The Louvre Museum in ParisDepending who’s talking, the Louvre Museum in Paris is the second-most-visited site in the French city. And the world’s most-visited museum, with nearly 10 million people touring the grand halls in 2016 (although that number slides up and down a bit from different sources). This, for example, is where the Mona Lisa resides.

Built in 1793, the Louvre is one big museum with tens of thousands of pieces of art or “objects” in a 782,910-square-feet space. Yes, you have to walk several miles to tour the entire place. Not sure I’m up to the task, but for fun has a few other interesting historic facts about the Louvre in Paris.

The subject: Not just the Louvre Museum, but a mix of architecture and light. On the edges you see the grand, centuries-old Louvre buildings, but smack in the center is the glass pyramid called the Louvre Pyramid that hovers over a passageway of the Carrousel du Louvre underground shopping center. The pyramid was completed in 1989 and – in a time-honored French tradition – sparked its share of debate and controversy in its approval and planning process.

So monumentally historic is this square and the Pyramid that Emmanuel Macron used it as his backdrop for his acceptance speech after he was declared the victor in the May 7, 2017, presidential election. According to the Washington Post article linked above, he mentioned in his speech the “daring” of the glass pyramid behind him and the “daring” future that he promised lies in store for France.

The inspiration: Enthralling really is the contrast between historic and modern, statuesque and shiny, brick and glass, concrete and grass that you find on and beside the main plaza, the Cour Napoléon. No wonder Macron used this for his backdrop. Any time of the day, there are reflections and light dancing every which way, begging to be captured. I don’t think any photo can really go wrong here.

Artist’s tools: My Nikon D90 has served me well for many an adventure, as does the 18-105mm lens f/3.5-5.6, both of which I got when I returned to photography after about 25 years! What I like about this focal length on a lens is its ability to capture almost everything for me without fiddling with changing lens or being draped with several cameras with different lenses. For this particular photo of the Louvre Museum, I was set at a fast 1/2000 of a second at f/4.5 with a super wide focal length of 18mm. This was taken in October 2010 just as I was trying to get back into photography, thus the rather unneeded high speed, which I used at that time to cut down on the glare with the camera being set on aperture priority.

HITT Tip: Aside from standing in line to walk through dark Louvre Museum hallways for hours, just hanging out on the plaza and wandering through the Carrousel Gardens between the museum wings is worth much more than the price of admission – free!

Explore more in the Photographer's Diary

Cloud reflections create “feather canyons” on Rocky Mountaineer train

We were getting closer to our destination for the evening in Whistler and passing glorious high-mountain lakes. But instead of shooting up and out at the mountains, I decided to shoot down at the unimaginably beautiful cloud reflections.

Read More

Dali old town in China full of surprises, culture and history

On our entire trip through the Yunnan province in China, monks were irresistible subjects. Mostly they were quick to get out of the way of photos, and you had to be quick at stealing a snap. These two, though, were casually strolling down the street in Dali old town.

Read More

Entranced by light on a Hurtigruten stop in Honningsvag Norway

I was entranced by the light. Honningsvag is of course beautiful in a simple way, but mid-day in November in northern Norway the sun is already pretending to set. This time of year there is only twilight for a few hours mid-day. The light sparkles off the windows of the homes and paints the hills with a red glow.

Read More

Louvre Museum: Historic meets modern in Paris

Depending on who’s talking, the Louvre Museum in Paris is the second-most-visited site in the French city. And the world’s most-visited museum, with nearly 10 million people touring the grand halls in 2016 (although that number slides up and down a bit from different sources). This, for example, is where the Mona Lisa resides.

Read More

Peaceful evening in Old Sacramento on the river

A beautiful stream of reflected light fell across the river from Old Sacramento and its lights. I was standing on the opposite side of the bridge from Old Town. Now, if only that goose would swim over into the right place….

Read More

Thai Park Berlin a feast for eyes and tummies seeking yum Thai food

Germany’s capital of Berlin offers every international food imaginable, in restaurants, street markets or, in the case of the most authentic Thai food in the city, spread across a park. Thai Wiese (Thai Park) comes alive every weekend with arguably the best Thai food in Berlin.

Read More

Bathing in pollen: Ladybugs and poppies

When thoughts start to turn to spring and flowers, the question arises, where to find wildflowers and perhaps butterflies and ladybugs too? The hunt is on for the expanses of color, the bees, the butterflies and the beauty. In Northern California, we go looking...
Read More

New Orleans Jazz Fest: jazz everywhere you look in Nola

New Orleans isn’t just a Mardi Gras party town. Think jazz music everywhere you look! On street corners, in parks, on balconies and, of course, in clubs. Then there is the jazz highlight of the year, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest in late April, a.k.a. just New Orleans Jazz Fest.

Read More

Follow Me

Therese Iknoian

Traveler at HI Travel Tales
Little did her parents know that a short trip to Europe in high school would launch a lifetime love of travel, languages and cultures. Trained as a news journalist, Therese Iknoian spent a decade as a daily newspaper journalist before launching a freelance writing career specializing in outdoor, fitness and training. All the while trotting the globe, her focus finally turned to travel. Fluent in German, Therese runs a translation business ( working primarily with companies in the outdoor/sports/retail industry. Also a French speaker, she loves to learn a bit of the language wherever she goes -- gdje je kupaonica? Мне нужна помощь! -- often embarrassing herself in the quest for cross-cultural communication and the search for great travel discoveries.
Follow Me