Dilemmas

March 28, 2015  •  2 Comments

 

Sacre Coeur MonochromeSacre Coeur MonochromeCopyrighted Digital Photograph Sacre Coeur ColourSacre Coeur ColourCopyrighted Digital Photograph

 

Is Colour Best?

 

Art appreciation depends on an individual’s physical condition, particularly the wide variety of visual abberations from which our individual eyesights suffer, including response to colours and – even more importantly in my view - the choices we have made in life to develope the set of visual, intellectual and emotional standards, from which we judge art. Despite a lifetime of trying to hone the latter, I cannot decide which of the two treatments above I prefer, since I am torn between my visual responses to the subtlety of colour in the original image, versus the emotional effect of time past expressed in its manipulated, monochrome version.

 

The colour version pleases me in its chromatic sobriety (see the contre jour discussion below), which is nevertheless not so sparse as to falsify the reality of the scene. True, the low-light effect is manipulated, but it softens the stones and focuses the eye on an upward plunging perspective, finally drawing the eye to a soft, evening-like horizon. Also, the cobbles maintain a sense of some late Winter/ early Spring warmth, even despite the effect of the barren trees.

 

Contre-Jour Contre Nature?

 

The graphic impact of this image is also a function of my choice to chose to shoot nearly straight into the sun and to heavily dial down the exposure compensation, such that an early evening level of light is imaged, although the photograph was, in fact taken in full daylight. My intent was to create a silhouetted, contre-jour effect, in order to concentrate on the paving stones and avoid the eye taking an interest in greater detail elsewhere.

 

Composing is not Just for Musicians

 

Finally, the composition is stark, with 2/3rds of the image taken up by the sweep of the cobbles, driving upwards at a sharp angle. This has the purpose of leading the eye directly to the dome of Sacre Coeur and the dramatic statue beside it (I cannot discover whether it is of St George slaying the dragon or if it is meant to be an Archangel).

 

That said, my personal critique leads me to ask myself whether I ought not to have stepped a foot to the left, in order to create a space between the top of the lamp and the adjacent building? The fact that it touches the building’s edge somehow displeases me.

 

Settings

 

Camera: Nikon D800

Lens: 24-70mm f2.8G Zoom

Focal Length: 58 mm

Focus Mode: AF-S

Autofocus Area Mode: Single

Aperture Priority

Aperture: f/9

Shutter Speed: 1/3200s

Exposure Mode: Shutter Priority

Exposure Compensation : -0.2 EV

Metering: Matrix

ISO Sensitivity: 400

Mounted on a monopod

 

Do you have a preference between the two images? Let me and others know by leaving a comment on the blog page.

 

Copyright Paul Grayson 2015


Comments

Karen OShaughnessy(non-registered)
Hi Paul, I like the black and white and agree that one step to the left would have given you a home run!!
Eric(non-registered)
Encore une superbe image de Paris ! Ma préférence est pour la version en noir et blanc.By he way, la conversion est réussie. Je trouve que le noir et blanc se prête plus à ce genre de photos. Dans la version couleur, j'aime beaucoup la couleur dorée des pavés mais pas du tout celle du ciel bleu pâle qui ne va pas avec. Mais c'est un avis personnel.
A quand un livre sur Paris rassemblant tes images sur la plus belle ville du monde ?
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