Inside the Palace of Versailles

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Versailles.

As promised, today I’m sharing some of the photos of the interior of the Palace of Versailles.  If you missed my last post where I shared exterior photos and some helpful hints about touring it, you can check that out here.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know that I bought my first DSLR camera, a Nikon D3200, in 2014. I had inherited some money after my grandmother passed away. She was a woman of very simple means and bright beacon in this world, so this money was extremely meaningful to me. I am lucky enough to live where I don’t have to wonder how I’m going to survive financially so it was important to me that I spend this money in a way that would bring trigger happy memories of her.

Half of the money purchased this camera. My kids were going to be playing soccer and football and I wanted a camera that could capture the action. That was how I used the camera… until…

The winter of 2015. I knew that I needed to find a way to survive what, for me, is a depressing season. I needed to actively seek beauty in the everyday. I started taking photos of nature. I started this blog. I took my Instagram public.

Why do I share all of this? Because, I came home a little disappointed in my photography skills when I reviewed my photos of the interior of Versailles and Notre Dame.

But as I worked on editing them, I realized that my skills have progressed. And while I still am using that same camera with its kit lenses (I actually almost never use the 55-200mm zoom lens, preferring the 18-55mm for almost all my shots), I can see where moments where I wish I had a wider angle lens. Or a moment where a macro lens would be wonderful. When I edit, I see how I really would like to add more than the Snapseeed App to my options, and have been checking out Lightroom. After the bulk of my DSLR, I am looking at the mirrorless options that so many photographers that I admire have switched to using.

And mostly, I realized that I really do love photography.

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still. -Dorothea Lange.

Once again, I have more photos than I can share in one post. Today, I have chosen my two favorite places in the Palace… the Royal Chapel and the Hall of Mirrors.

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The Hall of Mirrors is considered the most famous room in the Palace.  One reason being that it is the location of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, ending World War I. Work was started on the Hall of Mirrors in 1678 and completed in 1684. You can find out more about its history here, at the Palace of Versailles website.

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The room is quite stunning, filled with light from all of the windows and reflections from the mirrors.

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I see photos that run the entire length of the Hall of Mirrors without a single person included or just the one person as their focal point. If you are trying to achieve that, then I suggest you follow some of the time frames offered in my prior post. I’m sure you can gauge the size of the crowd by those waiting to get inside.

Had we not been exhausted by all of the walking that we had done that day, I may have tried to go back at the end of our day to capture a less crowded hall.

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Of course, I could not show you Versailles on a Thursday without including at least one of the magnificent doors! This is one the doors to the Royal Chapel.

If you love doors, head on over to Norm 2.0’s blog where door lovers come together each Thursday to share doors from around the world.

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The Royal Chapel was the fifth and final chapel built in the Palace since the reign of Louis XIII.

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One of things that I found interesting about the Royal Chapel was that the design was presented by the Architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1699. He would not survive to see its completion, dying in 1708. His brother-in-law completed the works which were finished in 1710.

It reminded me of a story I once read about motherhood, which could be applied parenting in general. It was about how as mothers we are building a masterpiece, like the cathedrals of old, and will not likely survive to see its completion. About how we would never live there, but if we built it right, God would.

It also brought to mind, that we remember those names who lived in this Palace. But there were countless people whose hard work brought about the possibility of them living there. The people standing in the sun creating walls, people chiseling the finest of details, people cooking, people scrubbing floors.

We should remember those people who spent their lifetime behind the scenes making their bit of difference in the world.

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Let your light shine!

Amy

 

 

24 thoughts on “Inside the Palace of Versailles

  1. The chapel is gorgeous! I love the art on the ceiling. The Hall of Mirrors has long been on my Bucket List. One of these days I hope to get back there to see the Palace, but I enjoyed seeing it through your viewfinder!

    Sticking with your current camera: A step up from your 18-55 lens in a zoom lens would be the 16-85mm VR. Pricey but gets really good reviews.
    For a prime lens: The Nikon 10.5 fisheye is a wonderful lens. Super sharp, renders beautiful colors, and starbursts, and if you keep the camera level with the horizon in the center it’s possible to get a nearly distortion free image, but there’s software that will straighten out a fisheye image.

    Both the 60mm and 105mm macro lens from Nikon are superb, and for a 3rd party one check out Tamron’s 90mm. It’s also a superb lens.

    Shooting RAW you’d still need some editing/developing software to bring out all the contrasts, details, and colors though. The Photographer’s package at Adobe for $9.99 a month comes with Lightroom, Photoshop, and Bridge. There’s a steep learning curve, but it’s worth the time and effort to learn en mon avis.

    FWIW: I think your kit is pretty light-weight. 🙂 I’ve been looking at the Fuji X-T2 and a couple of lenses, but I have a lot invested in Nikon glass so am not moving to another system anytime soon. I just purchased the D810 and now am waiting for it to arrive. I think it will complement my Df nicely. I hope so anyway. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Deborah! The ceiling was amazing! I can’t imagine the painstaking time that goes into creating something so magnificent. There is a separate guided tour, which is what I assume the people in the photo were on, where you can go inside the chapel. I’m sure the view from inside is phenomenal!

      Thank you for the amazing information on cameras and lenses! It can be so hard to sift through information to discover what you want – such as the full frame vs. crop because in my limited understanding, preference is usually dictated by what your goals are. I also discovered that my current body doesn’t have an in-built auto-focus, which is why they are built into the lens (something in the past, I would never have known why that might matter). I’ve been having some issues with it on occasion not wanting to autofocus and just whirring like it knows it’s supposed to be doing that. These and a few other things are why I came to the conclusion that I needed to decide what system I want before investing in glass. As you said, once you start investing in that, you don’t want to switch over.

      I have been happy with Nikon over the years. I know this system is light-weight as compared to some of the other more professional bodies (I have been eyeing the D810 as well). Quite a few of the landscape photographers I follow on Instagram seem to by using the Sony Alpha 7II. I held a similar one and there is a noticeable size difference and the quality and reviews seem to be quite good.

      I had heard that Adobe was moving into more of a monthly subscription basis. I’ll definitely have to check that out. I feel like I’ve come to the point where I’d like to have a even more control over my end product.

      Thank you again for such helpful information!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, a lot of Canon, and Nikon folks have switched to Sony and Fuji systems. I have been eyeing the Fuji system and would love to add one to my bag one day.

        Regarding the “hunting” you’ve experienced. It’s something we all run into even those of us with high end glass and cameras. If you’re too close and not in your lenses focusing range the lens hunts, if you’re in a dark/low light, or low contrasty scene the lens/camera will “hunt”. That’s the term we use for that whirling, focus motor trying to focus sound and action.

        The advice you’ll hear the most is add glass first then cameras, but you may want to upgrade your camera to a non entry level one now. Nikon has several camera with instant rebates right now which is why I jumped on the D810.

        You like landscapes, and macro so a Full Frame camera would be a logical choice for you for the added depth of field and resolving power.
        The D750 + 24mm-120mm at $2K is a great deal, and it’s a great camera. I had that kit on my short list for a bit.
        The 24-120mm would be a step up from your 18-55mm in terms of IQ and you’ll notice how wide it is at 24mm. 🙂 The rebates are good til June 3rd I think.
        Keep in mind the rebates are on b/c Nikon is coming out with new cameras this summer or fall. So, if you may want to wait to see what the new camera has. The price for the new is going to $$$ I’m sure. 🙂

        Trying out the camera/lenses at a brick and mortar store is the best way to see how they perform and feel in your hands.

        My D810 is supposed to arrive on Tues. I’m really looking forward to it!
        I need a money tree cause I want a D500 too! 🙂

        Adobe went to the subscription based service a few years ago, and I held off for a yr. before jumping in. It’s been great actually, and I get updates straight-away which is really nice.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. My goodness, Amy- looking at these shots, I wouldn’t worry too much about your photography skills!! I recognize several angles from commercial photos in books, brochures, etc.from Versailles. All the gold, reflections, and pillars are beautiful ingredients for stunning renditions with any lens. Love especially the ceiling in the last capture:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I do give credit to the fact that I have seen improvement in my editing skills over time. I’m hoping to continue to understand what needs to be done to correct things in technical side so that some of the photos don’t need quite so much editing 🙂 The building definitely lends itself to some beautiful photography! The ceilings were amazing! 🙂

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  3. We are always our own worst critic. These shots are great Amy. I was looking forward to seeing these and it just motivates me even more to get my butt over there – hopefully soon.
    That is some serious door you captured there and the chapel itself is just stunning.
    It’s quite obvious that you love photography and Deborah gave you some good advice regarding lenses and software. Whatever you choose for equipment going forward, the Lightroom/Photoshop combo for $10 a month is hard to beat.
    On my old Nikon D60 DX (cropped sensor like yours) my go-to lens for architectural AND landscape shots is the 10-24 mm. It was way more $$ than I wanted to spend on a piece of glass but 4 years later I don’t regret it.
    I’m looking forward to your next batch of shots 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Norm! I know that I have a tendency to be a harsh critic of myself. I blame that Virgo perfectionism. lol. I am crediting the fact that some shots made me happy in the end because my editing skills have improved over time. I’m hoping that I can step up my technical skills as well. 🙂
      I’m sure that you won’t be disappointed when you make it over there! It is a beauty!
      I’m always in awe of the paintings and columns and the time that must have taken to complete. The attention to detail is amazing!
      Thanks for the advice on that lens. As I mentioned to Deborah, I’ve hit the point where I’m trying to decide cropped sensor or full frame and what the advantages to each of those are. I’m also seeing this shift to the mirrorless Sony Alpha, and they are substantially smaller. I’m ready to start investing in glass so I figure that I need to pick the line that I want to stick with before I begin that commitment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I do not understand a word you’ve written about cameras, but I’m sure it makes total sense to other photographers. HOWEVER, Let me assure you that your photos here look just like other photos I’ve seen of Hall of Mirrors and the ceiling. I promise. They’re beautiful photographs of beautiful things. And these particular photos come with Amy Words, so that’s nice 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joey!

      I would not have understood a word I wrote about camera a year ago. I still have a long way to go to understand many parts of photography and cameras, but I was hoping somebody who did might offer up some advice. And they did! 🙂

      Your words are very kind about the photos. My editing skills have come a long way ;). I’m glad you like my “Amy words” 🙂

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  5. What wonderful pictures, keep up the great work. I love how you have captured the Chapel columns! I relate to what you say about wishing you had different lenses when you are editing. A sure signt that you are falling more in love with photography each day!x

    Liked by 1 person

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