Sunday, August 31, 2008

By Popular Demand - The Eiffel Tower at Night

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.
Thanks for asking.


Frank Baron said...

Ah! I like! I used to take a lot of night shots with my trusty old Konica T3 35mm. I mostly braced it on my front porch railing and some of the shots came out surprisingly well.

I was in Paris for a few days WAAAAY back in 1971. I only ever did see the Tower from a bit of a distance and your shot captures the warm, romantic glow of gay Paree.

Nicely done Leah. Takes me back. :)

Leah J. Utas said...

Why, Frank. Thank you so much. That's lovely to hear. Y'know, the old cameras were damn fine. I learned on a rangefinder and it seems to me it was a Konica. It's been 30 years so the memory is a bit rusty. I remember adjusting for parallax and I recall the thrill of taking pictures and developing the film myself.

Reb said...

Leah, that shot is abso-f'ing-lutely wonderful! I love it! And the story!

Thomma Lyn said...

Oh wow, simply fabulous! I love the Flying Duodenum, too. :-D

Hilary said...

That's a pretty amazing shot sans tripod. Wow!

And I'll bet the wine was wonderful too. ;)

Leah J. Utas said...

Reb, I'm glad you like it. I remember well taking it.
TL, thanks so much. Glad you liked both pics.
Hilary, I appreciate your appreciation of it. Don't recall enough about the wine except it was red.

the Bag Lady said...

Awesome!! Truly awesome.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, DFBL.