Full Moon Over Musée du Louvre

The Louvre Museum in Paris has a reputation as housing the world’s greatest collection of art in a building so sprawling that one could spend months exploring the art and still not see everything. Due to this reputation, we resolved defeat from the outset and didn’t even bother going inside. While much on display in the Louvre is of great interest to us, with the limited time we had in Paris, it seemed we would be better served visiting other locations that could be more easily “accomplished” in shorter windows of time. In general, when we have limited time in any given place to which we travel, we try to do many things that take less amounts of time rather than single things that take more time. Still, we had occasion to visit the grounds of the Louvre late one night, so at least we did that!

Someday, when we’re living in Paris, we’ll dedicate the proper amount of time to exploring the Louvre. Perhaps we’ll visit every night after work for a month, or on a series of weekends. (We can dream, right?)

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Technical

Photographed with a Nikon D700 and the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8. This is pretty much my “signature” processing. Single exposure, highlights recovered and shadows brought out in Adobe Camera Raw. Finishing in Photoshop CS6, with a surface blur filter applied (via layer mask) to select areas to reduce noise introduced as a result of using the D700 instead of the D600 (I used the former because the latter’s batteries died on our way from Disneyland Paris to Paris and I didn’t have time to charge them before we went out for the night). Editing photos from the Nikon D700 after using the D600 for a few months really makes me appreciate the D600 all the more. So much better dynamic range!

Your Thoughts…

Would the Louvre be a “must visit” location for you in Paris (even if there was an hour line to see the Mona Lisa)? What kind of sacrifices do you make when traveling? Share your thoughts on these questions or anything else in the comments!

12 replies
  1. Crystal
    Crystal says:

    Tom, could you help me out with a lens choice? I’m considering the sigma 17-70 f2.8-4. Is that a good upgrade from the nikon kit lens?

    Reply
  2. Doug McClentic
    Doug McClentic says:

    The Louvre takes a significant amount of time to see. In 2009 when my wife and I went we spent 5 1/2 hours just in the Egyptian section alone. What they have in their collections is amazing and if on a limited schedule I agree that skipping it may be a good idea. We were in the city for three days and used all of the first day for the Louvre. For my wife and myself seeing that exhibit was one of the things we wanted to see most. There is so much to see in Paris that you could never fit it all in just one vacation. The answer? Go many times, see new things and revisit what you loved best from the last trip!

    Reply
  3. Tiffany
    Tiffany says:

    Here’s a non-Paris question. I understand the 14-24mm is your favorite landscape lens. What would you say is your favorite lens for portrait shooting…or Disney statue photos, in your case? 😉

    Reply
  4. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    We were in Paris for only 1-2 days back in our European trip in 1998, if I recall. We had the choice of the Louvre or seeing other sights of the city. Half of our group (my extended family + another family) went to the Louvre, but we opted for the other sights. Some day we’ll go back!

    One of the places we had a chance to see instead was Sainte-Chapelle and it was truly beautiful. Did you happen to get a chance to photograph it?

    Reply
    • Tom Bricker
      Tom Bricker says:

      Unfortunately, no. We heard so many great things about it, but we arrived 30 minutes after it had closed. Would’ve been too late for good photos, anyway, but I still wanted to see it! Oh well…next time!

      Reply
  5. Jenn
    Jenn says:

    While in Paris this summer had the good(ish) fortune of going to The Lourve. We only had a few hours to explore and I was quite literally left wanting. The museum was SO crowded it was hard to move. It was difficult to get close enough to paintings to really look at them and our group was pushed along to fit in with our time schedule. I was sad that I couldn’t wander. You made a good choice in skipping it, but be forewarned….it might be best done in multiple small visits due to crowds and and overwhelming amount of art to view (2 1/2 hours was not nearly enough). Some day I will go back, and not with a group of 45 students that I’m trying to keep together and entertained, lol.

    Reply
    • Jenn
      Jenn says:

      and in reference to waiting in line to see the Mona Lisa – an hour wouldn’t cut it. There is no order to viewing the painting (which is a lot smaller than you’d think). It literally has two queue ropes on either side and a massive blob of tourists with cameras in hand not moving and taking 5,000 pictures. I stood off to the side, help my camera up, and hoped for the best. Check the Mona Lisa off my list! hehe There are far more beautiful/thrilling sights to see in Paris with less crowds!

      Reply
      • Tom Bricker
        Tom Bricker says:

        We were there during the lightest travel season of the year, and my understanding was that an hour would’ve been the wait to see the Mona Lisa. I’ve heard the wait is much, much longer in the summer!

        Reply

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