Young girl on a bridge in Paris

Renting a Car in Gaul

My current plan is to rent a car in Montpellier and then drive around the south of France a few days before driving to Barcelona. This may be one of my worst ideas, best ideas, or something the vacillates wildly between the two. We’ll see.

Daily Photo – Young girl on a bridge in Paris

I woke up one morning around 5:30 AM to go out and grab the sunrise on the Seine. I had a loose plan to criss-cross bridges all up and down the river and catch light at various moments. There is a delightful pedestrian bridge by the Louvre and Rue Bonaparte. It’s a strange little bridge that has thousands of tiny padlocks attached to the fence. Each one has a set of initials upon it. I’m sure it would take me 15 seconds on the internet to figure out what they mean… but for now, I’m just trying to figure it all out and holding 10 different romantic possibilities in my head simultaneously.

After a shooting a set of shots with the sun rising over Notre Dame, I saw a few girls on the bridge with me. It was a little cold this morning, and they were in coats, laughing and playing with their own camera. With my tripod still set up, I grabbed my D3S and 50 prime on my sling. I pulled it up quickly to grab a shot of one of the girls as she covered her face from the cool wind of the morning.

HDR Photo

  • Love the picture… her eyes are perfect and the building behind is great. When you take a pic like this, do you ask permission (even after the fact, maybe?) I know that you have talked about how you take photos of strangers. I would love to know more about how you discuss this with the subjects, or even if you do at all. Think she is surprised to be on the front of the world’s busiest travel photography blog? lol.

  • casusan

    I love this candid shot Trey – yes, she could be a model even – wonderful eyes! Can’t wait to see all your shots from Paris!

  • An angel =)

  • Linda Castellani

    Trey, I have a friend in Montpellier who is from Austin, if you’d like me to put you in touch with an English-speaking local.

  • Wow there’s alot of mystery and intrigue in this one – the black and white really deepens that mystique!

    You’re a brave man driving in France! My poor dad did it in ’98 going to Paris. First he was cut-up in a tunnel junction by a fiat-driving maniac only to come out of the tunnel next to a tanker filled with liquid nitrogen then into the next tunnel where a jumbo jet was landing into CDG airport – his knuckles are still white.

  • Dayton

    What a stunning shot. The composition and B&W are great – and the detail in her eyes is incredible. Is this from one RAW file, or did you manage to take the usual 3?

  • Hey Trey – nice shot as always 🙂 The padlocks are used in Denmark too, lovers put their initials on them and lock them to a bridge as a symbol of lasting love. That is, until the city council clips them off :/

  • Patrick

    This picture is only 2 Megapixels again. (2000 * 991, viewed in original size) Trey, why do you do that? Did you have to crop that much? Did you stop posting the full Version like you used to? The picture itself is stunning!

  • PeterG

    This is an excellent shot! The composition with the building in the background is really nice.
    After a parachute jump with the Golden Knights, the next challenge level is certainly driving around in France 🙂

  • HDR Flirting?

  • Wonderful shot. I like your choice to go black & white.

  • Gail in Montana

    Beautiful B & W photo of a lovely girl, great job. I’m waiting to see those mysterious padlocks, lol. Have a great time in France as fall begins. Do they have trees changing colors in the countryside over there?? Please answer on facebook on your post there, thanks 🙂

  • Michele

    Trey – a heads-up. This Friday is a holiday in Barcelona, with festivities throughout the weekend. It’s to celebrate La Mercè – the patron saint of Barcelona. It’s a wild old time with lots of fireworks, gegant (giant) parades and castellers (human castles). T’would be a good time to be in the city!

    Programme here:

    But it will also be very crowded, and the pickpockets will be in heaven. Be aware of where all your gear is at all times, and do not carry a wallet – loose notes in the tightest pocket!

  • Anthony

    If you’re in the Cannes area in the SoF, I suggest you go to Mougins, a medieval village in the hills above Cannes. Lots of interesting photo opportunities there.

  • Yep, what Martin said above. In Kiev, we have the “Bridge of Love” with thousands of padlocks and initials. And here, they are not small locks either. The bigger the lock, the bigger the love, it seems. The only difference so far is that here, the authorities have yet to take any of the locks off.

  • Great crop and capture. I love how she is smiling with her eyes.

  • A really nice one. her eyes are in tune with her attitude, one can read her feelings in the situation, it is a 100% non acting act. Kiss Paris for me, my home town…

  • now somebody say you’re not also great in people fotography…AWESOME stuff

  • Eric W

    What I really like about this one is how you can interpret various moods. Her eyes might indicate joy, happiness, even a barely suppressed laugh. Yet, they could also be slightly narrowed in anger, or annoyance: how dare her photo be taken?

    Or perhaps simpler: surprise. Why us this guy with the honkin’ camera shooting me? Where did he come from?

  • hehe glad to read everyone’s interesting comments !!

  • Patrick

    I think she is smiling behind the cover!

  • Hey Trey, beautiful picture!!!
    If you have the time, would you answer the question from “Kelley Bard” above? That really sparks my interest, too.

  • Lena

    Just drove through the south of France last week, from Marseille through interior Provence, back to the coast through Nice, Eze, St. Paul and other small coastal towns and ended in Italy. The countryside is absolutely spectacular, though too late in the season now for lavender fields 🙁 The coast more affected by tourism (negatively) but there are still hidden gems here and there if you have time to look for them. It will definitely bode well for you if you speak French, as lot of people get annoyed very quickly at having to put up with non-speakers 🙂 Enjoy!

  • Lemme know when you in NY and we will do a shoot together with models

  • A really nice shot, you captured a very nice look. This bridge is called “Pont des arts” and those tiny padlocks are called “cadenas d’amour” ( love padlocks ). The lovers who have a walk on this bridge hang a padlock with their names wrote on it.

  • Karen

    I was on this bridge yesterday, 9/22/2010, on my last day in Paris. I, too, was captivated by the locks and the meaning and I took many pictures of the beautiful locks, imagining each of the lovers story as I moved on to the next. How exciting to see this posted here on the same day as I discovered the same very bridge.

    Beautiful picture!

  • Thanks everyone…. Karen – we were close – Thomas, let’s do it ! 🙂

  • Love this candid shot.. the girl’s demeanor, the eye contact, the background.. it’s perfect!

  • Hello! Yes yes… sorry been so busy — also, btw, you can click through to download from here on the site too

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  • Nice photo, definitely a good choice to do black and white.

    Funny you mention the padlocks, literally an hour ago I put a padlock in my bag to bring with to Cinque Terre in Italy, yet another place where this is a popular tradition.

  • I really love this photo and I love Paris. Cheers from Australia.

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