The moment I saw Pont Alexandre III, I knew it would be a focal point for our visit to Paris last Fall. The ornate bridge across the Seine is a landmark in and of itself, but it also provides amazing views of the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais. It was one of the first locations we scouted, and we wound up coming back to it two more times. (This seems to be a trend for us. See our post about our multiple trips to the Trocadero Gardens on that same visit to Paris.)
Our first instinct was to get a sunrise photo with a beautiful pink sky hanging over the bridge and the Eiffel Tower. Indeed, we got up early enough and headed out on a brisk morning to capture just that! It was so early that the only other people on the bridge were other photographers out to beat the crowds and catch the beautiful light.
Of course, being in the right place at the right time is only part of the challenge of photography. Jake knows how to use his camera creatively. If you’ve been using your fancy camera like a point and shoot, you might want to have a look at his e-book, Easy Manual Mode Photography, in which he explains how to use manual mode without the math, tables, or jargon.
Sometimes we get our best shots through careful planning, but other times, circumstances force us to get creative and good things happen. Pont Alexandre III wasn’t just a destination for us, it was also part of the scenery we passed as we made our way to other attractions. One day it started raining as we were making our way up the river, and we ducked under a copse of trees near the bridge for shelter. It was one of those beautiful patches of trees that you see all over Paris, the ones with a canopy shaped like a row of carefully shaped cubes. Leave it to the French to turn even their city streets into a fantasy garden.
From under the branches, Jake and I could see the statues of Pont Alexandre III, right in front of us. The sidewalk, now emptied of pedestrians fleeing the rain, was glistening with water. Far in the background, the Eiffel Tower stood out against the gray sky. Jake nudged me with his elbow, but Lisa and I were way ahead of him . Even though I loved the photos we took there on the other morning, the experience of that rainy morning made this photo my favorite.
As we said in our post about storytelling with photos, the best moments make the best photos. I can still remember how nervous I was about keeping Lisa’s one year old head dry, but how she was making it hard by trying to play with the umbrella. It would have been frustrating, if not for the look of sheer joy she had as she looked up at that big black circle above her and shook it around. I know they say you don’t form memories until you’re at least two, but I know some corner of her brain will remember the rainy fall days in Paris.
If not, she’ll always have the photo.