And Here Is One That I prepared Earlier...

August 22, 2014  •  1 Comment

 

Excuse the reference to the processes of TV Celebrity Chefs, but I couldn’t resist it, because I am responding to a great reaction to last week’s blog by discussing a daylight image taken from the same spot, which is just as beautiful, I hope you will agree.

 

Under The Bridges Of ParisUnder The Bridges Of ParisCOPYRIGHT 2008 Paul Grayson AMDG

 

“Under The Bridges Of Paris With You” / “Sous Les Ponts De Paris”

I have an aural, highly personal and emotional response to this photograph, given that it perfectly evokes the memory of my father singing the 1950’s, English version of the song, originally written in French in 1914. He was a stateless, Jewish refugee from France who settled in Scotland after Word War II. The nostalgia that he felt for Paris was never more obvious than at family gatherings, where he would be called on to sing this song, which had become popular in the UK in the mid-50’s.

 

He sang the slower, more nostalgic 1950’s version, and not the somewhat theatrical waltz tempo original. Here are the two versions of the song, in French and English:  

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0D6e1s-vgmU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6paByA6wBSE

 

Read the song’s history here: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Under_the_Bridges_of_Paris

 

Winter Dawn in La Ville Lumiere

I was not aware at the time of image creation that my memory was going to be so touched by the scene later. I was living near the Pont Neuf at the time, during a ferociously cold winter, and was regularly offered magical light shows in a crystal clear atmosphere, by a late-rising sun, which was very much angled to the South East, compared to its more Northerly Summer orientation.

 

The sky was clear, the cold was biting and the dawn was golden. I found a way down to the river’s edge, which is a busy traffic route through the city centre and was blessed by a sight of uplifting peace and beauty. I hurried to set up my telephoto lens on its tripod and set to work.

 

How to get enough light to discern the view down the river while avoiding glare on the water? I experimented with different combinations of exposure metering and exposure compensation, finally settling on “Centre-weighted “ and a +1 exposure compensation. Then I took two series of 3 bracketed exposures, checking the resultant white balance graphs on the camera’s back screen after each set of bracketing was over.

 

The “film” (ISO) setting was the second-highest quality for that camera body and the camera was tripod-mounted, with mirror set to “up” and exposure triggered by a cable release. Finally, the aperture of f22 honoured the architectural shyness of each bridge, by keeping them in focus as they are glimpsed through ever-narrowing and darkening arches.

 

Drawn In to the Depths

Due to the curve of the river, there are 5 bridges visible through the arches, although a little “pixel-peeping” magnification is required to see the fifth one. The light can only creep across the surface of the Seine at that angle during this time of the year, I believe, and the peace of the scene was not disturbed by passing vessels at such an out-of-season time of the day and month.

 

The colour was unbelievably golden, the quality of light under the bridges was extremely subtle  and I feared that the camera would fail to capture it. What a joy to view this result when I got home.

 

The full-size version of this image is available for purchase and can be found in the Prints section of my website at: http://www.photeinos.com/p1058765951#h154ecd60

 

Technicals

Camera: Nikon D300

Lens: VR 70-200mm zoom f/2.8G

Focal Length: 200mm

VR: OFF

Focus Mode: AF-C

Aperture: f/22

Shutter Speed: 1/25s

Auto Focus -Area Mode: Single

Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority

Exposure Compensation : +1 EV

Metering: Centre Weighted

ISO Sensitivity: 250

Mounted on a Tripod

 

Copyright Paul Grayson 2014


Comments

Eric(non-registered)
Cette photo m'a tout de suite fait penser à celle de Willy Ronis que lui même commente ainsi :

"Les neuf ponts, 1958. J'avais constaté sur le plan de Paris que si je me plaçais en un certain point sur le quai rive droite, le cours du fleuve était rectiligne sur une distance telle que mon axe de visée pourrait embrocher successivement neuf ponts. Je me rends sur place et découvre le point de vue idéal : le petit square de l'Hôtel de Ville auquel on accède par une passerelle depuis que le quai a été dévolu à la circulation. Je ne m'étais pas trompé.
Ma photographie représente, de haut en bas : le pont d'Arcole, le pont Notre-Dame, le pont au Change, le Pont-Neuf, la passerelle du pont des Arts, le pont du Carrousel, le Pont-Royal, l'ancien pont de Solférino et une pile du pont de la Concorde. Les premiers plans sont flous. En effet, le système n'est pas diaphragmable, et pour les sujets à grande profondeur il faut mettre au point selon une cote mal taillée.
L'image dévoile même, sur fond de ciel, le clocher de Saint-Pierre de Chaillot, avenue Georges V et (peut-être) la flêche de l'église écossaise de la rue Bayard."

Les grands photographes se rencontrent de part leur sujet et de part les commentaires qu'ils en font. Tu as noté, j'en suis sur, le clin d'oeil fortuit à l'Ecossais parisien que tu es...

Amitiés
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