Paris / photography


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Last Updated on 15th February 2017 by Sophie Nadeau

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).

sunrise at trocadero

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!

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About Author

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, though not necessarily in that order. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she's not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet food. Currently based in Paris after studies in London, she's spent most of her life living in the beautiful Devonian countryside in South West England!


  • Steph
    3rd February 2020 at 6:26 pm

    Hi Sophie,
    May I ask what time of year you took pictures of the cherry blossoms. We arrive second week April and I’m generally wondering how much “spring” we will see.

    • Sophie Nadeau
      4th February 2020 at 10:15 pm

      Each year the season is a little different, but for the past few years mid-April has been the best time to see the blooms so that sounds like perfect timing! 🙂

  • Doctear
    28th November 2017 at 9:14 am

    Hey Sophie,

    Great photos! Thanks for sharing tips on taking good quality pictures. Nature will always be the perfect subject of photography for me and Paris has all the picturesque places, things, everything! 🙂

  • Tim
    19th February 2017 at 10:38 pm

    I love Paris in any season, and these photos prove that on a good day any time of the year Paris still retains its beauty!

  • Travelling Tom
    18th February 2017 at 10:31 am

    I think getting up early that morning was definitely worth it judging by your photos! Paris looks spectacular at sunrise!

  • Mike Clegg
    18th February 2017 at 8:56 am

    Love your Trocadero pic. Definitely worth getting up for. Also nice tips on the cherry blossoms. I’d love to visit Paris in the spring

  • Haylee
    18th February 2017 at 5:22 am

    These pictures capture Paris so beautifully, so thank you for sharing your photography tips! I’d love to make it to Paris for springtime and see the cherry blossoms – just so incredibly pretty.

  • SindhuMurthy
    17th February 2017 at 6:03 pm

    really love the tips here. Eiffel tower looks spectacular with no tourists in the frame. Two of my favorite things in a single frame- Eiffel tower and cherry blossoms- look awesome.

  • Monica
    17th February 2017 at 3:46 pm

    I love visiting paris. Though have never visited during spring. Your photos are superb and I loved your tips on photography.

  • Tanja (the Red phone box travels)
    16th February 2017 at 10:59 am

    beautiful shots!

  • Emily
    15th February 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Great photos girlie! Great tips too. I just got a DSLR after not having one for yearsss an can’t wait to travel and shoot. You always capture Paris so beautifully!


  • Ken Toong
    15th February 2017 at 4:07 pm

    We will be there on April 10th.


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