December 11, 2011

Paris Sparkle

Photo by Petra Nass
Even the City of Light outdoes itself as it dresses for the holidays. The decorations have been up for weeks, and lights are twinkling in every arrondissement. There are new presentations every year, always worthy of the word "design."

Photo by Margot Hanley
The WICE Holiday Sparkle photography expedition captured the city in all its glory this week. The stalwart night wanderers started at the Rock n Mode Christmas at Galeries Lafayette, capturing the traditional tree (with its less traditional neon-guitar ornaments) and recording the 1912 glass and steel dome in a new light (well, actually several different colors of light as the theatre spots danced across the ceiling changing color).  (For a quick view of how the huge tree is built ... starting with the top and lifting it toward the heavens ... click here.)

Next came the windows of the grands magasins and then a short journey to stake a claim in the middle of the Champs Elysées to capture the new (low-energy) tree rings. The "sparkle" team was fearless ... and creative ... and appropriately pushy to get the images they wanted (sometimes you really have to elbow those tourists out of your way.)

Photo by Joanna Crettenand
It may look as if the intrepid explorers had one too many vin chaud. However, the truth is that experimenting with a slow shutter speed at night is fun, especially when things are sparkling. With a slow shutter (try 1/2 second or slower), you can capture movement as it blurs across the image. You can also intentionally move your camera to paint with light, or you can experiment with a zoom effect while your shutter is open. The expedition members tried it all ... and with magical results. See for yourself. And visit the new website of two of the team members (TrésorParisien) to see more of their sparkles. Happy Holidays!

Photo by Lisa Redburn

The Intrepid Explorers
For more information about the WICE photography courses, click here.