I don’t know about you, but I just cannot wait for it to be spring already! As a result of dreary weather, a lack of sunlight and deciding that there is such a thing as too many winter knits (okay, maybe that last one was a lie); I simply can’t wait for springtime in Paris!
This morning, I set my alarm for 6 AM as I’d seen that the weather forecast was set to be good for the day. I hate early mornings with a passion… unless there’s photography involved, of course! I’d planned to meet a couple of friends at Trocadero for sunrise and so didn’t mind too much when the familiar buzz sounded in my ear. I quickly rushed downstairs, made myself an extra strong coffee and headed for the metro. One of the best things about getting the early metro- or indeed going anywhere in Paris early in the morning- is the lack of people around! And so when I arrived at Trocadéro to meet my friends, we pretty much had the place to ourselves; something unheard of at sunset!
Sunrise at Trocadéro never fails to impress and this morning was no exception. At the moment, the fountain of Warsaw (the large water mirror that sits in Trocadéro, parallel to the Eiffel Tower) is empty of water as it’s being renovated and cleaned. Although it was a little disappointing that we weren’t able to make full use of the reflective fountain to take photos, the sky was still beautiful.
Instead, we stayed at the top of the Parvis de Trocadéro; somewhere I’ve never actually taken pictures! As the sunlight burst over the horizon, shadows started dancing across the sky and the Iron Lady looked as beautiful as ever. I couldn’t resist taking a dozen photo (read: more like a couple of hundred).
Springtime in Paris
Apart from the ever improving weather and the general happy atmosphere that permeates the place, the best thing about springtime in Paris is all of the beautiful cherry blossoms around the place! After the epic sunrise, the weather quickly turned muggy and the sky a weird shade of gray. We decided to wander around Trocadéro as the gardens are pretty… and that’s when I spotted it!
The first sign of spring. A small tree not far from the Eiffel Tower was in full bloom; the first sign of a beautiful spring to come…
How to Photograph Cherry Blossoms:
- I try to keep my ISO as low as possible for detailed photos as the noise that a high ISO can produce just annoys me! For these photos, I used ISO 200.
- You want to keep your shutter speed as high as possible in case your hand shakes. Sharp detail is harder to correct later on, especially in macro photography. For these photos I used a minimum shutter speed of 1/60; any lower than that and I would not have been able to keep my hand steady enough to capture the detail- I’d drunk way too much coffee!
- If you want a ‘blurry’ background, like I’ve done with the Eiffel Tower, then use the lowest aperture number you can. This will ensure a sharper focus on the foreground and a more ‘blurred’ effect in the background. For the majority of these photos, I used autofocus. However, for a couple of shots, I just couldn’t get the camera to focus on the exact flower I wanted to capture and so reverted to manual focus.
- Don’t be afraid to play around with the camera settings and make mistakes- have fun!