Listen to New York Times photographer Ed Alcock discuss Eugène Atget’s images.
Berenice Abbott, a contemporary, called him the “Balzac of the camera,” and even today, 83 years after his death, his work serves as the definitive record of those mysterious, just-waking moments when the sun begins to rise and the streets are mostly empty. While during daylight hours Paris is a city that must be shared, at dawn it belongs to a lucky few. And in a city that maintains a strong reverence for its past, many of the settings Atget so loved still exist, untouched. An early-morning tour — beginning, say, at 6 a.m. — allows anyone to inhabit them. – from NYTimes