Eiffel Champagne

February 27, 2015  •  3 Comments

Eiffel ChampagneEiffel ChampagneCopyrighted Digital Photograph

Have you ever envisioned the top of the Eiffel Tower as the cork on a bottle of Champagne? That image came to me, as I walked in the Tuileries Gardens and was startled by image of a jet of water from a fountain lining up with the Tower in the distance. The image of the champagne cork “popping” was irresistible.

 

Situational Awareness

 

In an earlier life, I had to laugh a lot at the implementation of a new management tool by my boss. It was called MBWA - “management by walking about”. While it is laughable to see a superior try to fake empathy with the peons, by simply being present in the workspace, as opposed to skulking in his office, MBWA turns out to be a noble pursuit in photography.

 

As I have written previously, the aesthetic eye should be constantly considering what is being presented to it, as the photographer walks about in his/her environment. It is important to vary the point of view, for example turning around at regular intervals to see how the scene just passed might appear more interesting, given the new perspective. Equally, stepping a foot or two to the right or the left, or even an inch or two for that matter, alters the alignment of pictorial elements in important ways. Such a movement lined up this jet of water with the Eiffel Tower, which is, in fact, several miles away.

 

The Excitement of the Discovery

 

I was enthralled with my visual discovery, which seemed invisible to the hundreds of people around me. Capturing the image would give the opportunity for others to share in my joy and to savour a whimsical and beautiful conjunction of the near and the far, the banal and the iconic, as well as creating a modestly surrealistic experience.

 

I set to work to try and ensure that the physically distant and dynamically different objects could be brought into a coherent relationship.

 

Technique

 

The principal problem of “fixing” the water droplets so as to imitate champagne, required the use of significant speed, 1/3200 of a second in this case. Happily, despite this speed, the day was bright, which enabled the relatively narrow aperture of f/13 needed to ensure that the iconic shape of the Eiffel Tower was not blurred into nothingness, given the distance between the two objects. That said, one compromise had to be the use of a less than optimal ISO of 800, unusual for a sunny day.

 

The next issue was framing the image hand-held, while avoiding crowds of passers by and achieving good alignment of water flow and the tower. Rapid-fire shutter release was necessary to compensate for my uncomfortable physical position and the uncertainty as to whether I had perfectly aligned the shot or not.

 

I spent some time trying to confirm visual success and good exposure using the camera’s review screen, but it is never certain until viewed “full screen” back in the digital darkroom. The ideal would have been to shoot “tethered”, such that the images could be viewed immediately on the computer connected to the camera, but since I did not have a computer with me on a casual walk through the neigbourhood, this was not an option.

 

Settings

 

Camera: Nikon D300

Lens: 70-300mm zoom f/4-5.6D

Focal Length: 250 mm

Focus Mode: AF-C

Autofocus Area Mode: Single

Aperture: f/13

Shutter Speed: 1/3200s

Continuous Shutter Release

Exposure Mode: Shutter Priority

Exposure Compensation : -0.3 EV

Metering: Centre weighted

ISO Sensitivity: 800

Hand held

 

I hope that the celebratory, serendipitous nature of this image gives you a little pleasure on the eve of your weekend. Enjoy!

 

Copyright Paul Grayson 2015


Comments

Brian Kaye(non-registered)
admire the photo mightily.
But you miss the point of MBWA...nothing to do with empathising...everything to do with making sure the lazy buggers are not skiving! The bloke who coined the phrase ended up head of retail banking at Lloyds bank [Michael Riding]...he'd often "pop in" and leaf through my in -tray....fortunately the embarassing pictures were never there.....
Ron Rempel(non-registered)
superb!
Eric(non-registered)
Ce que j'apprécie et admire chez toi c'est, à chaque fois, la construction pensée à l'avance ou non de tes photos. C'est une de tes forces sans conteste.
No comments posted.
Loading...
Subscribe
RSS
Archive
January February (4) March (1) April May (1) June July August September October (1) November December
January (3) February (3) March (5) April (2) May June (1) July August September October November December
January (4) February (4) March (3) April May June July August September October November December
January (4) February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April (1) May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December (1)
January February March April May June July August September October November December