This image is “skewed” to the left for the very simple reason that, when I tried to frame the image straight on to the Grande Arche, the view was blocked by a couple who were embracing in my line of sight. Since I was not trying to recreate a romantic Doisneau scene of modern Paris and I wanted to include as much depth as possible of the bridge’s deck, I compromised by swinging my viewpoint a few degrees.
Even as I took the photo, I was unsure about the aesthetic of the off-centre direction of the bridge and the consequent bias of the planking. There was also a danger of moiré in the mid distance, given my camera’s high-resolution tendency to allowing that effect.
Equally, I have scrutinised it so often for vertical distortion, that my brain has lost the sensitivity to figure out if the Grande Arche is correctly displayed, or not. Do you have a view? I am also wondering whether I am being influenced by “classic” images of pontoons in water, some of which I have done myself, where the structure presses out at 90 degrees to the shore.
A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu
All of that said, my urge to capture this image was built upon years of memories of walking its planks, alone or in company, often musing on workplace issues and many times sharing wonderful intimacy in conversation with dear friends. During those times, it was usually crowded with other walkers, picnickers, lovers, runners and tourists.
In times of personal tension, I used to take a stroll there, during the working day, in order to work out how to deal with whatever issue was bothering me. At those times, there were often very few passers by. I felt very grateful for these meditative times, so, finding it well nigh empty gave me an urge to freeze this fleeting moment of pure silence and form.
Apart from the framing problem, this was a relatively standard set-up using a Perspective Control lens mounted on a tripod. The manual focus appears to have been correctly set at hyper-focal distance, keeping the image sharp from front to back.
Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: 24mm f3.5D
Focal Length: 24mm
Focus Mode: Manual
Autofocus Area Mode: Single
Shutter Speed: 1/60s
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Exposure Compensation: +0.7 EV
ISO Sensitivity: 400
Mounted on Tripod
Any thoughts you have about the aesthetic qualities, or faults, of this image would be very welcome.
Copyright Paul Grayson 2016