Eiffel Snow

April 24, 2015  •  1 Comment

Eiffel SnowEiffel SnowEiffel Snow

This image reflects the knife-sharp cold and snow-swept visual conditions of an otherwise enchanting Winter’s day. Unusually for Paris, it was painful to handle the camera for long without gloves and not easy to stay warm, despite semi-Arctic clothing, but the camera was able to function normally. Thank-you Nikon!

 

Stark Beauty

 

This is a colour image, but the lighting and environmental conditions convert the scene to near black and white. Viewed on an enlargement, the browns of the wood and the green of the gardeners’ buildings in the distance are dimly visible, but that said, the nakedness of the trees and the neighbouring lamppost stand out against the snow and the sky in a pleasing, near black tracery.

 

It seems a scene of beautiful desolation, empty of people and so very still, that it is almost as if Princess Elsa of “Frozen” passed by here. That said, I only discovered by enlarging on-screen that there is, in fact, a person in the image. Look between the two nearest trees on the left for the man in the white coat.

 

Glare

 

My main concern was the “whiteness” of it all. This was not the blue-sky, colourful conditions, which attracted the Impressionists to render snow in true colour as faintly blue in the shadows. Pristine ground snow faded into a dull grey sky and no amount of exposure correction seemed able to stop the sensor “blowing out” the white highlights. I finally accepted the inevitable and settled on a stark, near black and white exposure, where the “blown” highlights cover almost the entirety of the image area! This is a theoretical, perfect balance reading by the camera’s data processor, since the actual image data that was captured is visible to you now.

 

Focus

 

Even with the snow falling between the Eiffel Tower, and me I wanted to further emphasise the separation between the trees in the foreground and the eerie presence of the Tower in the distance, by choosing a wide aperture. Finally, in order to eliminate un-aesthetic elements on each side, I had to crop the image vertically, but I found that, happily, this emphasized the impact of the trees on the tower.

 

 

Settings

 

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

Focal Length: 70mm

Focus Mode: AF-C

Aperture: f/4.5

Shutter Speed: 1/6400

Auto Focus -Area Mode: Single

Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority

Exposure Compensation: 0

Bracketing set to 5

Metering: Matrix

ISO Sensitivity: 800

Tripod

 

Will Global Warming make this kind of experience in Paris more or less likely? I don’t understand the science well enough to guess, but I hope that it repeats itself frequently enough to allow me and you to see Paris cloaked in a new covering and generating a new kind of light.

 

Copyright Paul Grayson 2015


Comments

Eric(non-registered)
Encore Bravo !
J'adore les teintes de cette photo. La lumière de l'hiver est vraiment la plus belle. Je suis allé voir cette photo dans ton portfolio et je trouve ce cadrage bien meilleur.
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