Day 16 of my Paris photography adventure started off with an unsuccessful attempt at photographing the inside of the Grand Palais, as it was closed while they set up their next exhibition.
From there, I moved on to finding a new lens.
Lenses are a topic I can go on and on about. Choosing lenses for a shoot or a trip is always a challenge for me, simply because I have way too many lenses. On this trip, I opted to take my EF 70-200 mm f/4 L, my EF 24-105 f/4 L, my EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, and my EF 8-15 f/4 L. I chose this particular set of lenses to give me a full range of focal lengths, as well as a backup wide angle lens in case my 5 D Mk III gave out.
You’ll notice these are all zoom lenses, and the great thing about zooms is the flexibility in focal length. However, I was planning on shooting the Catacombes tomorrow, and I wanted a faster lens, i.e. a lens capable of opening up to a wider aperture, thereby letting in more light. The Catacombes are dark and tripods and flash are prohibited. To get a faster lens meant going for a prime lens. Prime lenses have fewer lens elements so they let in more light. I found what I was looking for at Photocinerent. The rental process was very straightforward, although I had to make a second trip because I hadn’t brought my passport for ID verification. I paid about 60 euros for a 1 day rental, which ended up being almost 2 days since I had until noon 2 days later to return it.
You can get a really dramatic blurred out background (“bokeh”) with a prime lens opened up, as you can see here with this shot taken on the Metro. This exposure settings here were f/1.2, 1/60 sec, ISO 100.
I also took this shot of a couple of guys I’ve gotten to know at “Istanbul Planet,” the Turkish fast food place near my apartment. They were so happy to have their picture taken that they said the next kebab was on them.
I took this with my telephoto lens at a nearby park. I used my 70-200 mm lens on my Rebel, giving an effective focal length of up to 320 mm (multiply by 1.6 for Canon crop sensors). It’s a lot easier shooting candid shots of people from 100 feet away, as opposed to sticking the camera right up in their face (unless they are giving away kebabs, that is).
I started my nighttime photo rounds with a trip to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. I was grateful to get there just barely in time to capture the sun setting behind downtown.
I then stopped at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier just below the Arc de Triomphe. I put my fast lens to good use here, as I was able to use fast shutter speeds in low light to get some great captures of the flame. I used a shutter speed of 1/1500 sec at f/1.2 and ISO 800.
Then I headed over the Hôtel des Invalides to capture some night shots while the blue hour was rapidly fading. The prime lens worked just great here.
I may have mentioned this in an earlier post, but that roof is made of solid gold!
I can’t wait until tomorrow…the Catacombes!