Episode 51: A Photographer in Paris with Brian Jannsen

Peggy Farren 2017-08-29

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Episode 51: A Photographer in Paris with Brian Jannsen

“It’s amazing how much adding a bit of humanity to a city shot gives it life. Don’t try to get it totally devoid of people.”

What to Bring to Paris?

“The city can accommodate every piece of equipment you have. It depends on your style of photography and how much you’re willing to lug around.”

- Long Lens (200mm) - Architecture is full of details, or allows you to stand off and compress the city
- Wide Lens (16mm)
- Good Zoom (24-70 or 24-105) - for walking/sightseeing
- Fast Lens - 51.4MP for bokeh effect
- Tripod (Brian uses Gitzo carbon-fiber legs with a Manfrotto gear head which allows for small adjustments)
- Batteries! Extra cards

Where to Go and What to See
- Whatever your pre-conceived image of Paris is, whether it’s the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, etc. - do that FIRST
- Gorgeous bridges along the river between Notre Dame and Eiffel Tower (2 mile walk)
- Landmarks: Notre Dame, Pont Alexandre III (bridge), Invalides (Napoleon’s hospital for veterans, large gold dome), Palais Garnier (Opera House) - some say it rivals Versailles in grandeur with smaller crowds, making it easier to photograph; Sacre Coeur in Montmartre (Basilica of the Sacred Heart), Grand Palais, Petit Palais, Place de Vosges in Marais
- Food - pastries and meals are works of art
- Flowers - gardens, shops, etc. Parisians take their flowers seriously!

*Brian highly recommends the Metro for transport. Your other option is Uber, which is better than the taxis. Taxis are only available at taxi stands that can be difficult to find.*

Travel Tips
- Get out early! Sunrise presents gorgeous opportunities, and the crowds are thin until well after 9:00am.
- Carry anything valuable in a pocket that is not readily accessible. (Pacsafe makes several kinds of secure travel bags)
- Be aware of what’s going on around you. Watch your friend’s back.
- Look like you know where you’re going as much as possible.
- Keep moving and watch the people around you.
- Beware of groups of young teenage girls asking you to sign a petition. While you’re distracted, others in the group are picking your pockets!
- Never pass up a bathroom - public facilities are hard to find! Think ahead and take note of where restrooms are located for future use. *Bring coins! Many are pay-toilets.

Photo Tips
- Smaller apertures (F16 or F22) will capture starburst effects on lights.
- Panning can create some interesting images. There are a plethora of bicycles and scooters to shoot in this method.
- Street photography can be more difficult - Parisians don’t like getting their picture taken.
- Many interiors are very dark. If you are not allowed to set up a tripod, you should be using 3200 ISO.
- Each building has their own security protocols regarding cameras and tripods. Be respectful of the rules.

Brian leads many photo workshops in Europe. To find out more visit his website.

See you next week for episode 52!

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With over 17 years as a full-time professional photographer, Peggy offers photography training through her training center, “Understand Photography”.

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