Guest post: Different angles of Mademoiselle Eiffel by Patrik Banas

The guest post "Different angles of Mademoiselle Eiffel" is by Patrik Banas (Web | Blog | Facebook):

If you have only a limited opportunity to take pictures during your occasional travels, do not hesitate and take this as a possibility to train your eye, find more angles, try something new… aka “work it, work it, work it”. Even one and very same object, can be taken in the numerous different ways. Let me share examples from my summer, very short trip to Paris.

When you are visiting Paris, you can't miss Eiffel tower. It is really visible from almost everywhere! Obviously I have taken few nice classical "postcard shots" as well (they will come later!), but let me first start with THE tower from some different, a bit unusual angles.


Nikon D800, 24-70mm at 28mm, f/22 @ 10sec, ISO 100

This one has been taken next to a small carousel. And as I LOVE the motion in the pictures, I had to incorporate a carousel into the frame. Mind a beautiful sky - all brought by favorite dusky FLW filter, otherwise picture is almost straight out of the camera.

Unfortunately, majority of the tourists in Paris had the same clever idea about the "visit to the top" of the tower – to come early in the morning for the opening (9.30am)! That’s why queuing line looked never ending. Total time from the beginning of the line to the top and back was five hours! All other activities for that day were cancelled... However, during climbing up I was at least exploring different angles. Still the same tower, but I was frankly amazed, how many opportunities I could find! Work it, work it, work it…

Ok, now we are getting to a more "postcard" version of the Eiffel tour. As you can see, it was a very cloudy day, and about an hour prior to the dusk I was blessed with a 5 minutes of gold sunshine rays. This has been captured in this HDR composite - heavy clouds above the city and a slight moment of the sun greetings, just above the horizon. But trust me, this is still not THE postcard one.

The following picture has been taken just  5 minutes after the one with carousel, about 500ft away. On the way to the top of Trocadero stairs I have noticed this unusual angle and situation, where the tower would appear like growing from the bushes. Obviously, bushes were pretty dark on the picture, just a silhouette of it.

So my Nikon DB-900 flash came handy and during a 20 sec exposure I have fired manually a simple burst to lighten up the foreground in front of me and achieve a sense of the tower nested in the green. Final result really surprised me and I had another shot to my collection of the same subject.


Nikon D800, 24-70mm at 42mm, f/22 @ 20sec, ISO 100. 
Nikon SB-900 fired off the camera with a ¼ of the power and within about 1m (3ft) distance.

Enough teasing. Here it comes. The most classical Eiffel tower view, the most classical postcard shot. Something you HAVE to shoot on your own, otherwise it doesn't count and you were NOT in Paris 🙂 Well, mademoiselle Eiffel is very photogenic, no doubt about that. And her illuminated, curvy shape against a dusky, cloudy and colorful sky has no competition in Paris. So here I was. After playing enough with a carousel and flashes, I am arriving to the top of Trocadero square and I am fighting elbow to elbow with all other photographers and thousands (literally!) tourists to get the best available position. Keeping an eye (other one, which wasn't glued to the viewfinder) on roaming individuals who had a tendency to kick  my tripod (yeeah, and this is not something you want at the end of your 20 sec exposure! 🙂


When is the best time to shoot a vertical picture? Right after the horizontal one! And once you are there, milk the situation and try to get "close ups" and details too. I've personally really enjoyed getting the maximum out of few minutes of the magic light. Have fun too, have a wonderful exploring time and … work it, work it, work it! 😉 And of course, enjoy your holidays!

This Eiffel session you can find on my blog here.

Patrik is an enthusiastic Nikon photographer, who loves to travel and explore the world through his lenses. You can meet him at his website, blog or follow him through facebook.

If you have an interesting idea for a guest postyou can contact me here.

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  • peteee363

    that is a great idea I have used. shoot from different times of the day, and many different angles. also, look at small parts of the whole. sometimes you see a detail other walk by, and never see. and traveling is much easier with digital gear, since you don’t have to load film, or bring it back to develop. but sadly the tsa steal way too much stuff, so limiting what you take is now the only way. in the 80’s I once took a view camera to London, tripod and all. today I could not imagine doing that.
    oh, and some real cool shots of the tower. I like the shooting time, between day and night to capture the perfect mix of light and dark.

  • Uncle Chunky

    Wow. Another rambling nonsensical post full of boring photos. I hate slow news days.

    • Hung Leica Horse

      Wow. Another rambling nonsensical comment full of bool sheet. I hate slow people (or should I say r-word).

  • Maji

    I like your suggestion about using the different angles… it is very difficult to see but once you see the image, it lights the proverbial bulb in your head 🙂 I like the images you posted here and the Eiffel Tower and the carousel is really a new take on the classic. Thank you for sharing.

  • Having recently come back from Paris, I recognise how difficult it is to get great angles of the Eiffel Tower. Great set.

  • KnightPhoto

    Likewise, been there and really appreciate and enjoy your set!

  • Heint

    are you aware of the fact that the light show on the tower is copyright protected? I was forced to take night images including the tower off my homepage…

  • Neopulse

    Interesting shot with the carousel 🙂

  • desmo

    great article,
    outstanding pic’s

  • amazing how people still think worth taking a picture of a bunch of rusty rails after so much time and so much pictures… I appreciate the technical skill employed, but I’d rather use my time in Paris to look and shoot other, less obvious, features.

  • Yoshi

    I really suggest not going in peak season if you can. There’s nothing like a crowd to take the magic out of something. Even in the middle of winter the queue for the eifel tower is long but no way is it 5 hours.

  • Fr_og

    Regarding the length of queues at ET, keep in mind there are at least 3 ways to reduce them: 1/ climb the tower on foot (possible up to 2nd level, not the 3rd); 2/ buy tickets when they become available on the official website (90 days in advance IIRC); 3/ book a “behind the scene” tour. Then there is the 4th method, but pricier, which is booking a lunch/dinner at the Jules Verne restaurant.

    As for the copyright of illuminated ET:

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