Monday, January 20, 2014

Photography Around Paris ~ la traversee hivernale 2014

I recently posted a list of events that might be of interest to photographers living or visiting Paris, France.  This is the first installment of a series of blog posts devoted to checking off items on that list.

My sister blog, Retiring Out of America, will cover each event or location from the perspective of "alternative" things to do and see.  This photography blog will cover these things from the perspective of cameras, lenses, and image making technologies.

I begin with la traversee de Paris, hivernale, 2014.

Twice a year, once in January and again in July, l'Association Vincennes Anciennes hosts a great photo-op.  Over 600 old cars, motorcycles, and (in winter) bicycles work their way around the streets of Paris.

In winter, they leave the Chateau de Vincennes around 08h00 in the morning, go to Monmartre thru la place de Republique, come down the hill to spend time in conversation while eating a bit of cheese and baguette, and drink a draught or two of le vin.  They then continue on to la place de Concorde, up the Champs Elysees, around the Trocadero, across the river to le tour Eiffel, down the Blvd Saint Germain des Pres, across Pont Sully, and back to the Chateau.

The summer route is different.  It starts at the Chateau de Vincennes, it ends on the west side of the river Seine at the astronomic observatory at Mudon.

Early in the morning, French enthusiast photographers set up their tripods and get to work photographing the early arrivals.  Later, many tourists wielding low-end cameras can be seen wandering around the city snapping images as the cars blast by.

A good approach to photographing the event could be to spend a few hours in a location where everyone has parked their cars.  There are several such locations around town.   The following is what I've watched being put to good use in those situations.
  • Camera on tripod
  • Standard zoom or fixed focal length lens
  • Image stabilization turned OFF
  • Sensor sensitivity set to a very low ISO (ie: ISO50 to ISO200)
  • Lens aperture set to f/8 or f/11 for crisp detailed static display images.
  • Triggered using the two or three second delay

For wandering the crowds as they gather, here is what I've seen put to good use.
  • Camera hand-held
  • Standard zoom
  • Image stabilization turned ON
  • Sensor ISO set to float
  • Aperture set to wide open (to limit depth of field and separate the subject from the background)
  • Shutter speed set to at least 1/150th of a second (to kill blurry images) 
  • Triggered in Single Shot or Continuous mode

If you choose to photograph the cars as they move, you might keep the following in mind.
  • Camera hand-held panning _with_ the chosen vehicle
  • Longer than standard zoom (I like 70-200 on APS-C or 100-400 on Full Frame, but YMWV)
  • Image stabilization turned OFF
  • If you want sharp images of cars (that might not give a sense of speed) - Sensor ISO and lens aperture set to float, and shutter speed set to 1/500th of a second or higher
  • If you want to capture the sense of speed - Sensor ISO set low, lens aperture set to between f/8 and f/16, and shutter speed set to between 1 second and 1/15th of a second (depending on how much background blur you like)
  • Triggered in Single Shot or Continuous mode (depending on your shutter speed)

When you're done, you can post your images to Flickr for all the world to see and enjoy.

No comments: