Paris, January 1st 2011
While wandering through the streets in the Montmartre district in Paris on a foggy New Year’s Eve, I saw a sign which showed the direction of Place Dalida. I knew that Dalida was a legendary singer actress who loved Montmartre, so I had the feeling that this place had to be special. After arriving at the square, it appeared to be small and a bronze buste of Dalida featured as a center piece.
While I admired the square and its surroundings, I instantly knew why the buste of Dalida was put here. From this spot the eyes of Dalida could admire a fantastic view of a part of Montmartre. In the background I noticed the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur and the road Rue de l'Abreuvoi which leads down the hill towards the square and continues at the square with a sharp bend as Rue Girardon. While I stood there admiring the scene a few cars passed by. Now I had an idea of how I could capture this scene and it involved a long exposure. Unfortunately I didn't bring a tripod with me, so I had to come back the next evening.
The following evening I went back to Place Dalida during sunset. The sky didn't show any clouds since it was overcast, but the sky had a lovely even red colour. The cobblestones were wet and showed fantastic colours due to the lights in the street. I quickly setup my tripod next to the buste of Dalida to get the perfect angle. I took a couple of test shots to time the exposure of some cars going down the hill and passing by. The result was a great surprise to me, because the light trails appeared to create a special effect; while a car went down the hill you notice the head lights. At the bend these head lights transform from white to red and show the brake and tail lights.