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Visiting Cathedral of Notre Dame

January 2005

Some say I’m lucky that my job gets me to travel the world but actually most people don’t understand that its not as glamorous as it seems. Travelling through airports, security, taxis, trains and not to mention delays and jet lag. It’s not all fun and games!!

However earlier this week when I heard the news on the 15th April that Cathedra of Notre Dame in Paris is on fire and has mostly been destroyed, I did feel a bit lucky to have been able to visit this place 3 times in the last 15 years thanks to my job.

It is one of my favourite places to see in Paris as it can be seen and photographed from many places far and near. I had almost made a habit of stopping in Paris on my way to Lyon where my work has its Head Office.

It was quite early in my photographic journey so I was still learning my way around the Fujifilm FinePix S5000. I recall visiting this place on such a cold day with crowds of people lined up outside to take a glimpse of this amazing piece of history and culture. I waited in line for a few minutes before I could get inside and tried to capture some pictures of the stained glass windows and the amazing arching ceiling but my skills were not up to par and most pics were to blurry to be any good.

June 2011

By this time, I had figured out how to get better photographs and was shooting with Canon 400D DSLR but still with basic kit lens. However this time in Paris I stayed very hear the Notre Dame which gave a HUGE advantage that I was able to get there early in the morning before all the tourists swarm this place.

It was nice to take some photographs of this place in complete solidarity  and admire it without distraction. Otherwise after 10am you are fighting with the crowds to get a nice clean shot of this place.

I also had a moment to work on a Selfie in front of the Notre Dame and as you can see I have the cathedral all to myself, well almost. I couldn’t scare away all the pigeons that call this place home.

Check out the two photos below, you see the difference in number of people you will see during the day and how many you see early in the morning 6.30am.

June 2013

Arrived back in Paris on a very cloudy day where the sky could burst any moment. After dropping my luggage and checking in to my hotel, I went out for a walk and found this stormy scene.

Took two shots of this view and the heavens burst open, luckily the camera with me was weather resistant and so was the lens as I hurried to find cover.

By this time I had upgraded to a Canon 7D with a 24-105mm F4 L lens which can survive some water attacks.

This was the last year I few in through Paris and stopped making my pit stops before heading on. Now I just fly straight into Lyon thanks to Emirates who run a daily flight from Dubai.

I am glad that those 3 occasions I had the lucky opportunity to stop and see this amazing Cathedral of Notre Dame. Now this place has changed forever, at least for the next 15-20 years or more.

So the conclusion is the same as it has been the case for many years: Life is too short, live every day like its your last day.

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