It was a glorious night in June of 1987. I was on a five–week Contiki Tour of Europe and Paris was our first stop.
That evening was the group’s first night together and our first chance to relax a bit and get to know one another.
We had an organized dinner in a restaurant somewhere and each table had at least two bottles wine included in the dinner with the option to get more. It flowed freely late into the evening.
Someone suggested walking back to the hotel and about a dozen of us set off into the warm, Parisian night. Traffic was light and hardly anyone else was about. It was as though we had the city to ourselves.
Somewhere near midnight we rounded a corner and came up the Eiffel Tower dominating the cityscape.
Of course I had to get a picture. I set the shutter on bulb and the aperture to probably F4. The film speed was probably ASA 400 though I had 200 and 1000 with me on the trip. I positioned my Nikon FM and its 50mm lens hard against my nose and pressed my elbows to my chest to stay steady. Fortunately I’d knocked back more than enough wine. I was relaxed enough to be able to take all the time I needed. I held my breath and did a slow 10 count in my mind.
I took several exposures at different times and different apertures. This was the best of the lot.
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The Big Idea: Katrina Archer
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