Photographer's Note

The Eiffel Tower is possibly the most photographed structure that has been posted to TrekEarth, so trying to find a POV that hasn’t been seen a hundred times before, and trying to find a title that hadn’t been used a thousand times before, were two big challenges.

In an attempt to meet the first challenge, I resorted to my Nikkor 10.5 mm DX fisheye lens which lets you get in real close and include the entire structure in the frame.

I am sure this isn’t the first fisheye shot of the Eiffel Tower to be posted, but browsing back through the Paris galleries I couldn’t see one, so if there are others they must be buried in the archives somewhere. The closest I could find was a superb night shot taken by Alana Emery (alana) last month which she took with a Sigma 10-20 mm ultra-wide angle lens. Her focal length was 10 mm and mine was 10.5 mm, but the reason that I could get more of the structure into my frame is that a fisheye lens is constructed differently to an ultra-wide angle lens and has a angle of view of 180 degrees (Alana’s Sigma lens, by way of example, has an angle of view of 102 degrees at the 10 mm focal length).

I took a lot of shots from different angles, and out of them all there were two that I liked best – the one above and another that I have posted to the workshop. As far as composition is concerned, I liked the angled shot in the WS better, but the original above is better for its technical quality. The one in the WS has a small area of burn-out which I couldn’t avoid because of the position of the sun. The one downside to a fisheye lens is that it can’t take filters on the front (because the glass is bulging like an eye) and you can only use rear gelatin filters, which means that standard polarising and grad ND filters can’t be used with fisheye lenses. It would have been good to have been able to shoot this against a polarised sky.

PP for both images: Lightened shadows +5, darkened highlights +10, increased saturation +15, USM @ 250% (0.9).

My second challenge was to find an original title for the image. The Eiffel Tower was designed and built by Gustave Eiffel as an entrance arch for the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. It was supposed to stand for only 20 years, and then be torn down, but that never happened. Monsieur Eiffel lived until 1923, so he would have known that his magnificent ‘temporary’ structure was destined to become a permanent symbol for Paris – thus I decided to call this ‘Eiffel’s legacy,’ which in French translates to: ‘Le legs d'Eiffel’.

Photo Information
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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1231 W: 108 N: 2568] (7797)
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