The Eiffel Tower
Let me riff for a moment as a photographer. To photograph the Eiffel Tower or not to, that is the question. I have moved 180 degrees on that issue. It is hard to imagine a photographer traveling to Paris and not returning with at least a few photographs of a symbol that defines the French capital, which raises the obvious question: What's the point? The Eiffel Tower is one of the most photographed structures on earth. Is anyone going to outdo Marc Riboud's photograph of the painter high atop the Tower? How about Elliot Erwitt's image of the man leaping in air with an open umbrella. Will the Beatles ever return to the scene for another group photograph? Unlikely.
So why bother? I offer two good reasons. First, while others have photographed this iconic structure, first-time visitors haven't. Shouldn't they have the thrill of photographing the tower, trying to obtain that signature image for their portfolios? And why should only first-time visitors have all the fun? Any photographer can always improve on his or her prior efforts.
Second, concluding that there is no need to photograph the tower because it has been done countless times before leads to the conclusion that there is no point in jazz musicians playing Bags' Groove, Epistrophy, My Funny Valentine, or Pensativa. Yet, there is nothing like an evening in a club listening to fine musicians riff on seemingly familiar tunes. It's the improvisation that keeps things interesting.
So once again, when I thought the conditions were right, I made my photograph. This time through an iron fence high atop the hill at the base of the Sacré-Cœur basilica. It was an amusing experience. Joining me this time were a bunch of cellphone photographers. Listening to one asking her friend for help in framing the photograph was hilarious. One again, she proved that you are not a photographer just because your phone has a camera. Others had me silently repeating my mantra in the age of the cellphone: "Get the fuck out of my shot, asshole."
I had other opportunities, but none proved to be as colorful and moody as this one. One good location is on the outdoor deck atop the Galeries Lafayette, but the sky was flat gray when I arrived. By the way, Evelyn came tearing into the Place du Terte to alert me of the sunset, but I had taken the photograph a half-hour earlier.
For some time I have had an idea rolling around in my head about photographing the Eiffel Tower. How about drawing an imaginary circle around the tower, with the radius being a mile, and then making a photograph at each degree in the circle? To be honest, I am not that enamored by the Tower to undertake such an effort, but it might be interesting, particularly if the photographer made one photograph per day for a year.
Photographer's Note. I have edited the RAW file for my photograph, but the final image, including the colors, are pretty much what was there when I first opened the file.