Chasing Light at the Louvre


Somehow it wasn’t until this winter that I noticed how wonderful December light is in Paris. The low sun casts a wonderfully theatrical spotlight, and shorter days mean you’re more likely to experience the feeling of early morning or dusk. All those layers of extra atmosphere between the light and the lens…it’s like nature’s Instagram filter.


I must be getting more into photography because I find myself doing something new: chasing sunlight. I often quicken my pace, sometimes to a slow jog, to reach a sunny spot before a cloud steals away its ambiance.

When I come across a scene and the mood is right I feel an excited sense of urgency, as if I’m playing Hungry Hungry Hippos and all the potentially award-winning photos surround me like white marbles. I’ve got to gobble up as many as possible before time’s up.

When giving tours of Paris I sometimes talk about the Impressionists, and how that beyond all the charming subject matter what they were really painting was light. For those guys, the light of 2pm was vastly different from 4pm, 6pm.

It’s something we mere mortals rarely notice, but it’s one of the lovely nuances of our world, isn’t it?



Here’s hoping the light is shining on your part of the world today, and that you manage to snag a few marbles.

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27 comments

  • I love thinking about how the Impressionists painted light. A lovely reminder with gorgeous photos. Makes me really miss Paris. <3

  • I love the way you have captured the light (and the essence of that particular moment in time) in these photos. It makes me long to go back to Paris and to experience that early morning light and the noises and smells associated with it: crisp air, coffee, croissants, chirping sparrows… the sounds of life beginning to take on the day.

    • Thank you Lisa for this lovely articulate note! I realize that this blog is a double edged sword that helps people remember the city but also makes them miss it! Bit I’m sure you’ll make your way back to the sparrows and coffee one day. 🙂

  • These photos absolutely blow me away, the layers of focus and light, the crispness of the people. Love love love.

  • It is very true and the light in Paris in December through march is amazing!!!…well done and well said…see you on the 17th February Arts et Métiers cafe …let’s say 2pm??…how does that sound???…I arrive at 11am and live a 5 minute walk from there?

  • Happy New Years,

    How have you been? We went to school together if you don’t recognize my name.

    Hope all is well, had not seen a blog in my email in awhile, nice pictures here one from Brooklyn.

    David

    On Jan 5, 2017 9:28 AM, “A French Frye in Paris” wrote:

    > A French Frye in Paris posted: ” Somehow it wasn’t until this winter that > I noticed how wonderful December light is in Paris. The low sun casts a > wonderfully theatrical spotlight, and shorter days mean you’re more likely > to experience the feeling of early morning or dusk. All those laye” >

  • Light is enabling, encompassing, and invisible, yet without it we cannot see. You have captured so much of what is the essence of Paris with your captivating photographs. They are a joy to share. Thank you for doing so.

    • Thank you so much Maureen! It’s a joy to have my experiences shared as well, thanks to loyal followers like yourself. I hope you’re doing well and had a lovely holiday.

  • I’ve been observing light and shadows, especially shadows for a long time. I find the shadows more intriguing that the object sometimes, you’ve delivered wonderful examples of both in your photographs. Lovely.

  • OK read it! And I love what you say about capturing shots like a hungry hippos game! I do the same (when I find the rare time to go take pictures). And I also love your “nature’s own Instagram filter” bit! Lol!

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