking mental notes of when the various street lamps and other building illuminations turned on and off each day. I was getting good at knowing, for example, that I had to be at a certain location before 23 heures if I wanted it to be a dark as possible, but with a particular building still illuminated, such as the Louvre.

And sometimes, I was simply waiting for the sky. That was the case for this photograph. I arrived about an hour before the street lamps turned on, making test exposures from a few different vantage points, experimenting with composition. When the lights finally did turn on, I was ready to make this image right on the cusp of day and night.

The sky was doing something wonderful in that moment, almost as if the blanket of night was being pulled across the sky to cover the now illuminated Paris. It was almost two distinct skies. The day departing and the night arriving.

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