Golden Dome of Les Invalides

Among the Lutetian limestone structures of Paris, the golden dome of Les Invalides glows at the moment of sunset. Before its illumination activates, I’m not sure the Tour Eiffel can match it.

Golden Dome of Les Invalides

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Boulevard Garibaldi et la Tour Eiffel

Spokes of major boulevard traffic stretch out from the Tour Montparnasse, golden streaks across the city. The Eiffel Tower makes a perfect vertical accompaniment to the earthbound light channels.

Boulevard Garibaldi et la Tour Eiffel

Brightest Tower

After nightfall, the Eiffel Tower puts on an hourly strobe light show that transforms the tower into a sparkly pillar in the city skyline. Much as a flash can brighten a photograph, this effect also means that long-exposure photographs of the tower make it the brightest object in the skyline by an order of magnitude.

Brightest Tower

Tour Eiffel

There’s that perfect moment when the sky is still blue but the oranges of sodium vapor lamps begin to scatter from the surfaces of the clouds and the Eiffel Tower looks particularly otherworldly. When so many American cities have switched to lighting their streets with white LED lights, I was surprised at how much of Paris is still lit by sodium lamps.

Tour Eiffel

The Best View in Paris

A Parisian cliché says that the best view of the city comes from the top of the Tour Montparnasse—because it’s the only shot in which the enormous tower can’t be seen. My trip to Paris last week didn’t give me the time to establish that definitively, but I can certainly attest that the city looks fantastic from the deck. Cityscapes like this were what originally inspired me to get into HDR photography a decade ago, and they still fascinate me now.

The Best View in Paris