Time Lasts Forever in Paris

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Daily Photo – Time Lasts Forever in Paris

Oh Paris! Le sigh…

These were not the ideal shooting conditions, as idyllic as the scene might appear. This is all handheld, btw, no tripod, and here’s the rest of the sad tripod story.

To get to this spot, you have to walk to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. My first few times there, I did not even know you could get to the top! I felt quite dumb when I found out you can walk up about 20,000 stairs to get here.

Once I got up there, I staked out a position with my tripod, and then Frenchy McFrenchface came over and told me I could not use my tripod. I explained that I was an arteeeest, and surely he would in the 19th century no one asked the impressionists to put their easels away. This was a losing argument, although I still think it’s a pretty good one. It will work one day, and I won’t give up this line of persuasion.

So that security guard shut me down, but I felt like there was still an opening. So I asked my friends Matt Knisely and Curtis Simmons to watch my stuff while I went for Persuasion Level 2. He was standing in a little glass wind-proof cage (which I wish I had later when I took this shot!). I motioned for him to open up so he could be subjected to Level 2. I didn’t have my tablet, so I pulled out my phone and started going through my photos. I think this helped to show him I took all of this terribly seriously. Eventually, I talked him into it! He said, sure, no problem, as long as I collapsed the tripod between shots. I was so excited!

I started taking photos, and then 10 minutes later, another security guard came over and told me no. I motioned over at the glass box and said, “But that other Frenchy McFrenchface already told me it was okay!”

The new security guard looked over at the box, then looked back at me and said, “Oh, but you see sir, that guard is now off duty.”

This guy was all business. I could see there was no way to overpower his mind with art and mojo, so I just had to go handheld for the rest of the night. By the time this scene appeared, there was a fierce and very cold wind… the kind of wind that needs hands-in-pockets-between-brackets.

I took 5 exposures from -2 to +2, but the +2 was too blurry, so I just processed the four shots from -2 to +1.

Time Lasts Forever in Paris

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-01-05 03:40:36
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/4
  • ISO280
  • Focal Length17mm (17mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

  • LOL… great narrative! “Frenchy McFrenchface”. Classic!

  • susan ratcliff

    Beautiful shot – love the oranges and blues – funny story too! 🙂

  • Casper van Zyl

    Nice story, good laugh,was there in 1971 and was doing cinema 8 movies but all is lost over the years.The tower you could only go to the second level then but still a beautiful city.

  • Trey Ratcliff

    hehe thanks 🙂

  • How appropriate. The French telling you off for taking a photo pointing outside and away from whatever security or private entity that is solely owned, by no less, the guardians of art. Over coming that myth and Nazi rule about no tripods is one of those things that make the serious photographer irk at the terrible photos of a place.

  • What an awesome view, a beautiful photo even without a tripod!

  • Leah Riordan

    So basically I’m minding my own business when my husband links me to your gallery on google+ Hours later and I find myself mesmerized and wanting to visit Iceland along with every other beautiful place you’ve photographed. You sir, are an amazing artist! And really, it is too bad about the tripod! I think your argument about easels vs. tripods is an excellent one!

  • Stunning shot, even if you couldn’t use one of the set…

  • R.Stacy Fenner

    Great pic and I love your story… Frenchy McFrenchface…lol.

  • Trey Ratcliff

    Thanks everyone! 🙂

  • Trey Ratcliff


  • Trey Ratcliff

    Thanks Leah! 🙂

  • David Hendershot

    The last night I was in Paris we went to the Arc to climb to the top but it was closed. Seems like Mr Frenchy McFrenchface and friends were on strike. By the way, awesome shot!

  • GeorgeGreen

    You must have a steady hand. Very sharp photo for hand held. Do you have a trick for stopping your heartbeat? lol Great shot and story.

  • Andrea Boyle

    OK, lesson learned…use an easel in France instead of a tripod! Ha ha!(love that argument!) Actually I have done pretty well bracketing (with 3 shots as I’m Canon) handheld. Your photo above is one of your best in my opinion! I love the movement to the left in the foreground and the stillness in the background.

  • GinoBarasa

    What a great shot. The story and the location add a lot too. Am I reading the exif data right? This was a 1/2 second shot? It’s so crisp. Even the pattern in the street is clearly visible. Amazing and beautiful shot trey. The color processing is really well done too.

  • Trey Ratcliff

    thx @GinoBarasa:disqus – yes, that was ONE of the 4 exposures…

  • I really like the upper 2/3 of this photo but I find the bottom 1/3 with the blurry cars distracting. I think it would make for a better photo with the bottom cropped off a little but that’s just me. Interesting story of getting the photo, however.

  • Joe DiBenedetto

    The no tripod rule is enforced in quite a few places and it really is a good rule. You’re not even allowed to bring tripods to the observation deck of the Empire State building. You have to leave them behind. Try to imagine an already crowded tourist spot where everyone with a camera decided to set up a tripod. I do think exceptions should be made for people like Trey that can show proof that they’re artists and not just some tourist trying to get pictures for Facebook.

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