Yes, we walk. And take the Metro (one of the best in the world, IMHO). Everywhere. Average was about 5 miles a day. It’s the best way to see the city and find interesting photo ops. An old unlocked iPhone got a French simcard with a very reasonable data plan and we had GPS and internet just about everywhere. Sometimes the good old maps came in handy though.
Yes, back to photography. Weather was not always ideal. It’s always the wild card when you travel. But the temperature was unusually warm for early November. Though it seemed to be foggy every morning, it usually burned off and as I look at my shots there were only a few days of bald sky. At least some of the cloudy days had clouds with definition.
I wore my camera like I wear my glasses—I felt undressed without it. Though by the 2nd week I was not wearing it to breakfast at the neighborhood patisserie down the block from the hotel. What I did not anticipate was how we scheduled our days. In hindsight I should have known. We’d leave after breakfast for the day’s sightseeing. It was usually to some other side of town so we rarely returned until we were ready to call it a day. The tripod never got opened. Yet I think some of my blue hour and night shots are quite successful and among the best from the trip. Yes I had to resort to high ISOs, larger apertures and noise reduction in Lightroom. Walls, railings and posts were sometimes helpful for stability. Yet some shots were merely hand held even in a moving boat on the River Seine.
The 16-50mm performed like a champ. I couldn’t be happier with this lens. The wide angle (24mm on my APS sensor) was great for cityscapes and inside the churches. And I believe it’s a much sharper lens. I didn’t even carry the 18-200mm when we were out and about. Sure there were a few times I wished I had the extra focal length. Nor did I use the polarizer. It might have been helpful in some cases though. I simply didn’t want to leave it on mainly because of the reduction in light. Stopping to put it on/take it off was just too much trouble. Too much time spent on photography gets me the stink eye from my companion. I have to get the shots quick and move on. You learn to be fast. If you have a few misses, it’s not the end of the world.
As for the SD cards: When a card got to about 1000 images I put a fresh card in. Total image count for the 2 weeks is about 2880 before deleting the worthless ones. I’m still reviewing and editing them but the count for rejection up to 154 as I write this. Trust me there are more for that list. At this point the count of top level shots that I might be able to use for prints or competition is 80, so less than 3%. There are a LOT (maybe 50% or more) of "record" shots not intended to be for prints or competition.
Batteries: I usually needed 1.5 batteries a day. Not bad battery life.
We left Paris twice in the 2 weeks. Once to visit Chartres (charming small town with a fabulous historic cathedral) and once to visit Chantilly (Chateau that is now an important art museum in a picture perfect setting). Both recommended if you are ever in Paris and want a day trip. Easy to get to via trains (Nice trains by the way).
All in all, photographically a great trip, and generally a great trip. We ate well!
Paris to DC, DC to Hartford. Wouldn’t you know it, DC to Hartford, delayed 3 hours. Grrrr!!!
View my faves here: