Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris (French for Our Lady of Paris) was at the top of my list of churches while on vacation in Paris in March 2012. I visited the church on two occasions before 8 am to avoid the busloads of people (20,000 people a day according to one source and 2 million over the Christmas season) that visit this tourist favorite. It was a strange feeling being one of the few people in this historic, massive church, measuring 420 ft (128m) with two 226 ft (69m) tall towers with a spire that reaches 295 ft (90m). The style of the church is French Gothic and is the first cathedral built on a large scale. It served as a model for other cathedrals. The first period of construction was from 1163 into 1240.
The cathedral suffered substantial damage during the French Revolution. To repair the damage and correct previous bad restorations and decorations, Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc led a restoration effort that took 20 years to complete. Victor Hugo inspired the restoration through publication of “Notre-Dame de Paris” (English title “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”) in 1831. According to www.adoremus.org/1099-Rose.html, Hugo hated the previous restorations and decorations put in place by highly trained architects, accusing them of willful destruction and perversion all in the name of fashion. The restoration returned the cathedral to its original gothic state. For more detail on the history, see the church website and Sacred Destinations. For more photos of Notre Dame and 360 panoramas that will make you dizzy, see Mapping Gothic France.
To capture the enormity of the church, I shot this photo a few inches from the ground with a 10-22mm zoom lens at 10mm (16mm with 1.6X crop factor). I bracketed three frames at 100 ISO. Back home, I used Photomatix to combine the photos in an HDR process. I combined the HDR version with the original properly exposed version in Photoshop Elements and adjusted the opacity slider until I obtained the desired result. As is typical in cathedral shots, I straightened the photo so that the reference points such as lights and windows lined up on both sides using PTLens.
Unfortunately, Quasimodo is nowhere to be found.
churchcathedralphotoKent Beckernot my day job photographyNotre DameParisFrancenaveCatholic