Hi Christian!) .. Don't be so modest. I remember your great handheld 8x10 shots .. your "pictorialist" phase? But seriously...Yes, you can use a tripod in Paris, but don't forget that in some cases (such as in parks or if photographing certain monuments), you may be approached by a security guard asking to see your permit. The thinking is: "tripod = professional = profits = France-wants-its-share". I have been forbidden to shoot in parks on several occasions. As soon as they see me carrying a tripod, they start "hovering".
Originally Posted by nze
These permits are issued by city hall, cost about $10.00 each and, if memory serves, you need a different permit for each park or monument you want to photograph.
And by the way, —strictly speaking— images of the Eiffel Tour lit at night cannot be commercialized because the lighting is patented, or something like that. The "Eiffel Tower Company" (yes, it's privately owned) wants their share, too. Same goes for fireworks on and around the tower. I think that fine art images slip by on this rule.
While I can understand these policies with regard to movie production or big ad campaigns, it's unreasonable to apply the same restrictions to small-time pros and fine-art photographers. I hope the French authorities and companies will realize that if they liberalized these ridiculous policies, their tourist efforts would benefit enormously by all the published photos and free publicity.
Hey Christian, please feel free to make any corrections, if you've had other experiences!