Build it and they will come
My first visit to the new park called “Coulée Verte” in Nice was on November 6th, and back then I knew I had to go back and see it at night when it’s all illuminated. It only took a couple days, 5 actually, until I went back and se for myself what they had done for evening entertainment. And I was not disappointed!
Different time, different place
It’s a whole new experience when you get there at night. Depending on when you get there exactly, you might have to wait a little bit (it’s a matter of minute, don’t worry) until the water starts blowing in the air, this time with light to make it even more exciting. ‘Exciting” is very appropriate, because that’s how you feel when you walk there, especially if you walk between the jets, not knowing exactly when it will pop out. Most people stay out and simply look from the outside of the fountain. Something I believe will be completely different when the high season brings in some heat and sun. But for now, anyone willing to walk in there is welcome to do so. Watch for your belongings though (i.e. camera and gear), because with the help of some wind the water can reach out easily.
Don’t wait for it, make it happen
While anyone can produce a truck load of photo in that area, the best ones will always be those with originality and/or emotion. Tourist snapshots are fine, but to get the essence of it you need to look carefully and wait for the right moment. You can also make it happen, make a picture instead of taking it. Play around with the people walking with you, ask them to touch the water, make some figures while their reflection is perfect on the surface of the thin water on the ground, have them walk or even jump while you take photographs. It’s pretty obvious during the day, but at night it’s an even better experience if you get really creative. You adding lights to the scene, something special and unusual when people look at water through lights, the shadows are amazing, watch for the background.
Low-hanging fruits, grab them all
Or you might as well be an opportunist and look around carefully. There’s always something interesting to shoot if you pay attention. The excitement or just curiosity of others make for an awesome subject. Kids running around the water, people taken by surprise and trying to escape, anyone looking at the show with amazement, etc. This place has a lot to offer. The fruits are hanging low, grab them.
Do yourself a favor and spend some time on Promenade du Paillon. It will not only make you smile, but also wish to come back and show it to family members and friends. I really hope this post and photo make you wish to visit the site. You won’t regret, I promise.
© Normand Primeau