Paris at Night: Eiffel Tower and Bir-Hakeim Bridge

It happened again.

The sky looked damned tempting when I glanced out of our window: puffy balls of cotton back-dropped by dark storm clouds. In between those clouds was a celestial commodity that had grown rare in recent weeks: blue sky. I threw the tripod and camera in to my backpack and headed to the metro in pursuit  the increasingly elusive Parisian sunset shot. Emerging from the Javel – Andre Citroen stop in the 15th arrondissement I glanced upwards—the skies still looked promising.

Tonight could be the night. I quickly took some shots of some apartments lining the Left bank of the Seine before heading across the Pont Mirabeau (“Mirabeau Bridge”) to the Right Bank.

It had rained a lot recently and the waters of the Seine were the highest—and brownest—I’ve ever seen. In fact, the riverside highway, Georges Pompidou, was closed due to flooding. I joined a handful of Parisians who assembled, by foot and wheel, to take advantage of this rare opportunity.

Unfortunately, an enormous storm cloud moved in that, while only giving periodic spits of rain, kept every other cloud in the sky from absorbing the light of the setting sun. Tonight won’t be night, as it turns out: the atmospheric unicorn eludes me yet again. The dry lining to this storm cloud, however, were reflections shots afforded by several puddles underneath Pont Bir-Hakeim. Both pools swelled and receded with each passing barge.

A passing French photographer, Pierre-yves Calvat, captured me taking a photo with the Eiffel Tower in the background. It is now featured on my about page: be sure to check out his website.

It was a nice, mostly dry evening photographing two bridges, some brown water, and a large metal spire.





Apartments and office buildings along the Left Bank.


High water rushes past Pont Mirabeau, completed in 1897. This sculpture—one of four gracing this bridge—depicts “navigation on inland waters”. She’s got her work cut out for her … but she’s facing the wrong direction.




Two trains approach one another on the Line 6 metro while crossing Pont Bir-Hakeim.


The one fourth sized replica of the Statue of Liberty, built three years after its larger cousin in 1889
as a gift from the Parisian-American community to the French govermment.


The elevators pass each other towards the top of the tower.


A tourist boat passes underneath Pont Bir-Hakeim, built in 1905 and later named for the victorious battle against the Nazis in Libya in 1942.


A half-submerged Georges Pompidou highway, looking south towards buildings on the Left Bank.


Eiffel Tower with Bir-Hakeim Bridge in the foreground.


A train passes on Line 6 on top of Bir-Hakeim Bridge.




A tourist boat passes the Eiffel Tower, as shot from top of Bir-Hakeim Bridge.


A long exposure shot of the Eiffel Tower “light show” that happens every hour, on the hour, after sunset.
In this photo, flashbulbs appear to all be illuminated at once when in fact they fire rapidly in quick succession.