Notre Dame, Paris

Notre Dame-B&W

Two days ago I arrived back to Australia after a 10 trip to the UK and Paris. Granted the first half was devoted to a conference I was presenting at in Cambridge, but the final 5 days saw me take in the sights of Paris. So, whilst battling a little jet-lag, I’ve been going through the hundreds of photo’s I took while I was away. Really, I’ve just been sorting them – choosing which might be the best to do a few touch-up edits and share on the blog.

I couldn’t help myself with these two images though. Both were taken of the rear of the Notre Dame cathedral but on very different days. The black and white image was done on my final day in Paris. It poured rain for almost the entire day and I spent about 4 hours seeking shelter under a bridge. I originally planned to do this exact shot but was hoping I’d have a cloudy, heavy sky which had some texture. Instead it was a virtual white out. I used my ND 9 stop filter to blur the water but unfortunately I wasn’t able to smudge the sky such were the conditions.

The second image below was taken 2 days before that when it was a gloriously warm and sun filled day. The clouds were great and I shot this 3 bracketed image handheld with the intention of seeing whether it would work well as an HDR photo.

Oh, and click on the images to see them larger too; the flying buttresses of the cathedral are beautiful.

Canon 7D | EF 24-105L | Handheld for colour shot; tripod for B&W | Post: Lightroom 5 + Photomatix for colour HDR shot

Notre Dame-HDR

I was really happy with the B&W but after processing and seeing the colour one, I can’t decide which one I prefer now. Those of you who have visited my blog before would know I tend to favour fairly vivid, saturated colours. I’m not sure why I’m oriented this way because I adore black and white photography.

Would love to hear if any of you have found yourselves in a similar situation – trying to pick between a couple of your own photo’s and how you finally decided in the end – with your heart or your head?

My vote on these two images goes to the B&W – largely because of the foreground interest and leading lines of the shoreline. Head rules on this one.

Cheers everyone; it’s nice to be back!


12 Comments Add yours

  1. drawandshoot says:

    Lucky you (and us, too, because we get to see some more of your wonderful photography)!

    The flying buttresses are quite delicate looking. Beautiful work, Distan.


    1. Distan Bach says:

      Kind as ever, Karen. Thank you very much.


  2. 1createblogs says:

    Very well written post


    1. Distan Bach says:

      Thank you; much appreciated.


  3. Sally's Special Services says:

    Wow, lovely pics! I love the color one. I have a thing go color.


    1. Distan Bach says:

      Oh thank you very much, Sally. I too like colour which I find easier to work with when editing. That being said, I really love B&W, split tone and softer desaturated imagery too and get frustrated with myself that I can’t seem to post process my own images similarly. I suppose it’s a skill like any other and just needs plenty of practice.

      Thanks again for visiting and taking the time for your lovely comment. Much appreciated.


  4. Sally's Special Services says:

    Reblogged this on Mancill, Wilson, and Dillard Genealogy.


    1. Distan Bach says:

      Thank you for the reblog, Sally. Very nice of you.


      1. Sally's Special Services says:

        Your very welcome, Distan.


  5. Interesting posts Distan and an enjoyable read as always. As the the tow photographs I would say that they are good in the own rights from composition and technique point of view. I feel that they have to be viewed this way and not compared. I am always amazed by HDR images but from the composition of the black and white and I suppose , because it is monochrome this image would be my preference should I be asked to chose. Glad to hear you are back home and that all is well with you regards, James


  6. Anne-Maree Prentice says:

    I prefer the B&W images for buildings and street scenes in Paris. I guess they remind me of the classics ~ Cartier Bresson & Doisneau !

    Got any of Barcelona ? My favourite Euro city.


    1. Distan Bach says:

      Ahh, Barcelona! No. I’ve visited quite a number of countries in Europe but have never been to Spain!!! I know, don’t say it! Would love to go there and see all that wonderful architecture, food, energy and colour.


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