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taking photos in paris

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taking photos in paris

we are in paris for a week in september. i am a keen photographer and plan to take my camera kit and tripod on all outings. what are the restrictions like in using tripods in the major attractions like eiffel tower, arc de triomphe, saint chapelle etc ? I also plan to take a lot of people shots in the streets .

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1. Re: taking photos in paris


I am a professional photographer for 38 years and have

spent 5 Septembers in Paris (2000-2005) photographing

for my upcoming book.

I definitely recommend that you DO NOT bring a

tripod. It will be dangerous for you and the many

people around you. If you must shoot in low light

or need to steady your camera, if you use film:

buy 400, 800 or 1600 ISO film. If you are shooting

digital, set the camera's "ISO" to400, 800 or 1600.

My shutter speed was 1/60th of a second for almost

all of my images with both short and long focal

length lenses.

There is a legal restriction about photographing

people in France.

One of the Paris residents should respond to this.

I don't mean to throw water on your parade

but you need to know and consider these

issues before arriving in Paris.

You might look in the upper left hand corner of the

page and enter "photography" in the search box

and press go for a lot of posts on this subject.

Best Wishes

Paris, France
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2. Re: taking photos in paris

There is no restriction as to /taking/ pictures of anybody in France (note the emphasis!). Of course, some people are not aware of it and might react if they think you are picturing them (or their children). Sometimes it's out of greed, sometimes just out of ignorance, and sometimes out of fear.

There is a restriction as to /publishing/ those images, though !

There are restrictions as to picturing railway sites, government buildings and the like.

San Diego...
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3. Re: taking photos in paris

If you are considering using a tripod, you might want to take a look at this:


paris, france
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4. Re: taking photos in paris


it is forbidden to use a tripod in paris, unless you are a professionnal photographer doing this for a publication book etc and you can prove it. but i really dont think if they catch you with that that any policeman will come and give you a fine, i mean i sometimes do photos and if one day i need my tripod i will take it, no matter what, saying i didnt know about the law. but if you really want to follow the rules just know that you need an autorisation to use your tripod.

Paris 4th Arr
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5. Re: taking photos in paris

My experience is [as a commercial photo/video/film shooter since 1982] the law in Paris has pretty much always been about securing a permit and paying the associated fees. Having a tripod or a microphone boom within view is usually an indication that you are shooting professionally and there are laws in place that require the payment of fees if you're not an amateur. Proving you're not an ameteur is usually the problem and it's often up to the park/museum guardian to make the final judgement.

For major attractions <<like eiffel tower, arc de triomphe, saint chapelle etc>> expect trouble if you break out a tripod, you'll probably be challenged by the local guardian. Randy has the best advice. Try to shoot with high film speeds. Take a mini tripod along and employ a convenient wall to stabilize the shot but be discrete. A tripod will attract official attention, especially in museums.

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6. Re: taking photos in paris

I've rented a tripod from an agency/lab on the left bank.. very nice folks although I can't remember the name.

I only use a tripod when there is no other means to make the photo, but if you're using heavy gear, would a monopod work as well?

I also carry a small, tabletop ball-head version and a super-clamp for making shots that require a longer shutter speed. My wife always brings a pinhole camera along and it regularly gets set onto odd brick walls, fences, trees limbs, etc. there are lots of available "tripods" if you're desperate.

7. Re: taking photos in paris

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