The second article of this weekly series leads us to the XVIth arrondissement where lays the majestic Bir-Hakeim bridge.
Paris has very few open air metro lines. Yet, line #6 magically surges from underground at the Passy Station and crosses the Seine over the Bir-Hakeim Bridge. You will find shot opportunities right under the metro line as a never ending colonnade sustains the rails and creates very graphic scenes over the Seine. Your wide angles will be at full ease there. At the middle of the bridge, a stairs brings you down to Les Cygnes Island where a promenade with views on docked barges and high rises will lead you all the way to a Statue of Liberty replica. Lone wanderers, joggers, couples will be your main subjects there. Also if you are keen on a few shots of barges and their dwellers, great scenes to compose with are located just under the Bir Hakeim bridge Obviously, some patience will be needed to see them appear and vacate to their daily activities.
On the North West side of the bridge, escalators lead to the Passy Station where you can shoot travellers getting in and out of the metro with fantastic backgrounds. Do not hesitate to carry on your way to the street going up from the Passy Station. Then by taking a right into Rue Raynouard, you will be led to a place with enormous billboards hanging from buildings, great for some Parisian pop art shots (obviously depending on the ads of the week).
On the East side of the bridge, the suspended rails go on for a few blocks and create a great atmosphere with characters suddenly appearing from one side or the other of the path. Finally, walk all the way to the corner of rue du Commerce and you’ll find yourself in a spot mixing the best of Chicago and Paris. There you’ll have opportunities for dynamic shots where you can mix walker by’s, trains and cars in a spectacular setting.
Pictures type : Isolated wanderers, graphic compositions, views over the Seine and Eiffel Tower, metro station frenzy.
Lens chosen : 24 or 75mm
Favorite spot : Over the Bir Hakeim Bridge.
When to go : Sunset for great light and shadows play.
Must go : see the view over the Passy metro station
Metro station : Passy
Map of area (red showing the streets I like to hang around)
Sample shots (click on picture to enlarge)