Standing on the banks of the Seine, on one of the many bridges that litter the great river, I was speechless for one of the first times in my entire life. In that moment, the colours of the sky and sheer beauty of the architecture of one of the most beautiful churches in the world merely confirmed to me that moving to Paris has turned me into the fully fledged romantic I was always meant to be. Notre Dame at sunset was everything I had ever imagined it to be.
The sky was filled with hues of candy pinks, oranges and purples and the raised banks of the Seine due to the recent flood waters meant that the buildings were fully reflected in the river below.
As with everything in Paris, if you’re going to do something, then you should probably do it the right way! This doesn’t just go for ordering your morning expresso but for visiting Notre Dame at sunset as well.
If you’re going to Notre Dame at sunset rather than sunrise, then you should go behind the cathedral for the best view of the setting sun. The best viewing points are from the bridges Pont de L’Archêveche and Pont de la Tournelle.
Tips for taking sunset pictures (and Notre Dame at Sunset):
- Sunset pictures work best when there are at least a couple of clouds in the sky. This will ensure better candy colours when the sun is setting.
- If you’re looking to do a sunstar setting behind the cathedral from one of the bridges (or the garden immediately behind the cathedral), then I recommend reading this article.
- If you want to make a puddlegram, then I recommend going down onto Quai de la Tournelle and taking your shot from there.
- When you want to get the best colours from the sky, you should underexpose the photo so that you don’t lose any definition.
- Shoot at as low as an ISO number as possible in order to reduce noise. In order to counterbalance this lack of light, you’ll need a longer shutter speed (and maybe even a tripod).
- If you shoot your images in RAW, then you’ll have ore ability to manipulate the image later on and draw out the colours.