La tour Eiffel

Today, The Eiffel tower celebrates its 126th birthday. It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889. as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world

The main structural work was completed at the end of March 1889 and on the 31st Eiffel celebrated this by leading a group of government officials, accompanied by representatives of the press, to the top of the tower. Since the lifts were not yet in operation, the ascent was made by foot, and took over an hour.

snowsfissuresandfracturesMMC2-4Eiffel had a permit for the tower to stand for 20 years; it was to be dismantled in 1909, when its ownership would revert to the City of Paris. The City had planned to tear it down (part of the original contest rules for designing a tower was that it should be easy to demolish) but as the tower proved valuable for communication purposes it was allowed to remain after the expiry of the permit. Several years later, during World War I, the Eiffel Tower intercepted enemy radio communications, relayed zeppelin alerts and was used to dispatch emergency troop reinforcements.

It escaped destruction a second time during World War II: Hitler initially ordered the demolition of the city’s most cherished symbol, but the command was never carried out. Also during the German occupation of Paris, French resistance fighters famously cut the Eiffel Tower’s elevator cables so that the Nazis had to climb the stairs.

Now one of the most recognizable structures on the planet, the Eiffel Tower underwent a major facelift in 1986 and is repainted every seven years. It welcomes more visitors than any other paid monument in the world—an estimated 7 million people per year.

I visited Paris in September 2000. This photo was taken in broad daylight, with an old  Minolta camera and this is actually a scan. It was a cloudy day and the sky was overexposed, with no hope of improvement. So, I made it a night scene. A fun fact – a special lighting display on the tower is under copyright, meaning that all night images of Eiffel Tower are not to be published without permission in France and some other countries. Yes, I cheated. 😛

I was late for this week’s edition of Monochrome Madness Challenge, but you should check other great entries on Leanne’s blog Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY.


Night And Day You Are The One…

…Only you beneath the moon or under the sun
Whether near to me or far
It’s no matter, darling, where you are
I think of you day and night

ABF Forum is on a holiday break. But that doesn’t mean I am. So, while our American and Canadian friends are feasting and spending time with their loved ones, I am typing this post while I am still working. But it’s Friday afternoon, a new weekend is almost here, so I am allowed to cut  corners.

I discovered a new feature in PicMonkey, nice transparent layers that you can add to the background of your images. Some features are free, for some you need to pay . I needed the one that was not free. 😛



If I remember correctly, I visited Paris in the fall of 2000. We had such a lousy weather, cloudy, hot, high humidity. So I ended up with collection of really poor images. We were shooting with analog Minolta and I remembered it was a good quality camera.

Two of the images I already worked with and posted on my blog. One was for the ABF Forum, Bassin d’Apollon in Versailles. It was at the beginning of my editing journey and from today’s perspective, it was a poor editing job. The other was Gargoyle on top of the Notre Dame, which I submitted for this week’s Monochrome Madness.

All of the images are scanned paper photographs, that is visible in the bottom right corner of the image above, you can see some lines there, paper texture.



My first idea was to replace the sky. I tried to do it in GIMP and I figured it out. But the problem was there were too many “white” parts in the tower grid and in the trees. I remembered something from the PicMonkey, so I opened the image there. Under the textures I located “Clouds” and used a regular blue one. It was a perfect fit. But, clouds cost money. And I am not interested in upgrading PicMonkey. So, the next best (free) thing was “Space” texture. It was not a perfect fit, but I liked it.

It took some additional work in adjusting exposure and color, using several different layers, but in the end I got what I wanted.

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I hope you like my little experiment, maybe this will inspire some of you to try PicMonkey, it is really a cute little program,

Next week ABF is back in its usual form, participants submitting their individual after/before images.

But next year brings some changes. As some of you noticed, we had a fun little experiment few weeks ago, when all the participants edited one single image. We had so much fun,  we decided to do that once a month. So, starting January 9th next year, first Friday of the month will be reserved for that special event – one image for all participants to play with.

If you want to join us, keep an eye for our posts in the weeks to come, we will supply you with all the info you need.

On Monday another challenge starts – December One Four Challenge. I think you noticed how much fun I had with November One Four Challenge, so expect some fun and crazy Christmas things to come.

Enjoy your weekend! ♥