The Grand Hall in the Paris Opera House (Paris, France)

The Grand Hall/Grand Foyer in the Paris Opera House (Palais Garnier) is a magnificently ornate hallway located on the third floor. To me it rivaled the more famous, Hall of Mirrors, located in the Palace of Versailles just from the standpoint of jaw dropping-ness (technical term). In order to capture this particular shot I had to stand in this one place for awhile. This is actually a composite of around 20 pictures taken a few seconds/minutes apart from one another in an effort to clear the people out the best I could.

You see we toured the Opera House around 2 in the afternoon and there were a lot of people with a similar idea that afternoon so the place was pretty packed. I’ve learned that in places like that patience pays off (in the Palace of Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors I was unable to use this technique because even with thirty/forty frames there were still no clear spots).

The trick is you have to focus on various quadrants of the photo while taking it – so for example focusing on the window on the left hand side and as soon as you get a clear shot of that window you hit the shutter. Then maybe you focus on the right entryway to the seats and then click another shot. After that you move a little farther out in the frame and try to focus on those portions/doorways being clear….knowing the whole time that ultimately you are going to take all the frames into photoshop and stack them ontop of one another before painting the individual people out using the layer above or below in order to get what was behind the people standing in front of that individual doorway/area of the picture.

It takes some time to get right but in the end is well worth it because you wind up with a shot that is (mostly) clear of people which believe this hallway wasn’t – it was jammed with thirty – fifty people at all times.

The Grand Hall in the Paris Opera House (Paris, France)

The Grand Hall in the Paris Opera House (Paris, France)


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