Notre Dame

Notre Dame and the Seine, Paris, 2000

Like many people around the world, I am saddened by the news of the great fire that has devastated the medieval cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.   Though there appears to have been a lot of damage done, especially to the roof and of course to the spire that collapsed, hopefully it can be successfully rebuilt.
I have visited Paris several times, but not for a while.  I think my last visit there was in 2001.  Here’s a photograph that I made of Notre Dame the year before.  I had read that it is difficult to use a tripod on the street in Paris, so for this nighttime photo I set my camera on a small table tripod, which I placed on the thick stone wall of a bridge crossing the river Seine near the Place St. Michel, as I recall.
I used a spot meter to take a reflective light reading off of the façade of the cathedral, which was likely around two seconds or so.  For shutter speeds of greater than one second, reciprocity failure can kick in, meaning that beyond one second or so, the light coming in through the lens at the proper shutter speed may be insufficient to make a good exposure (for scientific reasons I won’t get into now), so extra exposure is needed.  Typically, for a two second exposure reading, I will make exposures of four to six seconds.
Whichever shutter speed I used for this particular image, I appear to have gotten it right.

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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