This is an image of of the Eiffel Tower taken from the Montparnasse Tower. We arrive at the World Famous city of PARIS! We took a train from Amsterdam and arrived in Paris a few hours before sunset. I checked the weather and noticed that on my weather app, Today only today was the only day that it was not going to rain. So after talking to my wife, we decided to go and get a great sunset photograph of the Eiffel tower from Montparnasse tower. The Montparnasse Tower is 56 floors tall that also offers panoramic views from roof terrace.
We took the local subway to the station near the Montparnasse tower and walked to the front entrance which you will find a set of stairs on the south side of the building that leads up to the entrance for the 56 floor Observation deck and the fee is 15.00 euros. From there you walk down some stairs and you will be greeted by a guard that will rip your ticket and let you take the elevator up to the 56th floor. On the 56th floor of the Montparnasse tower you will find some shopping area for keep sakes, a Cafe for some coffee and maybe something small to eat, and lots of places to sit and enjoy the views. If you are like me, you pass of all this and head up 2 more floors to the roof. Once on the roof of the Montparnasse tower you will be greeted with a lot of plexiglass walls with some cut outs at eye level.
Obviously the west side of the building has lots of people on it due to the fact that the Eiffel tower standing all by itself in the city. Once we got to the top, the weather had changed and the sun went away. Now it’s a dark gloomy sunset that lacked color and the pop that I was hopping for. So it was time to move on plan B, a blue hour shot with the rotating light from the Eiffel Tower with the leading lines of the roads that leading away from me. The great thing about the Montparnasse Tower is that they do allow Tripods on the 56 floor along with the Roof top. So I pull out my small travel tripod and set it up looking out towards the Eiffel Tower. I tried to get a wide angle shot of this view but I felt that the Eiffel Tower was not the focal point of the image, so I put on my Canon 24-105 and found that around 60mm would give me the look I was going for.
I would say that the hardest part of trying to capture this image was dealing with the people next to you. It’s a 18″ tall by 8 feet wide cut out in the plexiglass wall that about 30-40 other people are fighting for the one perfect spot. Once I got the spot I was waiting for, the next hardest part is dealing with the bounce on the floor. Whenever someone would walk up right next to you or leave and they are within 2 feet of your tripod legs, it would cause your camera to bounce a little bit and it would create a long exposure to blur. So I gave up and went to a single exposure instead of blending the light of the Eiffel tower into a super clean HDR image. I talk more about that blending in my post on the Arc De Tripmphe at night post. you can read that post HERE
CAMERA SETTINGS / IMAGE INFO
I took 1 single image which was under exposed for the city lights. Since the sunset was very lacking of the bright light of the sun, the dynamic range of light was not that great and I knew that the Sony A7R could handle that range. I do my normal single image HDR editing on the image to open the shadows and to bring back some of the highlights that was lost in the city lights. I find that at night-time or cloudy days you really don’t need to do bracketing or HDR to create stunning images. With the technology of today’s cameras, you can almost do everything in a single image.
The hard part of this image was to find a setting to capture rotating light of the Eiffel Tower while still keeping the file nice and clean. I played around with lower F stops and keeping ISO at 100 but I wanted to keep a F8 aperture since I knew that the Canon 24-105 F4 is not the sharpest at F4. I raised the ISO to 400 and found that to be the perfect balance to keep a low ISO and to get a 1/2 shutter speed to capture the Light of the tower.
No. of Exposures: 1 images
EV Range: -1
Focal Length: 60mm
Lens: Canon 24-105 F/4
Camera: Sony A7R
Software: LR5, PS6, Nik Color Efex, onOne.
So that is how this image come about, If you have any questions about the area and how I captured this image, please feel free to ask in the comments below.